Manny Pacquiao could face serious discipline for his repeated remarks condemning homosexuality, as rumors that the Filipino boxer may end up being suspended.
Pacquiao generated controversy when he compared gay people to animals, leading Nike to drop its sponsorship of the boxer and Filipino politician.
But, this week Pacquiao doubled down on his remarks, making an Instagram post that quoted a bible verse saying homosexuals should be put to death.
“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
Pacquiao did apologize but also made it clear that he stood by the remarks, writing on Instagram, “I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.”
If Manny Pacquiao ends up being suspended for his remarks, it might have some precedent. In 2014, Adrien Broner was suspended by the World Boxing Council after racially insensitive comments after his victory over Carlos Molina.
In announcing the decision, the World Boxing Council made it clear that it would not stand for such remarks. The council said the following in a statement via WBCBoxing.com.
“The World Boxing Council holds human equality as its banner and will not accept a former WBC champion to make racially offensive statements.
“Since words have different meanings and can be interpreted in different ways, the WBC is issuing this open letter to Adrien Broner to either clarify what he meant with his words or to issue a public apology if those words were intended to be despective and offensive.
“Adrien Broner is hereby suspended from participating in any WBC sanctioned Championship and will be excluded from the WBC Ratings until the time he makes a public apology satisfactorily to the public of the world.”
The statement could mean that Pacquiao, whose remarks were far less ambiguous than Broner’s, will face similar discipline.
Other boxers have faced discipline for comments made outside the ring. Late last year British boxer Tyson Fury came under fire for a series of homophobic and sexist remarks that led the British Boxing Board of Control to investigate his behavior.
Fury was nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, but angry boxing fans led a petition demanding that he be removed from consideration.
“I’m not really interested [in winning BBC SPOTY] to be honest,” Fury told the Telegraph. “They can say what they want about me but they can’t knock my achievement. I beat the man who nobody can beat. So until someone can go in and beat him again then they can suck my b—-.”
Veteran promoter Barry Hearn noted that Fury deserved some kind of sanction for his controversial remarks.
“They [the Boxing Board] can’t sit back and do nothing,” said Hearn. “The board themselves will be a target of the press for not taking action. They’ve got to take very serious action with him and it’s going to cost him hopefully a lot of money which stops him saying silly things going forward.”
There is not yet any official word on whether Manny Pacquiao will face discipline or possible suspension for his anti-gay remarks, but if there is any action it could come at a difficult time. Pacquiao is schedule to return to the ring on April 9 for his third bout against Timothy Bradley Jr.
[Image via Instagram]