© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nike Ends Manny Pacquiao's Contract Over Remarks About Gays

Manny Pacquiao will need to look for a new apparel sponsor, after his remark that homosexuals are worse than animals led Nike to terminate its dealings with the boxer, who's also running for a Senate seat in the Philippines.

Anger over Pacquiao's comments led him to deliver an apology on Tuesday "for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals." But in that same statement, he also reiterated that he was merely going by "what the Bible says," and he repeated his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Late Wednesday, Nike issued a statement:

"We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao."

The news was welcomed by basketball legend Magic Johnson, who tweeted, "I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao's contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals."

Johnson also said he won't be watching any more of the boxer's fights.

In addition to seeking a Senate seat, Pacquiao is training for an April 9 bout against Timothy Bradley Jr.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.