Nike Distances Themselves from Manny Pacquiao After Controversial Comments

May 16, 2012 By:
Nike Distances Themselves from Manny Pacquiao After Controversial Comments

Regardless of your beliefs, it seems like we can all agree that there’s one group you don’t want to mess with right now, the nations gay population.

But for better or worse, Manny Pacquiao isn’t afraid to throw a punch. If you don’t watch sports, or perchance follow Southeast Asian politics, I’ll give you a clue on the answer to the question of Manny who? He’s the current Welterweight Boxing champion of the world, Forbes’ fourth most influential athlete on the planet, a member the House of Representatives in the Philippines, and right now, the biggest a$$hole on the Internet.

On Saturday, May 12 The National Conservative Examiner posted an interview with Pacquiao speaking out on President Obama’s recent vote of approval for gay marriage. The (poorly written) article portrayed Pacquiao as less than subtle in his disdain, condemning what he sees as the abomination of the sanctity of marriage should everyone be let into the club. I’ll paraphrase, cause we’ve all heard this rant before. Basically he’s saying that we need to obey the Bible, and therefore honor the word of God to not, “adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old."

Then things get a bit extreme. At one point (the point that’s bringing Pacquiao the most hate mail) Leviticus 20:13 is quoted, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Though honestly (going back to poorly written), I was confused as to whether the author was quoting the Bible himself, or quoting Pacquiao quoting the Bible.

Pacquiao claims he didn't say it and issued a denial on his official website ( “Manny Pacquiao has never stated that anyone in the Gay Community deserved death. His statements were taken out of context, and were not his opinion. 'I didn’t say that, that’s a lie… I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet.' Pacquiao does not now and has never believed that people deserve death because of their sexual orientation."

So, to be clear, he doesn’t hate gay people, he “is simply against the marriage of anyone that is not Man and Woman as he believes is stated in the Bible.”

Too little to late perhaps? He’s been officially and probably irrevocably labeled anti-gay in the media quoted (be it true or false) as having declared “death to gays.”

Pacquiao was scheduled to do an interview with Extra on Tuesday but following his statements, The Grove in Los Angeles would not allow him to set foot on their property claiming he was "unwelcome' for his practice of intolerance. The interview was rescheduled for Wednesday at another location and is set to broadcast on Thursday.

And at least one of Pacquiao's sponsors, Nike, has issued the following statement separating their views from his:

"Any recent remarks made by Manny Pacquiao reflect his personal views. Nike is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and has a long and progressive history of supporting and standing up for the rights of GLBT Individuals."

Hewlett-Packard, Hennessy liquor, and McDonald’s have yet to comment.

Regardless, the public jury isn’t going to let him off on a “too many blows to the head” excuse.