Boxing great Manny Pacquiao learned that there’s a price for freedom of speech this week when he lost a long-standing and lucrative endorsement deal with Nike after making homophobic comments earlier this week. But Nike isn’t alone in disapproving of Pacquiao’s comments. NBA legend Magic Johnson also weighed in on the matter and explained why he felt Pacquiao was wrong for bashing the gay community.
As previously reported, the drama started earlier this week when Pacquiao gave an interview and compared gay people to animals.
“Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better,” Pacquiao said in the interview. “They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
After a backlash quickly erupted, Pacquiao seemed to backtrack a bit as he apologized for offending the gay community. However, he claimed that he believed his thoughts on marriage equality were still correct.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. 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,” Pacquiao wrote in an Instagram message.
Well, Nike wasn’t happy at all about Pacquiao’s stance and they announced this week that they were terminating their contract with him after more than 10 years of working together.
“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,” said Nike in the statement.
After Nike’s announcement, Johnson, who has been a LGBT advocate for years, spoke out against Pacquiao and explained that he agreed with Nike’s decision.
Read what Johnson had to say, after the cut.