Nike terminate Manny Pacquiao's contract following homophobic slur
Published 17/02/2016 | 20:19
Sports manufacturing giant Nike has terminated their deal with Manny Paquiao's contract after he claimed gay couples were "worse than animals".
He has been with Nike since 2006 but since the controversy his merchandise has been remove from their website and Darren Rovell of ESPN has confirmed that their relationship is over.
BREAKING: Nike has terminated its contract with Manny Pacquiao due to recent comments. Nike statement: pic.twitter.com/3xZ7e08EtU— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 17, 2016
In a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, the boxer asked for forgiveness and insisted he was "not condemning LGBT" - but also maintained he is "against same sex marriage".
The message said: "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 (above), the only eight-weight world champion in the history of boxing, has embarked on a political career in his native Philippines and is currently running for a senate seat in the country's May elections.
But the 37-year-old - who plans to fight for the final time in April when he challenges for Timothy Bradley's WBO welterweight title - provoked outrage in an interview with broadcaster TV5 aired earlier this week.
"It's common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?" Pacquiao was quoted as saying when his comments were translated into English by TV5's Facebook page.
"Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female.
"If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.''