By ABS-CBN News
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum agrees with Nike’s decision to drop Manny Pacquiao following the Filipino boxer’s controversial comments regarding same sex marriage.
Nike on Thursday announced that it has severed its ties with Pacquiao after the “Pacman” compared homosexuals to animals in a TV5 interview.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement. “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.”
Pacquiao also said he respects the decision of Nike to terminate its contract with him.
Team Pacquiao is now looking for a new sponsor apparel for the boxer.
“Kung ano man ‘yong decision nila, desisyon nila ‘yon, nirerespeto ko at saka ang pag-sponsor nila sa akin, ‘yong mga damit lang man para sa fight,” he said.
Arum, who has promoted Pacquiao for most of his career and helped him become a global superstar, told TMZ Sports that he agrees with Nike’s decision.
“As Manny’s promoter, I must say I agree with Nike,” Arum said. “They’re in the business of selling products, and Manny’s remarks were offensive to many people, particularly those in the gay and lesbian community.”
“Manny shouldn’t have said what he did, and Nike acted appropriately,” he stressed.
“Manny Pacquiao is a born-again Christian, and people who adhere to that faith are people who believe in the word of the Bible,” he said. “It is irrefutable that in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, there is a prohibition against homosexuality.”
It appears that Arum does not share his top client’s opinion, however.
“That is the word thousands of years ago,” Arums aid. “We have evolved since then in this country, praise God. The issue of same sex marriage has been resolved and people can choose the way they want to live, and I applaud that.”
The United States last year enshrined same-sex marriage in law following a Supreme Court ruling, but same-sex marriage remains outlawed in the Philippines.
In a separate interview with RingTV.com, Arum said Pacquiao’s comments were “reprehensible.”
“I’m in favor of same-sex marriage. I’m in favor of gay rights. A lot of my friends are gays, particularly in California and Hollywood, so it’s very offensive to them and that’s what I’m most concerned about,” he said.
The promoter, however, was unsure if the controversy hounding Pacquiao will have any effect on the pay-per-view numbers of his April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. – the last fight of his boxing career.
“I have no idea. I mean, we live in a country… Look at the number of people who support Donald Trump and the (expletive) he says. Who knows anymore? How can you make a prediction?” Arum told RingTV.
In an interview on TV5, Pacquiao said: “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? 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.”
He issued an apology via social media, saying: “I’m sorry for comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt.”
The boxer has drawn tremendous flak from prominent members of the LGBT community in the Philippines, including comedian Vice Ganda, host Boy Abunda, and singer Aiza Seguerra. He was also criticized by his rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA. Another rival, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, said via Twitter that Pacquiao was “wrong in his view about homosexuality.” — With a report from Agence France-Presse
Old Bob is a coward…he’s afraid some LGBT freak will bitch slapped him…
Hey Arum, I wonder who you sleeping with I hope it’s your wife not with some same sex and having sex with that person? Arum your a fucking “JERY”, you use Manny for your own pocket. Look like the truth about you is suck all the money like you suck blood, from a human. Wow look at all the money Manny made for you all this years and you say something to hurt him. Brother your a fucking “JERK” money blood sucker.