Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao has been embroiled in controversy since his recent comments that homosexuals are “worse than animals.” But now, instead of hoping the kerfuffle blows over, Pacman doubles down on his opinion.
Despite the massive amount of criticism for his anti-gay comments, the boxer was suddenly defiant by saying he wasn’t going to change his mind about what he said after first apologizing.
“What I am saying is right. I mean I am just stating the truth, what the Bible says,” Pacquiao said in a new interview.
As reported earlier, Pacquiao, a convert from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity, made his remarks disparaging the gay lifestyle in an interview in his home country of the Philippines where he pursues a political career with a run for the country’s senate.
In the interview the 37-year-old boxing world champion said of gay relationships, “It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?”
“The animals are better,” the boxer known as Pacman said. “They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
Not long after he made his comments, sportswear giant Nike canceled Pacquiao’s endorsement contract due to the ensuing controversy.
In short order the company released a statement, saying, “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.”
That wasn’t the end of the condemnation for the boxer. On Wednesday former NBA great Magic Johnson jumped into the fray and announced a boycott of Pacquiao’s future boxing matches.
Naturally, social media has been aflame in attacks on the eight-division world champion.
Pacquiao, who faces Timothy Bradley in his final fight in April, did issue an apology of sorts on his Facebook page.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” he wrote on February 16. “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.”
Despite all the swirling controversy, though, Pacquiao now says he isn’t affected by the messy public relations situation.
“I’m happy. I’m always happy because God is with me,” the boxer said.
Gay marriage is still against the law in the 80 percent Catholic Philippines, so it isn’t likely that his comments will hurt his budding political career the way they have hurt his career as a product pitchman.
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