Manny Pacquiao has faced criticism for the anti-gay comments he made on a TV broadcast in his native Philippines — comments he would later apologize for on social media. The 37-year-old boxer’s comments have resulted in the termination of his Nike sponsorship deal.
After numerous reports surfaced about Nike dropping Pacquiao, the brand confirmed via email that it has parted ways with the fighter.
“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,” a Nike spokesperson said via email.
Pacquiao made headlines earlier in the week for his comments that stated gay people are “worse than animals.” The 37-year-old boxing icon recorded a video and posted it to his Twitter account yesterday apologizing to people he hurt with his comments.
I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. God Bless! pic.twitter.com/bqjRcWqp8R
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 16, 2016
Pacquiao has long been sponsored by Nike, and the brand most recently made a video showing his training methods and the Nike gear he wears while working out leading up to his much-hyped May 2015 showdown with Floyd Mayweather.