Nike has cut ties with legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao due to recent opinions he shared on homosexuality.
The eight-time world boxing champion told a local television station earlier in the week that same-sex couples are in many ways “worse than animals” because even beasts shun the practice.
“It’s common sense,” the Christian athlete told TV5 in the the Philippines on Monday. “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.”
Nike made the decision less than 24 hours after a new change.org petition was launched against the boxer.
“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,” the company said it a statement, TMZ reported. “We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippines, used his official Twitter account on Tuesday to apologize for “hurting people,” but added, “I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says.”
Pacquiao will be busy over the next few months. The 37-year-old boxer, whose record stands at 57-6-2, will fight one last time April 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, against Timothy Bradley, 32, for the WBO welterweight championship belt. He then will attempt to win a senate seat during a May 9 election in the Philippines.
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“This is my last fight,” Pacquiao said during a Madison Square Garden news Jan. 22, Reuters reported. “After this I’m going to retire and hang up my gloves and focus on my other big responsibility in my daily life, to help the people.”
See “The Big List of ‘gayest’ companies in America,” where support for homosexual, bisexual and transgender causes is a priority.