It only took five words and one online petition for world-famous boxer Manny Pacquiao to lose one of his biggest sponsorship deals.
The eight weight world boxing champion and one of the most beloved athletes in history drew flak as he voiced his opinion about same-sex marriage and the LGBT community. In an interview, he said that homosexuals are “worse than animals.”
New York-based filipino Aries Dela Cruz spearheaded an online petition via Change.org to ask sportswear giant Nike to drop the athlete turned politician from its roster of endorsers.
“Pacquiao’s expressions of homophobia and bigotry disqualifies him from being honored, endorsed and sponsored by one of the world’s largest publicly-traded and owned athletic companies, particularly one that is celebrated and well-known for their promotion of sportsmanship and excellence,” Dela Cruz said on the petition urging Nike VP for Global Merchandising Tim Hershey to “Tell Nike It’s Time To #DropPacMan.”
And the reaction was swift: less than 24 hours after the petition was created and with a trending hashtag to boot, Nike terminated its endorsement deal with Pacquiao over his “abhorent” comments.
This also puts the famous boxer’s political career in jeopardy. Pacquiao is running for senator in his home country and his statement will also definitely hurt his chances in getting a seat in the senate.
Pacquiao has already issued a public apology over his comments about the LGBT community.
Source: Daily Mail