Nike have terminated their contract with boxer Manny Pacquiao after he claimed that homosexuals are “worse than animals”.
The sportswear company released a statement on Wednesday night announcing that they firmly object to discrimination ‘of any kind’ and a decision had been made to end their partnership immediately.
“We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent,” Nike’s statement read.
“Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kinds 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, the first and only eight-division world champion, made the comments in an interview which aired on the Philippines TV5 network.
“It’s common sense,” he said. “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.”
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
The 37-year-old fighter, who has been an elected member of his country’s House of Representatives since 2010, later apologised for his remarks, insisting that although he stands by his beliefs, he did not wish to ‘condemn LGBT’.
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” the boxer said. “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."
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