Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao took a blow to his super cool reputation from his countrymen after saying gays are worse than animals, forcing him to apologize.
Now he is taking it where it really hurts.
On Wednesday, Nike Inc. cut ties with Pacquiao, knocking thousands of dollars off his earning potential from advertising deals and sponsorships, Bloomberg reports.
Pacquiao has pending tax cases worth tens of millions of dollars with the Philippine government.
He is also reportedly self-funding his run for a senate seat in the national elections in May.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in an e-mailed statement.
“Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”
Pacquiao, an eight-time boxing champion, said during his election campaign that animals don’t engage in same-sex relationships and that opposing them is common sense.
After his remarks, Pacquiao apologized but stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Pacquiao also served as a pitchman for Wonderful Pistachios and Nestle, although representatives for both companies said they don’t have him under contract currently, according to USA Today.
“Wonderful Pistachios is not currently affiliated with Manny Pacquiao nor do his views align with ours,” Wonderful Pistachios spokesperson Jennifer George told USA Today Sports. “Wonderful Pistachios stands firmly for diversity and equality and we proudly support marriage equality and inclusion around the world.”
Like Wonderful Pistachios, Nestle worked with Pacquiao as recently as 2015, according to spokesperson Roz O’Hearn.
A petition was launched on Change.org by Rutgers University graduate student Aries Dela Cruz on Tuesday urged Nike to drop Pacquiao.
“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 wrote in the petition that had more than 1,600 signatures as of noon Wednesday.
Activists have also attempted to get the #droppacman hashtag to trend on social media.
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