Manny Pacquiao, one of the world’s most famous boxers, is in hot water for offensive comments comparing homosexuals to animals, revealing that a man who makes his living by punching people as hard as he can for as long as he can is something less than a paragon of socially progressive values.
Though one would suspect that Pacquiao—a man whose entire celebrity status is based on his brutish ability to hit people over and over again while being punched himself—would be as liberal on identity politics and same-sex relationships as they come, sadly it seems that is not the case.
“It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” Pacquiao said in an interview with the TV5 network in his native Philippines, where he is running for a Senate seat. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, these comments quickly drew critical backlash from people who expected the man whose most viable skill is punching really hard and really fast to share their socially liberal values. But as it turns out, Pacquaio harbors some surprisingly backwards attitudes for someone who’s only ever needed to use his fists and never his head.
Following the outcry, the champion lightweight was quick to issue an apology while still affirming his religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, rumors abound that Nike plans to end its endorsement deal with Pacquiao, even though this isn’t the first time he’s made such comments. It’s a turn of events that is equally surprising, since major brands are generally so ethically driven and unwilling to turn a blind eye to a celebrity spokesperson’s repugnant social views.