Sports

Nike drops Pacquiao after controversial remarks

Share
VIDEO0:3200:32
Nike drops Manny Pacquiao sponsorship

Nike said Wednesday it had cut ties with Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino boxer and politician drew ire for calling people in homosexual relationships "worse than animals."

Pacquiao, a member of the Philippines house of representatives, made the comments during a television interview amid a run for a senate seat. The former world champion boxer told local station TV5 that "man is worse than animals" because animals "know how to distinguish male from female."

In a statement, Nike called 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.

Pacquiao apologized for the statement on Tuesday. In a tweet, he said he was "sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals."

Tweet

Pacquiao is one of the most recognizable faces in contemporary boxing. Last year, he lost to Floyd Mayweather in the so-called "fight of the century," which shattered records with more than $400 million in pay-per-view revenue.

Goalie Nathan Schoenfeld #40 of the Arizona Coyotes stands for the national anthem before the start of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on February 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. Schoenfeld was an emergency call up after back-up goalie Anders Lindback was injured on Monday before the game.
Arizona banker tapped as back-up goalie for NHL team
Golden State guard Stephen Curry, center, splits the defense of Washington guard Garrett Temple, left, and Washington guard Gary Neal as the Golden State Warriors play the Washington Wizards in Washington, February 3, 2016.
An All-Star slam dunk: 1B 'likes' for NBA on social

Pacquiao's representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

CNBC's Jessica Golden contributed to this report.