Athletes speak out against Manny Pacquiao

Out gay athlete and former NBA star Jason Collins is just one of a number of famous athletes who have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions on Manny Pacquiao’s inflammatory comments that homosexuals are ‘worse than animals’.

‘Manny Pacquiao I lost all respect for you,’ Collins posted. ‘Bigoted people like you (and yes you are one) should never hold an office in politics.’

Pacquiao erroneously claimed homosexuality does not exist in the animal kingdom, before stating that LGB people don’t know the difference between the genders. He apologised for the gaffe, although those who have kept abreast of sporting news remember that he made similar comments in 2012. Nike subsequently dropped their sponsorship of him in response.

But Collins, who came out in 2013, isn’t the only person who is glad Nike has dropped outspoken Pacquiao. Earvin Magic Johnson, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers, also spoke out.

‘I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals,’ said Johnson on Twitter yesterday.

Johnson also pointed out that LGBT people had contributed to the $300 million in ticket and pay-per-view sales of last year’s fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

‘Fans of all walks of life including gay fans supported May/Pac fight putting up $100 million in his pocket. I guess to him their money is still green,’ he tweeted. ‘I won’t be watching another one of Manny Pacquiao’s fights.’

Pacquiao, who is running for the senate, has also said he will make gay sex illegal in the country if elected.