Aug Sept 2016
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Sports Stars Come Out Swinging After Antigay Rants by Manny Pacquiao

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Pro-LGBT celebrities from the world of sports have climbed over the ropes and jumped into the ring to fight antigay statements by professional boxer Manny Pacquiao, who said the criticism doesn't bother him. 

According to Sports Interactive Network Philippines, Earvin Magic Johnson told his followers on Twitter he’s done watching the Filipino fighter, applauded Nike for dropping him over remarks that compared LGBT people to animals, and reminded Pacquiao money is green no matter what someone's orientation is.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista, a fellow Filipino whose previous claim to fame was as a professional wrestler, didn't hold back when TMZ asked him his thoughts about Pacquiao. 

"My mom happens to be a lesbian so I don't fucking take that shit. I dont think it's funny," Bautista told TMZ in the video. And then he hit him again: "If anyone called my mother an animal I'd stick my foot in his ass." The WWE heavyweight wrote about his love for his mom in his autobiography in 2007. 

Last week, Pacquiao described animals as superior to gays “because they can distinguish male from female,” in a television interview. He later told the BBC he made a mistake, but that comment sparked a global flurry of criticism that led the boxer to post a video apology on Facebook. 

He said he was sorry and was “not condemning LGBT,” but he also reconfirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage. 

His sponsor, Nike, then delivered an uppercut and dropped him like a sack of potatoes. "We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," the company stated.

Within hours, however, Pacquiao doubled-down and posted biblical verses on his Instagram account denouncing homosexuality as punishable by death.

The citations included the infamous verse from Leviticus 20.13: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death, their blood will be on their own heads." The post has since been deleted. 

As the BBC reported, the boxer converted from Catholicism to an evangelical Protestant faith, and plans to retire after his fight in April against Timothy Bradley, Jr. He is a conservative member of the Philippines House of Representatives and is also running for a seat in the overwhelmingly Catholic country’s Senate. The BBC reported he aspires to be president of his country someday. 

Another famous sports personality, Jason Collins, also weighed-in on Pacquiao's political aspirations when he tweeted his disdain. Collins was the first out professional athlete in North America. 

 

On Saturday, reporters in his hometown in the Philippines asked Pacquiao if the criticism from Collins, Johnson, Bautista and others worried him. "I'm not bothered, that's the world," he said, according to Boxing Scene.  "I mean, Jesus lives in me so I'm always happy. Says the Bible, everyday has enough troubles of its own, so don't be bothered about that."

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