Nike Terminates Contract With Manny Pacquiao

After Manny Pacquiao made some extremely controversial remarks about same-sex couples, Nike abruptly ended its endorsement contract with the Filipino boxer.

“Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?” Pacquiao said on a Filipino television station earlier this week, according to ESPN. “If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.”

“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” the company said in a statement according to ESPN. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.” Despite having been endorsed by Nike for more than eight years, Pacquiao has been scratched off the endorsement roster due to his unsettling comments.

Pacquiao quickly apologized on Twitter, “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals.” He pleaded, “Please forgive me for those I hurt. God bless!” In this tweet, Pacquiao is seen in a video message wearing a Nike shirt with the special Pacquiao logo the company has for him.

While Manny Pacquiao wasn’t one of Nike’s signature or top-tier athletes, Nike benefited from outfitting the high-profile boxer with shorts and shoes that featured swooshes. According to TV by the Numbers, some 4.4 million people tuned into the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight — that’s a lot of eyeballs looking at swooshes. However, Pacquiao items that reached the market were infrequent and scarce, so perhaps Nike didn’t lose much.

According to ESPN, Nike has been terminating contracts more actively than at any other time in history. Like dominoes, the contracts of cyclist Lance Armstrong, running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, and sprinter Oscar Pistorius have been terminated for similar reasons — athletes, like almost everyone else, do wild and unethical things, just look at Ray Rice.

So, was Nike right in terminating the contract? Sound off in the comments below.

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25 Comments

  1. Manny is a Catholic christian so it’s quite obvious for him to have this kind of view. Why can’t he express his own views huh? Same sex marriage is allowed and you are not allowed to express your opinion? What the hell has the world come to. Nike will lose in a growing market ie the Philippines badly. Strange are the days cause blacks make racist jokes and it’s okay, a white guy makes one everyone goes bonkers. People are getting sensitive for all the wrong reasons these days. Manny said cause of what he believed in ie God and He will not forsake him.

  2. Regardless of anyone’s entitlement to views, he slipped on his PR game, Nike did the right thing, and he evidently regrets it. Surely better for a company to stay inclusive vs. outright alienate a community.

    I personally don’t like his flip-flopping, although he didn’t totally take it back. More of a “pls still like me, but I still mean it” thing. When a remark like *that* is made, you can’t really backpedal out of it anyway. It’s a whole lot more specific than when Kobe blurt a slur.

    I was never too sure if he was really that ultra nice guy and humanitarian he’s made out to be, and I don’t really care to investigate, but part of me thinks he wants that sponsorship back for whatever reason.

  3. Personal views are one thing but his wording was bad. If Nike terminated his contract purely based on his views of marriage they’re just as guilty of judging people as he is…but ya calling them worse than animals was a little Trump-ish lol

    1. I agree with you completely. Trump has had a lot of negative effects on our society; people are starting to think that it is okay to be as outwardly hateful and negative towards people or groups — it isn’t okay. You may hold whatever views you want in PRIVATE. When you get out on a stage or show or whatever and say those things, companies and people take notice.

  4. I think Nike has been wanting out of their deal with Pac for a little while and now they have their out. If Pac had not been KO’d so fiercely by Marquez and/or defeated Mayweather, I think they would’ve looked the other way and let it slide. To Nike’s credit, they do things to endear themselves to the LGBT community (Multi color Sock Dart promoting tolerance comes to mind) so it’s not totally out of left field, but if Manny were more successful, something tells me they’d be willing to accept his apology a little more.

    1. On the note of the Sock Dart promotion, Adidas just ran their ad for Vday, and made good publicity with defending it. Nike did need some form of follow-up.

    2. The fact of the matter is that Nike, a billion dollar corporation, selling things to gay and straight people alike. Nike needs the most customers it can get, so I think you’re right. There is a comment lower down about how Nike could have dropped Manny in 2012 when he made the remarks he did then, and it didn’t. Nike dropped him AFTER he had 4.4 million people watching him during the Mayweather fight.

  5. A lot of famous people commit those kind of mistake, they dont think first before they speak. But anyway i think manny will still be a senator

  6. Better late than never, Manny has been saying things like this since 2012, yet Nike waited till Manny was over-the-hill before terminating their contract.

    Which seems more like a commercial-convenience, than actual moral-outrage, if it was moral they would’ve dropped Manny in 2012.

    1. I agree with you 100%. Nike could have dropped him before he was making the millions he made for the Mayweather fight. That was also before Nike put out limited edition Sock Darts celebrating gay rights…either way, Nike is making billions selling things to gay and straight people — all a matter of protecting their investment — albeit selectively.

  7. Dang this SJW times make me sick and laugh.

    I mean Nike’s like “Look at me I’m so tolerant we won’t tolerate Many’s views or opinions in the name of tolerance!” Cognitive dissonance any one?

    1. I don’t believe what you’re referring to is cognitive dissonance. Nike is a business. It is making many millions of dollars selling shoes to straight and gay people — Nike has also released limited edition shoes to celebrate gay events. Nike is doing what companies do best: it is protecting its investment. It would be ridiculous to have Manny out there blasting gay people when Nike is making billions off of gay and straight people. There is the cognitive dissonance.
      I also think that this type of thing is proliferated by people like Donald Trump — getting out on a stage with an audience and just spewing your beliefs. Trump has had a lot of negative effects on our society; people are starting to think that it is okay to be as outwardly hateful and negative towards people or groups — it isn’t okay. You may hold whatever views you want in PRIVATE. When you get out on a stage or show or whatever and say those things, companies and people take notice, especially when Manny REPRESENTS a billion dollar corporation.

      1. Of course it is, let’s get it straight I do not agree with Mannys views on gays but he did not knock out his fiance in an elevator. Or was cought cheating with PEDs.

        He simply holds & expresses views and opinions that is hurtful to the feelings of 3.5% of the population.

        Sure Nike is a private bussness end of the day they have the right associat with whoever they want.

        But its disturbing that
        thoughtcrime is the standard we blackball or ostracize people these days instead of you know actual crimes.

  8. I do not want to condemn anyone for seeking a higher purpose in life, but that bible Manny speaks of sure has promoted some spectacular selective reasoning over the centuries.

  9. I hope you all you guys watched the whole video of the interview to Manny. he says he is not condemning people who are doing it. The media just quote his message. If this is what Nike wanted then so be it. But for me it is unfair to Manny.

  10. Just saw the vid of Manny’s fellow countrymen. . . and women burning Nike shoes, LOL! It is hysterical that this sort of outrage cannot come from a humanistic position against cheap labor,perhaps violence over shoes, horrible ethics, even overpriced shoes, you know?! However, get rid of Pac man? Now you’ve got a problem on your hands Nike! LOLOL!

    Boy, it is funny how that “Bible” has been interpreted!

    1. Wouldn’t want to start a mess in a WT comment thread, but yeah: The Manny defense squad has been going all out against Nike and LGBT society. Manny’s FB page has been hashing out promos and training updates — I guess as some damage control against controversy — and the comment threads there go straight into how horrible Nike is for dropping him.

      I don’t have a problem with Christianity. Went to a Catholic school and all, but are his fans in this situation up in arms because Nike wronged their interpretation of the Bible…or simply because they dropped their idol? I mean really: if Manny said the exact opposite of his original statements, I bet those same comment threads on his FB page would be raving in positive agreement about LGBT — some probably even vocally hoping to buy his Nike gear.

      1. I think that the topic was broached for discussion and debate. Since this isn’t a nike owned site, I guess honesty can be used here as long as it isn’t too profane and disrespectful it seems, which is probably why people won’t come to discuss such topics here, due to the fact that there aren’t any moderators with an agenda like on Nike Talk and Sole Collector. On those sites when discussions like this arise, they love to state, “let’s keep it about the shoes,”

        “Too much negativity.”

        It does not fit their agenda of reselling and Nike promotion.

        Manny is wrong, plain and simple. He was an endorser of a company that uses cheap labor, and then has accepted free advertising through the plight of the inner city struggle, by not denouncing the violence over their shoes.

        So now Manny has developed a conscience?

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