Top Brands Put On Notice For Supporting Anti-Gay Sports Star Who Said Same-Sex RelationshipsÂ Are 'Worse Than Animals'
Nike. Monster energy drinks. Sony. Hennessy.Â Foot Locker. Wonderful Pistachios. Nestle's Butterfinger.Â
Those are just some of the internationallyÂ recognized brands that have lucrative endorsement deals withÂ one of the world's top boxers,Â Manny Pacquiao. Forbes ranks Pacquiao as the world's #2 highest paid sports figure.
Pacquiao ran into trouble a few years ago when he condemned same-sex marriage in an interview in which a journalist added in a biblical reference to Leviticus thatÂ Pacquiao had not made. But Pacquiao is solidly homophobic, and sure enough, made his anti-gay beliefs quite clear in an interview with aÂ Philippine TV station.
â€œHave you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?â€ PacquiaoÂ asked local TV5.Â â€œIf you have male-to-male or female-to-female (relationships), then people are worse than animals.â€
He called his anti-gays viewsÂ â€œcommon sense.â€
On Instagram,Â Pacquiao didn't help himself any.
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt," he said, refusing to change his views.
"I still stand on my belief that I'm against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
Now, New York City based LGBT activist and graphic designer Scott Wooledge has launched a campaign asking these top brands to dropÂ Pacquiao.
Wooledge is also the founder of Memeographs, which he's used to activate fellow activists and draw attention to important causes. He posted these tweets today:
Others on Twitter are expressing their outrage over Pacquiao's anti-gay hate:
i would hate to carry the burden of intolerance that #Mannypaquiao carries with him. I won't let his beliefs ruin my feelings. i pity him.â€” Dan (@LarryBirdzUncle) February 16, 2016
It must be sad to be so insecure, so petty and ignorant a human being that the sexual orientation of others scares you #Mannypaquiaoâ€” William Kendall (@WilliamKendall1) February 16, 2016
#Mannypaquiao is apparently further proof that being famous does not make someone fit to represent people. As if we needed any more proof.â€” Kieren Westwood (@KierenWestwood_) February 16, 2016
Businesses and brands that @mannypacquiao endorse need to think hard if they wish to be associated with someone who sees LGBT as animals.â€” Pipo (@pipodelrosario) February 16, 2016
Since Manny Pacquiao is a big homophobe and he endorse Nike.. ill defenitely go with Adidas now.. https://t.co/eALB6PxeCMâ€” kian lanzar (@kian_lanzar) February 15, 2016
Image by Scott Wooledge via TwitterÂ