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Was Boxer Manny Pacquiao Misquoted?


The WBO welterweight champion denies he made the antigay remarks that launched a campaign to end his endorsement deal with Nike.

The Advocate has looked into the furor over Manny Pacquiao's apparently antigay statements--which have subsequently banned him from a Los Angeles mall, led to an interview with Extra being cancelled, and started a campaign to get his Nike endorsement deal revoked--and found what looks to be a case of National Conservative Examiner writer Granville Ampong employing shoddy journalism and misquoting the boxer.

Pacquia tells ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo that he was just offering his opinion. "I'm not against gay people," he says. "I have a relative who is also gay. We can't help it if they were born that way. What I'm critical of are actions that violate the word of God."

As Jeremy Kinser writes at The Advocate: "Numerous blogs and news outlets picked up Ampong's original story, erroneously attributing a Bible verse from Leviticus 20:13 to the boxer. But it is Ampong, not Pacquiao, who quotes the incendiary verse that reads: 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.' Ampong now clarifies that it was he who cited the incendiary Bible verse."

So why all the hub-bub around a boxer, a sport not known for much eloquence, saying some negative stuff? Pacquiao is listed by Forbes magazine as fourth on its list of most influential athletes in the United States this year. He is also the world's highest-paid athlete, having earned more than $50 million a year in sponsorship endorsements. So he does pack a powerful, and influential, punch.

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