Nike has officially ended its endorsement contract with boxer Manny Pacquiao after he made comments about people in same-sex relationships being "worse than animals."
"We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," the company said in a statement. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community."
"It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?" Pacquiao said earlier this week during a television appearance in the Philippines where he is currently running for senator. "The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals."
Among the people to denounce Pacquiao's comments were Floyd Mayweather, who you may remember kicked Pacquiao's ass in the richest boxing match in history.
"We should let people live their lives the way they want to live their lives," Mayweather told TMZ. "I don't have nothing against anyone. To each his own."
The backlash was swift and decisive--much like his loss to Mayweather--and Pacquiao issued an apology shortly afterwards via social media:
A video posted by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on
After Nike's decision, even Pacquiao's boxing promoter Bob Arum agreed with the decision.
"Nike is in the business of selling its products to as wide of an audience as they can, and Manny's comments were insulting to a lot of people," Arum told ESPN.com. "His comments were made to a Filipino audience, where same-sex marriage is not as accepted as it is here and Manny has a convert of enlightened Christianity, which does not believe in same sex relationships. But to people in the United States, his words can only be viewed as hate speech. If I was running Nike, I would have to make the same decision they did."
Nike is the largest sportswear company in the world, though it seems to be following in the footsteps of its nearest competitor, Adidas. The second-largest sportswear company in the world recently updated its sponsorship contracts to protect LGBT athletes from termination if they decided to come out.
Here's to sports--professional and otherwise--becoming more inclusive and not putting up with homophobic bull.