Matthew Miller
Feb 18, 2016

Nike cuts ties with Manny Pacquiao after derogatory remarks on same-sex couples

Nike said early Thursday that it no longer has any relationship with popular Filipino boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao after he made comments comparing same-sex couples to animals.

Nike cuts ties with Manny Pacquiao after derogatory remarks on same-sex couples

"We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," the company said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon US time. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community."

Pacquiao had worked with the shoe and apparel company for about eight years (some of his past Nike ads appear below). The Nike website has apparently already been scrubbed of any mention of Pacquiao.

As reported earlier by sister publication PRWeek, the controversy started when a Filipino TV channel posted on Facebook a video of Pacquiao that was titled "Mas masahol pa sa hayop", which, translated from Pacquiao's native Tagalog, means "worse than an animal".

According to reports from the BBC and others, some of his comments in the video translate as: "It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? 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."

Pacquiao posted the video below on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to make amends, but many questioned its sincerity. (We must note that he's also blatantly wrong on his 'facts' about animals.)

I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand…

Posted by Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Pacquiao is a member of the lower house of parliament in the Philippines and is seeking election to the Senate in May.

According to Forbes, he earned $12 million from commercial endorsements in 2015. He has in the past lent his name and face to brands including Nestlé's Butterfinger Cups, Wonderful Pistachios, HP, San Miguel, Head & Shoulders and Foot Locker. Wonderful Pistachios has already moved to distance itself from the boxer. A Foot Locker ad from last April no longer appears on official Foot Locker YouTube channels (here's an alternate), and the brand's page dedicated to him now results in a 404 error.

ESPN's Darren Rovell broke the news of Nike's termination in a tweet.


Pacquiao and Nike work 







Ads for San MIguel:


Related Articles

Just Published

38 minutes ago

Bad dad? Cute ad

A toddler's first steps take him right out onto the city streets in this ad for Orange France and Apple by Publicis Conseil. But where's his dad?

1 hour ago

‘Design thinking’ cradles VMLY&R in a tough year

AGENCY REPORT CARD: A whole lot of jargon or a thoughtful new work process?

2 hours ago

PRHK launches 2021 Young Lions competition

Open to HK agency employees of 30 years of age or younger, the competition will provide budding professionals a chance to shine on the global Cannes stage.

4 hours ago

Google shatters hopes of replacing cookies with ...

The tech giant dropped a bombshell on Wednesday with massive implications for independent ad tech.