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Nike dumps Manny Pacquiao after "abhorrent" homosexual slur

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Nike has ended their near-decade-long association with Manny Pacquiao after the champion boxer labelled those in same-sex relationships `worse than animals’.

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The star boxer caused controversy worldwide earlier this week with his comments, aired in an interview about same-sex marriage, a concept the boxer-turned-politician opposes.

“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike 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.

“We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao, who is currently running for a seat in the Philippine senate, made the comments in an interview with a local TV network.

“It’s common sense,” he said.

“Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female… if men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.”

Pacquiao, who is revered in the Philippines for winning world boxing titles in eight different weight classes during his 20-year career, attempted to apologise via a video message on his Twitter account.

“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt,” Pacquiao said.

Same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Philippines, where more than 80 per cent of the 100 million population is Roman Catholic.

-AAP

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