Nike terminated its endorsement contract with Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday after the Filipino boxer made derogatory remarks toward same-sex couples.
“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.”
Based on Pacquiao’s comments, a spokesman confirmed that he is no longer on the company’s endorsement roster.
Pacquiao has endorsed Nike for a little more than eight years.
“Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?” Pacquiao said on a Filipino television station earlier this week. “If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.”
Pacquiao apologized on Twitter within hours.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” Pacquiao tweeted. “Please forgive me for those I hurt. God bless!”
In the tweet, Pacquiao had a video message in Filipino wearing a Nike shirt with the special logo the company has for him.
“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.