The sportswear giant won’t be in Manny Pacquiao’s corner for his retirement fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. this April.
Nike has terminated its endorsement deal with Manny Pacquiao after he made an anti-homosexual remark during a television interview. Following a ton of backlash from the public, Pacquiao posted an apology, which did little to change Nike’s decision to disassociate itself with him.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. 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,” quoted a Nike statement.
This is not the first time Nike has given Pacquiao the cold shoulder, nor is it the first time the Philippines boxer has spoken out against homosexuality. According to Forbes, the brand did not renew its partnership with Pacquiao when it expired back in 2012. That year, the Pacman’s lackluster in-ring performances made Nike walk away. That he had also made comments against same-sex marrriage, didn’t help his case.
It was only when Pacquiao secured two victories in 2013 that Nike re-signed him. Given Pacquiao’s impending retirement, Nike re-signing the boxer is something that’s unlikely to happen again.