Nike terminates contract with Manny Pacquiao over anti-gay slur

"If you have male-to-male or female-to-female relationships, then people are worse than animals."

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Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines keeps his eyes on Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S. in the third round during their welterweight WBO, WBC and WBA (Super) title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus Reuters

Nike has axed Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao over his tirade against same sex people in a broadcast earlier this week.

Pacquiao, a devout Christian and an up-and-coming politician, said gay people were worse than animals.

"It's just common sense. Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?" Pacquiao asked.

The boxer said animals were better as they recognise gender difference. "If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals," he said.

Nike, which Pacquiao endorses, said his comments were 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."

Pacquiao, a member of the Philippines House of Representatives, is running for the Senate.

He apologized after his comments caused a firestorm.

"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God bess you all and I'm praying for you," he said in a Facebook post.

This article was first published on February 18, 2016