LGBT Bashing? Will Manny Pacquiao's Offensive Comments Extend Boxing Career?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Manny Pacquiao is one the most popular athletes in the world.
In fact, the 37 year old was Google's 'Trendiest Athlete' in 2011 and is undoubtedly one the most celebrated fighters ever.
He's also a congressman in his native Philippines with senate and presidential aspirations.
So why did he disparage the lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans* (LBGT) community earlier this week and on live television?“
It’s common sense,” the eight times world champion, who later apologized, 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.”
Of course, a firestorm of backlash erupted and fight legend issued what seemed to be a heartfelt apology but the damage was done.
For years, Manny has profited from scores of sponsors, including Nike, who have gay customers. And for years, Manny has been an elected public servant, representing straight and LBGT constituents.
Is the great Pacquiao still that raw? Has he not been advised on what not to say in public?
Usually a gentleman, Pacquiao probably didn't intend to offend. But did he not realize his comments were extremely hurtful to members of the LBGT community and, perhaps, most of their heterosexual family and friends?
Everyone has a right to their opinion but celebrities in the public eye, especially lawmakers, don't say such distateful things.
Perhaps Manny should have respectfully expressed his opposition to gay marriage while insisting he loved and respected everyone?
Pacquiao seemingly has - or had - a promising career in politics ahead of him. In fact, in 2014 Secretary Hillary Clinton purportedly asked Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, if Manny would publicly edorse her should she decide to run.
So much for the latter.
Last fall, Pacquiao announced his plans to retire from boxing following his April 9 showdown with Tim Bradley, insisting he wanted to further his political career.
But can Manny, as a politician, survive this?
Even he does, his statements may have set him back a few years.
Don't be surprised if his political career stalls a bit and Manny decides to lace 'em up a few more times after April.
Maybe we'll see Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan or Terrence Crawford after all?