Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao leaves little doubt he simply hates gay people. First, the boxer compared gay people to animals. Or rather Pacquiao used animals as an illustration of the perversity of gay people, and to explain what he thinks contemporary human society gets wrong about sexual preference. Or something like that. Second, after Nike pulls its sponsorship deal with Pacquiao, the boxer defiantly endorses extreme homophobia: he posts an Instagram message using the Bible’s endorsement of putting gays to death. It received 18K likes.
Famous boxers’ comments disparaging gays are hardly unusual. There’s British boxer Tyson Fury belief that homosexuality will bring on the apocalypse. There’s Evander Holyfield’s 2014 comments that homosexuality “ain’t normal” and is a “handicap” that could be fixed with an appointment at the doctor. In a fit of rage in 2002, Mike Tyson called a reporter “a faggot” and told him he would rape him. This is not to say every boxer holds anti-homosexual views. But when it comes to many famous boxers, virulent homophobia abounds, as these examples attest. The case of Pacquiao is unfortunately less an exception than yet another example of the profoundly unsettling ignorance that marks the profession.