Showdown: Pacquiao vs. Basic Rights

This was the day on which a boxer by the name of Manny Pacquiao claimed most of his fame. He fought world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on pay-per-view. Since Mayweather was undefeated, people viewed Pacquiao as somewhat of an underdog and rooted for him.

People, especially Americans, also admired his publicized love for Jesus Christ.

Yeah, so Pac-Man is essentially the Tim Tebow of boxing.

The reason he punches other guys in the face hard enough to win is because Jesus helps him out.

But anyway, boxing isn’t all he does.

Pacquiao plays basketball, sings, and acts. And he was named the 2nd highest paid athlete in the world as of 2015 by Forbes. And…

He’s a congressman in the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao announcing his bid for Senate.

But between May 2 and now, the hype over Pacquiao sort of died down. Was he fighting or was he politicking? Was he doing both at the same time? We don’t know. This is America. We care about American stuff.

Pacquiao came back into the spotlight recently when the thing we loved him for (his Christian faith) kept him from being a decent guy.

“As a Christian, same-sex marriage is prohibited. Women were created for men, and men were created for women. For me it’s just common sense. Have you seen any animal having male-on-male or female-on-female relations? Animals are better because they recognize gender differences. And if you have male-on-male or female-on-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.” – Manny Pacquiao in an interview for The Guardian news

The interesting thing about this is that I somewhat agree with the statement that humans are worse than other animals. Not because we have gay marriages, but because we did other things like, I dunno, slavery. And destruction of the environment. And Adam Sandler movies.

*And how does he know that every other animal knows gender differences? They could be doing some gay stuff we don’t know about. Just saying.*

Pacquiao went on to say, “But I’m not condemning.” Good news, right? Homosexuals are low-down disgusting creatures, who are probably going to hell, but not because Pacquiao says so. HE’s not the one condemning. It’s the Bible.

“What I am saying is right. I mean I am just stating the truth, what the Bible says…”

The Bible says a lot of stuff, Manny.

One can guess that the boxer/congressman suffered a great deal of backlash after his comments. And he did.

The most prominent wasn’t necessarily aggressive or angry though. The hashtag #PrayForMannyPacquiao started trending. Clever.

Pacquiao soon made public apologies through his social media accounts, namely Facebook and Instagram.

“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 Bless you all and I’m praying for you.”

Alright, fine. It’s not like the boxer is the only person on the planet who thinks gay marriage is a sin. He’s a Christian living in a mostly Catholic country, where same-sex marriage is indeed illegal.
But it’s not wise to pretend he didn’t mean what he said.
In fact, he followed that ‘apology’ up with more same-sex criticism.

He cites the Bible in this Instagram caption for a photo he deleted two hours after posting (not quick enough). It may be hard to read for some, so here’s an excerpt:

“Leviticus 20:13 [13] ‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them has done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.’”

Pacquiao takes a step farther from “worse than animals” when he quoted the part from his favorite book that states clearly that homosexuals should be PUT TO DEATH.

Weighing in at 5’5″, 144 lb., Manny Pacquiao, the undisputed Filipino world champion, has gone from fighting borderline illiterate Floyd Mayweather, to fighting civil rights. Let’s get ready to f***ing rumble.

Nike terminated their contract with Pacquiao between his apology and his Biblical Instagram post.

Living in the Philippines, this whole situation probably won’t hurt Pacquiao’s political campaigns. It’s a conservative Catholic culture wherein the people greatly revere him. It’s the boxing career that’d be tarnished.

Magic Johnson believes Nike made the correct decision.

“I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals…fans of all walks of life including gay fans supported [Pacquiao in his fight against Mayweather]…putting $100M in his pocket…I guess to him their money is still green…I won’t be watching another one of Manny Pacquiao’s fights.”

Running for a Senate seat will require all of Pacquiao’s time and attention, though. He will fight Tim Bradley in April, and that will be his last match.

I’m sure there are plenty who think Pacquiao shouldn’t be catching any grief for his comments. He is a Christian, he is free to be a Christian, and he stands by the teachings of his faith. He has only what he honestly believes to be the truth.

And it’s tough for us, after having viewed him as the “good guy” back in May. But you can’t make horribly derogatory claims about a group of people, and then say you’re not condemning that group. You just can’t.

Pac-Man seems to understand his cherrypicked scripture just fine, but what he (and many others) can’t seem to grasp is the idea that people are people. Homosexuals and their allies fight for equality because they deserve it. And if you believe God is the ultimate judge, then there’s no reason to do his supposed job for him.

We’re all human.

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