BASKETBALL great Magic Johnson applauded Nike over the company’s decision to cut ties with Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino boxer’s anti-gay statements.
“I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals,” said the retired Los Angeles Lakers star via his Twitter account.
The world boxing champion earned the ire of the LGBT community after he compared them to animals when he was asked about his stance on same-sex marriage during a television interview. He later apologized for his remarks which have since caused an international uproar.
The former Lakers star, one of the celebrities who were present during Pacman’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., added that he “won’t be watching another one of Manny Pacquiao’s fights.”
Ironically, Johnson is positive of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). In 1997, the Lakers superstar shocked the world when he announced that he had contracted the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which at that time carried the stigma as a “gay disease.”
Johnson was not the only former NBA player who criticized Pacquiao.
Jason Collins also had some choice words for the boxer-politician from Sarangani province who is running for a senate seat in the 2016 national polls.
Collins is the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to come out as gay in 2013. He was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2014.
“I lost all respect for you. Bigoted people like you (& yes you are one) should never hold an office in politics. #ByeFelicia,” tweeted Collins. The #ByeFelicia hashtag is derived from the movie “Friday” and is meant online as a dismissive farewell.
Among the other international celebrities who have spoken out against Pacquiao are Mayweather and entertainment blogger Perez Hilton.
Fans of all walks of life including gay fans supported May/Pac fight putting $100M in his pocket. I guess to him their money is still green.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 18, 2016