CEBU CITY, Philippines – A video surfaced early Saturday morning, February 20, of a man leading a group in burning several pairs of Nike rubber shoes in protest of Nike’s decision to drop Manny Pacquiao from its roster.
The incident was claimed to have happened in Cebu City close to midnight and was done right after the Cebu Youth Fest, a religious event held last night at the Cebu Coliseum in downtown Cebu City.
In the video, the man said in Filipino that they were burning their pair of Nikes to protest Nike’s move to drop Paquiao as an endorser after he said gay couples in same-sex marriages were “worse than animals.”
The man, whose identity could not be confirmed further, stated that they are not against the LGBT community but that they are only against same sex marriage as several pairs of shoes burned.
Bernard Ricablanca, the athletic director of the University of Cebu, which now manages the Cebu Coliseum, confirmed the incident.
He said that the group gathered at the parking lot of the Cebu Coliseum right after the Cebu Youth Fest and burned the shoes.
According to Ricablanca, they were surprised because they were not informed that the group was going to do what they did. He said though that there weren’t that many people during the burning.
The video was uploaded by Oriel Ballano but it couldn’t be confirmed if he was the man clad in black who led the shoe-burning in the video. The video received several thousand shares on social media before his page was switched to private.
A Cebu Youth Fest page on Facebook had calls to burn the Nike shoes, a sub-event they titled “Burn Your Sole, Not Your Soul.” – Rappler.com