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PBA mum on Pacquiao’s LGBT comments

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Chito Narvasa has elected not to comment on the current public ordeal of 8-division Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

When asked for a statement regarding Pacquiao’s recent comments on same-sex marriages, the first-year PBA Commissioner told Rappler through text that:

“I’d rather not comment on it since he spoke on it as a boxer. He has been on leave with the PBA for sometime now.”

Pacquiao is the playing-coach of the Mahindra Enforcers in the PBA. During his two years on the job, the 5-foot-7 guard has played only 6 games with career averages of 0.5 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 6.5 minutes a game.

Pacquiao, who was selected 11th overall by Mahindra (then called KIA) in the 2014 PBA Draft, has shot a total of 1-of-13 from the field in his 39 overall minutes, plus 1-of-2 from the foul stripe.

Pacquiao, 37, is facing public criticism for making the comment that couples in same-sex marriages are “mas masahol pa sa hayop (worse than animals)” in a viral video released by Bilang Pilipino/TV5.

He apologized later on, saying “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt.”

However, the backlash was still grating.

Pacquiao, who’s running for a senatorial seat, was dropped by Nike - a move applauded by NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson

"We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community," Nike explained in a statement.

"We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao."

Even Pacquiao’s own promoter, Bob Arum, denounced his fighter’s comments and called them “reprehensible.”

A former sponsor of Pacquiao’s, Wonderful Pistachios, distanced itself from the Filipino boxer, but some brands have decided to stand by him

Pacquiao has also refused to back down from his gay slurs, and even posted, then deleted, a verse from the Bible about gays being “put to death.”

Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley Jr for the third time on April 9 in what Pacquiao says will be the final fight of his career. – Rappler.com