( 4UMF NEWS ) Pacquiao Is Put on Defensive:
The boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and his associates on Wednesday tried to quell an uproar incited by an article on a Web site that addressed his opposition to same-sex marriage. Manny Pacquiao, who has won titles in seven weight classes, has endorsement contracts with companies that conveyed concern over his comments.
In the article, on Examiner.com, Pacquiao said he opposed President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage. The article included a biblical verse from Leviticus: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
As other publications picked up the story, the verse was attributed as something Pacquiao, who is also a congressman in the Philippines, believed. He said Wednesday in a telephone interview that he had not quoted from, nor had ever read, Leviticus.
“I don’t agree with, and I’m against, gay marriage,” Pacquiao said. “But that’s all. I’m not saying I condemn gay people, or gay marriage. I have relatives who are gay. I have friends who are gay. All I did was answer a question.”
The author of the original article, Granville Ampong, did not respond to messages seeking comment. On Examiner.com, he is identified under his byline as Conservative Examiner. He wrote a follow-up article Wednesday in which he clarified that Pacquiao had not quoted the verse from Leviticus.
The criticism of Pacquiao, though, was intense and swift.
The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles, perhaps acting on earlier reports, canceled an event that Pacquiao was scheduled to attend Wednesday and said it was “not a place for intolerance.” (Pacquiao’s publicist said the Grove rescinded its ban late Wednesday.)
Pacquiao, who has won titles in seven weight classes, has endorsement contracts with several companies — Hewlett-Packard and Hennessy, among others. They conveyed concern over his comments to Top Rank Boxing, which promotes Pacquiao.
Lucia McKelvey, Top Rank’s executive vice president for business development and marketing, flew to New York late Wednesday in part to meet with Hennessy representatives about Pacquiao’s comments.
McKelvey said Hennessy was “extremely upset” Tuesday because negative comments — which might have been prompted by inaccurate information — flooded the company’s Facebook page.
Representatives for Hewlett-Packard and Hennessy did not respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.
McKelvey said she did not expect Pacquiao to lose any endorsements “at this time,” although she added that the controversy could hurt two “major deals” currently in negotiation.
“His sponsors know what Manny stands for,” she said. “He’s not a gay hater, by any means. He simply doesn’t believe gays should be married.”
- Manny Pacquiao Clarifies Same-Sex Marriage Comments (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Manny Pacquiao — ‘I’m NOT Against Gay People’ (tmz.com)
- Manny Pacquiao Says Gay Marriage Would Be Like “The Days Of Sodom and Gomorrah” [Manny Pacquiao] (deadspin.com)