After losing a lucrative contract with U.S. sportswear maker Nike after making disparaging remarks about homosexuals, Philippine boxing star Manny Pacquiao appeared to double down on his controversial opinion.
On Wednesday, the former welterweight champion posted a photo on Instagram of him and his wife along with several bible passages, including Leviticus 20:13, which says "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
The photo has since been deleted, but in the few hours it was up, it received more than 18,000 "likes."
Pacquiao has been under fire since discussing his opposition to same-sex marriage during an interview Monday with Filipino television network TV5. The winner of eight world championships said his stance is based on "common sense," since animals of the same sex do not mate.
The 37-year-old Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippine legislature who is running for the Senate, apologized Tuesday in a video message posted to his Twitter account. "I love you all with the love of the Lord," he said, while maintaining his opposition to same-sex marriage due to his Christian faith.
Nike e-mailed a statement Wednesday calling the boxer's statement "abhorrent" and noting its long history for standing up for the rights of the LGBT (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.
Pacquiao, who is scheduled to fight American Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas on April 9, also posted passages from Luke 6:22-23, Corinthians 6:9-10 and John 8:32.
Source: Voice of America