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Manny Pacquiao in damage-control mode over comments about gays, SSM

By Zach Arnold | May 16, 2012

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Floyd Mayweather is heading to the pokey because of recent transgressions in Las Vegas. Despite Floyd doing some good things for boxing when it comes to raising public awareness about doping & drug testing protocols in combat sports, he’s not exactly the most sympathetic of characters. However, that didn’t stop 1.5 million people from buying his boxing PPV on May 5th when he fought Miguel Cotto.

As hopes diminish in regards to the prospects of Floyd fighting Manny Pacquiao, Floyd is probably relishing the fact that his arch nemesis has caused a public relations firestorm over the issue of same-sex marriage. There’s no better way to inflame the culture wars in America these days than to bring up the issue of same sex marriage. Just ask President Obama. Despite the campaign cash he has raised off of his current stance about same sex marriage, he has also suffered damage in 2012 Presidential horse race polls in swing states such as North Carolina. Furthermore, in states where traditional marriage amendments/propositions have been proposed, traditional marriage remains a political winner — even in California.

So, you can only imagine the heat Manny Pacquiao is facing when he came out against same sex marriage. However, the way his comments were portrayed by the publication that printed his quotes was to frame them in such a manner in which Pacquiao’s comments were juxtaposed to comments from The Book of Leviticus. The passage basically implied that Pacquiao agreed that gay people should be murdered. It was quite the juxtaposition to quote a Roman Catholic and make him sound like one of the ruling Mullahs in Tehran.

Pacquiao has come out and said that he did not call for gay people to be killed and that he did not site Leviticus as a passage to support his current beliefs on same sex marriage. In other words, he says the publication took his remarks and blew them out of proportion. However, this has not stopped the bleeding Pacquiao has faced all day long in sports & political media circles, where he has been getting crushed. The owner of The Grove mall in Los Angeles has banned Pacquiao from attending the shopping center based on what was initially reported from the article quoting Pacquiao.

At this point, whatever damage has been done to Pacquiao’s public image has been done and will be hard to erase. The PR damage he has suffered for this incident would not prevent him from fight Floyd Mayweather whatsoever, so let’s not go that far and try to claim that today’s incident would prevent that mega-fight. However, what is fair to ask and for us to get your feedback on is how much financial damage was caused by today’s media firestorm.

We know the history of gay slurs in combat sports history. It’s ugly. That hasn’t stopped politically incorrect fighters from drawing huge paychecks. Pacquiao & Mayweather, if they fight, will make significant coin. The question now raised by today’s controversy is just how aggressively will the gay community pursue Pacquiao for the way he has expressed his beliefs. How will Pacquiao’s public image look down the road — will everyone in his current fan base stick with him or will he lose support? How many potential sponsors for a mega-fight with Mayweather will be turned off from associating with Pacquiao over fear that they will suffer political & financial backlash for backing Pacquiao?

I don’t know where any of this is exactly heading, which is why I want to hear from you about this topic and get a better sense of the public’s temperature about what has transpired today.

Topics: Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “Manny Pacquiao in damage-control mode over comments about gays, SSM”

  1. fd2 says:

    There hasn’t been any big downswings in support for the Steelers or the Eagles, and I think most Americans would consider killing dogs and raping co-eds to be more objectionable than coming out against same-sex marriage.

    Generally speaking, Americans have been proven to be comfortable over the years paying to watch sports figures and celebrities that have done things they’d shun their neighbors for.

    • edub says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if this helped his buy rate down the line. What’s that old saying about publicity…

      • Kelvin says:

        Right on Edub…I hadn’t even heard about this till reading FO…this will have very little if any impact in the long run in regards to him making money as a boxer…

        If they announced that he was fighting Mayweather at this very moment…and they fought six months from would shatter all PPV records even those this just happened…nobody would boycott that event!

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Not just any publicity…. Some people will want to watch him just because he is anti-gay.

        Heck, I know an older white male who has HBO and openly says he enjoys when a Hispanic and a Black fight each other because at least one of the minorities will get a beating.

        People watch things for the strangest reasons….

  2. David M says:

    I assume based on Floyd’s cultural leanings that he is something of a homophobe, but he is also a shrewd businessman. If he has an ounce of sense, he should be going out of his way to be pro-gay and have Elton John walk down to the ring with him and portray himself as champion of gay rights and Pac as an intolerant bigot. When politics and big money fights get mixed together, epic moments occur. This could be the biggest crossover fight since Frazier-Ali I.

  3. J-Rock says:

    Pacquiao showed everyone that he’s a dumb athlete. He shouldn’t be involved in politics, as he’s prejudiced and probably nearly illiterate when it comes to laws and policy-making.

    He can still fight boxing, and so can just about anyone else when there’s money to be made.

  4. Dave says:

    I’m legitimately happy to see something non-NY/non-CA/non-legal/non-PEDs on the site.

    It really seems like the guy who wrote the original article made a big mistake by simply not being a very good writer and placing his opinion in a way that it read like it was Manny’s.

    I’m reading this as some conservative somehow got an interview with Manny and found a way to use Manny’s comments to fit his agenda. Manny is still not the most progressive fellow around, but I’m not sure that his religious beliefs should hurt him as long as he’s not spewing hate speech (which he wasn’t).

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    The only time I care about who a man or woman sleeps with is when somebody tells them they can’t or it is wrong.

    Besides that, who cares where a man or woman does with their private parts.

    Manny is an idiot.

  6. Norm says:

    First, why are athletes asked political questions in the first place?

    Second, why should the athletes opinion matter/carry any weight…..THEY’RE ATHLETES, not politicans.

    Third, PacMan is Phillipino….NOT AMERICAN.

    This “story” is non-sense.

    Religous people for all their talk of love and acceptance seem to have alot of stipulations on who they love or don’t love. If homosexuality doesn’t jive with your beliefs….fine, that’s your opinion, which shouldn’t be grossly imposed upon others.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “First, why are athletes asked political questions in the first place? “

      To be fair, Manny IS a politician. He holds a political office in his home country. It’s fair game to ask him political questions.

      • Norm says:

        Ok, fair enough.

        But to my other two points…he’s an athlete, who cares about his opinion on civil rights/social issues. He is phillipino and it makes about as much sense to ask him about gay rights in America as it does to ask me about his country’s lady boy problem.

        This was similar to the Ozzie Guillen issue of a few weeks back regarding Fidel Castro. People get appalled when pro athletes, who might have intelligence issues or a language barrier, give controversial answers to questions they should be asked in the first place.

        It’s pathetic Pacman’s “story” is making the rounds. This is a guy that makes a living getting punched in the face, so it shouldn’t be a complete shock the he is spewing something stupid about something so deeply out of his element.

  7. Chris says:


    Manny is definitely taking his hits on this one. But he is also someone that has built up enough good will with the media and fans that this will all blow over by the time fight night comes around. People tend to cut you a lot of slack when they think of you as being one of the “Good Guys” in your sport. And to his credit, Manny has played the game a lot better than Mayweather

    • Robert Poole says:

      He had played it much better but the past few months have been disastrous for him. He has multiple scandals brewing in the Philippines including tax evasion and cheating on his wife and now this. I know this sounds bad but if he puts on another massively subpar performance against Bradley like he did against JMM and a lot of that goodwill (aka the get out of jail free card for scandals) will fade pretty quickly.

      Long story short, Manny’s lost a lot of shine since that last JMM fight.

  8. Black Dog says:

    Unfortunately, the Philippines remains an unenlightened nation, thanks to the Catholic missionaries. Women remain second-class chattel in the eyes of the men, to the point they won’t even wear swimsuits at the beach. They are made to feel inferior, and all are made to feel it before God. Manny is just running the smack that was drilled into his head, I’m sure; it shows he’s not very smart, either as a politician or as a man.

    I so hoped he and Mayweather would fight, because I was tired of Mayweather’s arrogance. Now I want them to fight so both of them can beat the living hell out of one another.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “the Philippines remains an unenlightened nation, thanks to the Catholic missionaries”


      What a strange perspective. I disagree with a lot of Vatican’s stances on social issues, and was sickened by their role in the coverups of clergy pedophilia, but I hardly think they are to blame for the alleged lack of Philippino enlightenment.

      • Black Dog says:

        Perhaps not fully to blame, but they have had an almost inordinate influence on the direction of the country. This has nothing to do with race, and I certainly was not attacking Catholics as a whole, believe me; but there is a strange mentality that sees Manny’s attitude as macho, manly and acceptable. Women there seem tend to accept that machismo, even if it means being treated like second class citizens.

        Point is, Manny just made a total ass of himself; perhaps as the politician, he was playing to his conservative base. Or perhaps he just wanted to jack people up and get them mad to stimulate more interest, I really don’t know.

  9. bluerosekiller says:

    Although there are boatloads of folks out there who’re still looking forward to this match up eventually taking pace, I’m quite honestly NOT one of them.As far as I’m concerned, Pacquiao vs Mayweather is about a year or two past it’s sell by date. It’s devolved into nothing but a bunch of talking heads, politics & idiocy. It’s all a total embarrassment to the sport.
    With all the back & forth babbling & non-stop posturing between the two camps & their promoters, I’ve lost all interest in the fight ever taking place. I could care less about it.
    Quite honestly, at this point, since I don’t think the two parties are really at all interested in fighting one another, I’d like to see one or the other ( or better yet, BOTH of them ) get knocked off during this endless cycle of “interim” contests.

    • Steve4192 says:

      I’m still looking forward to it, but my interest has definitely waned over the last couple of years. I have a sinking feeling that we won’t get to see it until both guys are past their primes. The PBF-PacMan fight is going to wind up a lot like Chuck-Wand fight in MMA. Chuck-Wand was still a fun fight, but it was two or three years too late to really mean anything.

  10. […] Zach Arnold takes a crack at the Pacquiao PR fallout on Fight Opinion. […]

  11. Fluyid says:

    And now Andre Berto pisses hot.

  12. Nappa says:

    Manny was right to say what he said.
    whatever happened to freedom of speech anyways,it’s his opinion and if you don;t like then screw off.

    • Black Dog says:

      What happened to freedom of speech? It’s still right where it’s always been…Manny has a right to say what he wants, just as others have a right to say his opinion stinks. Fair’s fair.


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