Manny Pacquiao's reported comments against gay marriage have spurred backlash in several different forms, even as he tried to clear the air, claiming he is not against gay people.
In a interview with the National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao was reported as saying:
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married. It should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah."
Pacman's comments have now caused the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community to take a stand against the eight-division champ.
The popular shopping area in L.A, The Grove, has reportedly banned Pacquiao from it's premises, according to the Los Angeles Times, meaning he won't be making his scheduled stop at the show, Extra, as he has before past fights.
In something that could turn out much worse for Pacquiao, Courage Campaign—a online organization that pushes for progressive change and full equality—has started a petition to get Nike to drop Pacman form it's brand.
Pacquiao signed with the sports footwear and apparel company last year and would be a huge loss if Nike decided to pull the plug on the pound-for-pound great.
Pacquiao and his camp have been on damage control since the backlash began and Pacman has said he is not against the gay community.
In a statement, Pacquiao said he's not against gay people, just gay marriage:
"I’m not against gay people… I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way. What I’m critical off are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God."
Only time will tell what the controversy will do to his popularity, but one thing is for sure, Pacquiao would be smart to keep his controversial views to himself and keep his fights inside the ring.