It turns out Manny Pacquiao can bob and weave outside of the ring as well.
A day after Pacquiao started a furor with several comments he made directed at the gay community, he apologized on Extra and clarified that he had been misrepresented.
The original article from the Conservative Examiner cited Pacquiao's stance against gay marriage based upon the Bible's teachings, but then cited Leviticus 20:13, which reads as follows: “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.” That citation did not derive from Pacquiao, however, but was included by the author, which he clarified. Regardless, several national outlets covered the reference as though it had been cited by Pacquiao.
"To the gay community, I apologize," Pacquiao said on the show, according to an "Extra" news release. "I'm against same-sex marriage, but I'm not condemning you. My favorite verse is 'Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.' So I love everybody!"
He went on to clear up the nature of the misrepresentation:
"What I said is a reporter asked me about gay marriage....I am against gay marriage, but I'm not condemning gays," the boxer said in an interview with The Times. "I have family—a cousin—who's gay, and friends too. I'm just against gay marriage. I don't even want to talk about the issue, but I was asked about it, so I gave my opinion."
Pacquiao's apology was the right thing to do. No matter where you fall on the subject of gay marriage, tolerance for homosexuals—or anyone, despite their race, sexual orientation or religion—is a fundamental aspect of our society.
While athletics have often bridged racial gaps faster than other facets of our society—Jackie Robinson remains one of this country's most important Civil Rights figures—the sporting world as a whole has been slower to accept the homosexual community. I'm not saying that Pacquiao's apology will begin that process—he remains opposed to gay marriage, after all—but at least his comments promote tolerance, if not equal rights.
Or maybe he just wanted to get rid of all of the negative publicity so as to maintain a positive public image. He is a politician, after all.
Like I said, he can bob and weave outside of the ring too.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets never give up in stoppage time.