Industry titan Nike have terminated their relationship with boxer Manny Pacquiao.
The decision from Nike has come in the wake of the sportsman’s homophobic comments during an interview where he referred to homosexuals as “worse than animals”.
Manny Pacquiao, who is the first ever eight-division world champion, did eventually apologise for his comments but not before he posted online stating he was simply “telling the truth of what the Bible says”.
He is not the first boxer to be caught up in a scandal surrounding homophobia in recent months.
Tyson Fury, a British heavyweight champion, faced a massive backlash at the end of last year after making derogatory comments towards homosexuals and women.
Fury, like Pacquiao, did later apologise but, despite receiving heavy pressure to do so, was not removed from the short list for Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC.
Nike released a statement condemning Pacquiao’s comments as “abhorrent” and that the sportswear company “strongly opposes discrimination of any kind”.
Pacquiao’s last fight came in May 2015 when he lost to Floyd Mayweather and is set to make his next appearance in the ring in April when he goes up against American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr.
Currently running for a senate seat in the Philippines, Pacquiao now faces the prospect that “no-one’s every going to sponsor him again” if boxing promoter Frank Warren is right.
Named by Forbes as the second highest paid athlete of 2015, Pacquiao relies heavily on sponsorship for revenue and could now see himself slide down that list by the time the 2016 one comes out.
And despite Warren’s reassurances that there is not a problem with homophobia within the sport, there can only be hope that Fury and Pacquiao are not the start of a trend.