London: Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, who came under severe criticism for describing homosexuals as ‘worse than animals, posted and then deleted a bible verse on Instagram that called for the people in same-sex relationships to be ‘put to death’. Pacquiao cited a Bible quote on his Instagram account reading, “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.”
According to the Guardian, the post was up for around two hours and received more than 18,000 likes before being deleted. The eight-division world champion saw his reputation take a severe hit when he said that animals are better than homosexuals because they could distinguish between male and female.
Although Pacquiao issued an apology on social media for his insensitive remarks, Sports brand Nike decided to sever its eight-year-old tie with the boxer saying his comments were ‘abhorrent’. He insisted that God was on his side and that his opinion was based on the Bible but added that his only mistake this week had been to compare people to animals.
Gay marriage is illegal in the Philippines due to strong resistance from the Catholic Church, with 80 per cent of the country’s total population subscribing to the faith. His comments sparked outrage on social media as various celebrities slammed the boxer for his insensitive remark. Pacquiao, who will bid adieu to boxing after his last fight against Timothy Bradley in April, intends to fight for a senate seat in the May elections.