DAYS after Nike dropped its endorsement contract with Manny Pacquiao due to his controversial remarks on same-sex couples, the Filipino boxer has reportedly begun negotiating new deals with other sports apparel companies.
“There are several already now in the pipeline,” Pacquiao’s business manager, Eric Pineda, told Agence France-Presse without identifying the companies. “They [the Pacquiao camp] were actually negotiating with some already.”
Pacquiao, 37, had endorsed Nike for a little more than eight years. However, the brand last week terminated its relationship with the boxer after he made controversial remarks comparing same-sex couples to animals.
In a statement, Nike called Pacquiao’s comments “abhorrent.”
Pineda said among companies in talks with the Pacquiao camp is a multi-million dollar brand that would likely replace Nike as the supplier of the Filipino boxer’s sports gear, Inquirer reported.
He further noted that no Philippine-based companies dropped Pacquiao despite the comments he made.
On Sunday, photos of Pacquiao wearing red Under Armour shoes spurred speculation that he may be working with the brand. However, The Baltimore Sun, reported that the Baltimore-based fitness apparel and footwear brand is not in talks with Pacquiao. The publication further stated that Under Armour on Monday, Feb. 22, declined to comment on the issue.
Despite being dropped by Nike, Pacquiao was seen playing basketball in Nike shoes on Monday in General Santos City.
Hours after making his comments, Pacquiao, a devout Christian, posted an apology on Twitter while still standing by his beliefs. He also said he respected Nike’s decision, that the endorsement agreement had expired and that the company was only a clothing sponsor for him, according to GMA News.
TV5: Pacquiao’s video “edited in good faith”
Television network TV5, where the video of Pacquiao’s controversial comments was aired, on Sunday, Feb. 21, issued a statement regarding the boxer’s remarks.
A 26-second clip was broadcast by the network. However, the complete one-minute-and-two-second video included the interviewer’s question and Pacquiao saying that he was not condemning the LGBT community in his response, but that he just believes such individuals getting married goes against the Bible.
In a statement, TV5 said it had no intention of taking what Pacquiao said out of context.
“The video that was posted online was not spliced but minimally edited in good faith and with reasonable care. There was no intention to change the context or misrepresent the essence of Mr. Pacquiao’s statement,” the network said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
The complete video was sent to Pacquiao’s camp and broadcast on primetime newscast Aksyon on Feb. 16, TV5 said.
Pacquiao has announced that his last fight will be on April 9 against two-time former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, Jr. The Filipino boxer is running for a seat in the Philippine Senate in May. Despite a poor attendance record as the representative for the Sarangani province, Pacquiao remains poised.