Like in basketball, there are also legendary names in combat sports. Among them is the world's only eight-division boxing title holder Manny Pacquiao. Last year, Pacquiao officially retired from boxing after a devastating loss to Yordenis Ugas. However, with the likes of his old foe Floyd Mayweather and longtime UFC champion Anderson Silva finding a new lease on life in exhibition matches, Pacquiao is also set for his own.
Manny is scheduled to fight Korean YouTuber DK Yoo in Seoul on December 11. Many of his fellow famous athletes and celebrities are expected to support his boxing return, but not former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
An insensitive comment
For those who didn't know, Johnson loves to watch boxing and has been ringside in various Pacquiao fights. But when "Pac-Man" made an insensitive comment while sharing his honest take on same-sex marriage, Magic did not appreciate it as his son E.J. is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Hence, the NBA legend lost all his respect for Pacquiao.
For context, below is what Pacquiao said (translated by The Guardian):
"It's common sense," Pacquiao said in an interview in 2016. "Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals."
Shortly after his controversial remark, Pacquiao upped the ante by citing a Bible verse to stress his point.
"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," Pacquiao wrote, citing a quote from Leviticus 20:13 via Outsports.
As expected, Pacquiao dealt with a massive backlash. And it did not end with the fans as Pacquiao's longtime sponsor and world-renowned sports apparel company, Nike, ended its business ties with him because of his comment about same-sex marriage.
Upon learning about it, Johnson commended Nike for its bold decision on social media.
In addition to his tweet, Johnson pointed out that "gay people are among those who have contributed to Pacquiao's riches over the years and concluded that the boxer wasn't going to get another cent from him," per Los Angeles Times.
As we all know, Johnson has been supportive of E.J. all the way ever since he publicly came out as gay. So when Pacquiao steps inside the ring again, we can be sure that Magic won't be there.