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Hold Up, Nike May Not Be The Social Hero Everyone's Making It Out To Be

Yesterday, Nike was hailed a champion for social justice after the company said it dropped Manny Pacquiao from its brand following Pacquiao's comments saying people in same-sex relationships are "worse than animals."

Nike released a statement, saying,

We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent... We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.

But, hold up a minute.

Today, Associated Press published a report claiming Pacquiao said he "respects" Nike for its decision to drop him. However, according to Pacquiao's full quote, it sounds like Nike may not be the hero everyone is making the company out to be.

According to the AP's report, Pacquiao said,

Whatever decision Nike makes is its decision, and I respect that, and its sponsorship of me now only involves my clothes for my fight.

He continued,

Our contract has already ended aside from sponsoring the boxing.

I'm not sure how you interpret this, but to me, it sounds an awful lot like Nike still sponsors Pacquiao inside the boxing ring, and it seems the company's contract with the 37-year-old for any clothes and merchandise outside of the ring came to an end before yesterday's announcement.

What say you, Nike?

Citations: Manny Pacquiao says he respects Nike's decision to drop him (Associated Press)