I was not surprised at Manny Pacquiao’s position toward same-sex marriage or the LGBT community, given that boxing is very much a man’s world. Now ask yourself – why in the world would a boxer invest months of intense training to increase his punching power and stamina? Simple – to knock the other guy’s brains out! There is absolutely nothing compassionate about that. That may be more forgiving than gladiators literally cutting their opponents to pieces in a Roman coliseum. But let’s face it – a punch that has enough force as a swinging sledgehammer can potentially kill another person and you have to be man enough to dish or receive it.
But despite boxing’s brutality and “sanitation” over the years (like reducing title bouts to 12 rounds and mandating a standing eight-count right after a knockdown), boxers who exhibit gentlemanly behavior outside the ring are more admired than those with rude behavior. Just look at Floyd Mayweather Jr., who loves to take potshots at some people even if he is now retired.
And I can vividly remember how Pacquiao gained admiration because he never engaged in trash talking (like Mayweather) and was soft-spoken most of the time. And even if Mayweather was belittling him many times, Pacquiao preferred to play the role of the good guy. Comparing him to Mayweather was like comparing night and day, until Pacquiao made his recent comments on same-sex marriage and the LGBT community.
The best thing Pacquiao could have done is state his opposition toward same-sex marriage and the LGBT community without saying they were worse than animals. It’s that simple.
Although Pacquiao apologized, I do not know how his apology will be accepted. In this age of cyberspace, celebrities like Pacquiao should be careful about making reckless statements because that can be amplified ten, 100 or even 1,000 times through social media over the next one to 10 years.
What truly disappoints me in this situation is Pacquiao made rude statements on a community that never had any issues against him, while he preferred to be the likeable and soft-spoken dude all the time Mayweather was belittling him. It’s not that Pacquiao should have loudly called Mayweather a chicken or mouse for the American looking hesitant to get into the ring with him – it’s that his recent rude statements on the same-sex marriage and the LGBT community contradicted his good dude behavior in the face of Mayweather belittling him over and over again.
I wonder what Ricardo Mayorga could have done to Mayweather if the Nicaraguan was belittled by the American the same way Mayweather belittled Pacquiao? Everybody avid boxing fan knows the answer.
For those who do not know Mayorga, he smoked, drank alcohol and maybe womanized even during training. And he trashed talked a lot and called his opponents names. He was notorious for bullying his opponents during weigh ins and press tours. At least Mayorga bullies people who can fight or get back at him in the ring. The fighters he picked on were even big names or warriors like of Fernando Vargas and Oscar De La Hoya, among others. Now that’s a real man!
Fortunately for Pacquiao, he is running for senator and there are 24 vacancies for that position. And since Pacquiao has given the nation so much pride with his accomplishments in the ring, he can still get a good number of votes to get into the “magic 24.”
If Pacquiao was running for president, his recent statements could amount to political suicide considering the very competitive race to the Palace. But if Pacquiao decides to run for president in 2022, he must start praying Millenials will develop short memories.