London, Feb 18 (IANS) Leading sports manufacturer Nike has terminated its contract with eight-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao after the latter described homosexuals as “worse than animals”.

The 37-year-old is presently contesting for a seat in the Philippines senate, the election for which will be held in May.

“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,” Pacquiao was quoted as saying by The Guardian on Tuesday.

Nike said on Thursday: “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”

Responding to the controversy via social media platform Instagram, Pacquiao initially posted an image of himself with his wife, quoting the Bible and writing: “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desire of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says.”

However, the boxer later apologised for his comments.

“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you,” said the pugilist.

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