After provoking a huge backlash for his remarks in a recent TV interview, former world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has issued an apology for saying that people in homosexual relationships are “worse than animals”.

Outrage had spread like wildfire on social media on Monday (February 15th), after the boxer-turned-politician said in an interview in his native Philippines that it was “common sense” that animals didn’t have same-sex mating patterns. Continuing to put his foot in it, Pacquiao went on to say that men and women who did so “are worse than animals”.

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao made the comments during a TV interview on Monday

Apologising via the TV5 Facebook page, belonging to station on which the original interview aired, the 37 year old boxer said the following day: “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.”

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Before that, when the outrage was just beginning to grow, Pacquiao had initially refused to apologise for his comments. “I'm not condemning anyone, but I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says,” he wrote on his own Facebook page. Citing Corinthians 6:9, he said: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.”

Many responses on social media were scathing, with writer Dan Remoto stating: “This numbskull should know that there are gay animals. He should have attended more than four sessions in Congress to know that.” This refers to a story that Pacquiao has only attended four Congressional meetings since he was elected in 2010.

The native Daily Inquirer translated another tweet from user Vince Ganda, which according to them said: “What we need in the Senate are those who are experienced in politics, law, and economics — not false prophets.”

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