Manny’s fight losing gay patronageBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ON THE surface, it seems that the controversial statement by pound-for-pound king and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao on same-sex marriage which reverberated around the world and stirred a hornet’s nest has died down.
Manny has apologized, explaining that he had been misquoted. From the looks of it, he has been forgiven by those he has offended.
Well, such is not the case. Yesterday morning when I opened the Philboxing website, I came across an item that said tickets to the June 9 Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight in Las Vegas are being sold at a 10 percent discount.
It appears that ticket sales considerably slowed down after Manny made the statement, the event losing a big percentage of its gay patronage.
The website said the backlash created by Pacquiao’s statement is being felt only now.
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The controversy all started after Manny denounced United States President Barack Obama for publicly supporting same-sex marriage.
Examiner.com had sought a reaction from the eight-division world champion who is in Los Angeles training for his fight with the undefeated American Timothy Bradley.
“God only expects a man and a woman to be together and to be legally married. It should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrha,” Pacquiao was quoted saying by Examiner.com in an interview.
To be sure, many people all over the world reacted just as adversely to Obama’s stand. Why Manny’s statement stood out and caught fire is a testament to his worldwide popularity.
Andrew Sorento of the North Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Organization was quick to issue a counterstatement: “Manny’s comments are a disgrace to athletes around the world. My organization and the gay community here will not be purchasing tickets to his upcoming fight with Bradley. All my supporters will be boycotting this bout as well.”
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Manny’s opponent in the June 9 fight was also asked about his opinion on same-sex marriage.
Bradley’s stance was in direct contrast to Manny’s, but apparently it didn’t make a difference to the gay community. Assuming it did, will Bradley be able to neutralize Manny’s statement and bring back the gay crowd to the MGM Grand on June 9?
“Gays have the right to get married,” Bradley said in the interview.
“Gay people have their own rights and beliefs and the great thing about this country is that they’re welcome to them.
“I don’t see what the big deal is. As I said I have gay uncles, gay cousins, and gay friends. If one of my gay relatives told me he was getting married, I’d say, ‘Of course,’ and go proudly.”
Well, here’s hoping Bradley’s pro-gay statement saves the day for the box office.
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Gosh, why is Manny always confronted with problems, troubles almost always before a fight?
On the eve of his last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, he was at war with wife Jinkee.
There was talk after the fight that the couple was on the verge of a divorce at the time.
Ironically, coach trainer Freddie Roach made a statement that this could be Manny’s only trouble-free fight.
Roach spoke too son.
I just hope the ticket discount does not go up to 20 percent in the next few days. The gay community is a force to be reckoned with.
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