Wednesday, May 16, 2012 / 10:16 am

Banned From the Grove

Manny Pacquiao on the ropes over anti-gay comments.

by Gary Phillips

Pacquiao in the corner.

Dammit, Pac-Man, why you got to get all up in the same sex marriage tangle?  Couldn’t you have just kept your opinions to yourself leading up to your fight with Timothy Bradley?  Getting yourself banned from the Grove and what not – where he was supposed to tape a segment with the Extra TV show.  Damn you Manny Pacquiao.  Who else do I have to root for in boxing if it isn’t you while I’m sippin’ on that yak?    

I am relieved though that you didn’t quote Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13 that reads: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”  Apparently Granville Ampong in his online piece for the National Conservative Examiner for which you did the interview had the quote in it, and it got attributed to you.  Well, that’s half a bullet dodged.

But a friend of mine, Rick Jacobs, who is gay and is the founder and chair of the Courage Campaign told the LA Weekly online that “American sponsors are going to have to look very carefully about whether they can continue to pour money into his apparently rather empty soul. Not only does [Pacquiao] live in L.A., he makes a lot of money thanks the United States and sponsors here in particular.”

In the states, Pac-Man, who holds eight titles, more than any other boxer and a congressman in his native Philippines, stars in a commercial for Hennessy – yak being rapper slang for cognac – and one for an HP TouchPad, worth probably about a million each to him.  Given his paydays for his bouts, such a boycott wouldn’t hurt his in the bank account but clearly he needs to set the record straight as it were.  It’s not like he said “fag” as Kobe Bryant said during a Lakers-Spurs game last year; mad for getting a technical foul from a ref who he called that.

Offer to meet with gay groups and agree to disagree, touch gloves and go back your respective corners.  Come on, Manny, man up.

Gary Phillips' latest is Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers, a collection of his short stories.

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