HBO condemns Pacquiao's 'deplorable' anti-gay comments


HBO is speaking up about Manny Pacquiao comparing homosexual people to animals, but the boxer's recent comments are not grounds for the network to drop his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley Jr.

Pacquiao, who is running for senate in his native Philippines, made the inflammatory remarks in February when asked about same-sex marriage during a local television interview.

It drew considerable backlash, and led to Nike terminating its eight-year endorsement partnership with Pacquiao.

In a statement on Wednesday, HBO said: "We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event.

"However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr. Pacquiao's recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable. 

"HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn't approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion."

Pacquiao, a self-described conservative Christian, apologised, but later said he was "not bothered" by the criticism and stood behind his religious beliefs.

The Pacquiao-Bradley bout is scheduled for April 9.