by Charles Jay
The interesting thing about people who target others for discriminating by way of jumping to conclusions is that they are often guilty of the same thing themselves.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
Manny Pacquiao was victimized that way, and whether or not you on board with the idea of following the “Law of God” as something that is ethical or practical, any reasonable person has to admit that jumping the gun with Pacquiao’s alleged statements last week has certainly not been terribly ethical.
For purposes of soliciting knee-jerk reaction and using it to raise money, however, it turned out to more than practical, I guess.
Based on things he didn’t say, and which were later refuted BY THE SOURCE, they grabbed at his throat anyway and didn’t let go.
It couldn’t have been very long after word about Pacquiao’s stance on gay marriage spread around the internet that an online petition was run to “End Sponsorship of Homophobic Boxer Manny Pacquiao”
This was part of the message:
NIKE: SAY NO to HATE SPEECH
Boxer Manny Pacquiao (based in LA) has been sponsored by Nike for a number of years. In 2012 Forbes named him the 4th most influential sports star in the world. Following Obama’s recent announcement of support for marriage equality, Pacquiao quoted bible excerpts to state that homosexuals should be put to death:
“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.”
Nike is a multi-billion dollar industry and LGBT people contribute billions to this company. It is completely unacceptable that such a high-profile company should be sponsoring a boxer who is encouraging violence towards LGBT people. Tell Nike to drop its sponsorship!
Of course, Gay Marriage USA, which established this poll, hadn’t done a very good job at reading Granville Ampong’s story in the National Conservative Examiner very carefully, or didn’t care whether there was an ambiguity to it, as long as there could be some inference drawn. In less than two days, they gathered 4868 virtual signatures from people who apparently didn’t care very much either.
Where was the “hate speech”?
If Pacquiao had really advocated stoning homosexuals to death, that may have constituted hate speech. But he really didn’t say that at all, a point that was clarified by Ampong, and Pacquiao himself took great pains to establish that he wasn’t thinking in that direction.
Ampong made this clear in a follow-up:
“….nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such. I have simply reminded in my column how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden, in as much as God wants to encourage his people practices that lead to health and happiness and fullness of life.”
Yet they still continued to collect signatures.
When it became patently obvious that there was a big mistake, the “oops!” moment took place, and at least to their credit, the poll was shut down.
The Courage Campaign had no intentions of backing off, regardless of whether there was even a basis in fact to go through with their hatchet job.
In point of fact, all they really needed was Pacquiao’s simple acknowledgment that he opposed gay marriage.
On the 501(c)3 organization’s website, it proclaims “Manny Pacquiao backs down, apologizes to gay community” in the headline of one of its “Courage Campaign Success Stories.”
To the membership/readership: “Thanks to you and over 25,000 other Courage members from around the globe, in less than 24 hours, world-famous boxer/Philippines congressman/multi-millionaire Manny Pacquiao acknowledged that he cannot spew anti-gay remarks without real consequences.”
Courage Campaign ran its own Nike petition, claiming over 25,000 signatures, and it didn’t carry any reference at all to Leviticus (at least when we viewed it that wasn’t the case). Instead, it used this alleged Pacquiao quote from Ampong’s story:
“God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other. It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”
Courage Campaign asked readers to “Sign our petition and tell Nike: “Do not tarnish your brand. Stand with millions of LGBT and fair minded-people the world over. Drop Manny Pacquiao now.”
That brought the following statement from the company, which jumped the gun and was also running scared: “Any recent remarks made by Manny Pacquiao reflect his personal views. Nike is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of GLBT individuals.”
The conclusion was to “continue to hold public figures and their sponsors accountable for their statements and encourage them to support full equality. Today one can’t imagine someone publicly making racist remarks and attributing it to “God’s will.” If we keep holding influential figures like this accountable, one day similar anti-gay comments will be just as unacceptable.
IF YOU SUPPORT THIS MISSION, PLEASE CHIP IN SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO HOLD OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE AND FIGHT FOR LGBT EQUALITY IN EVERY WAY WE CAN, INCLUDING FOUR STATE-LEVEL FIGHTS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN NOVEMBER. (I added the caps)”
Yeah, it was all about the money, in case you didn’t know that already.
When the Leviticus references are stripped away, the bottom line is that they were simply going to persecute somebody for a religious view that conflicted with theirs.
Think about that for a minute – a guy who, in reality, hadn’t spewed a word of hatred was literally being discriminated against because of a religious belief. Just as LGBT groups often cry “foul” for being discriminated against for what, in effect, are NON-religious beliefs.
Even those of us who support same-sex marriage can’t support this attitude.
Incidentally, do you see where the word “racist” should come anywhere into the discussion? Is that purposely incendiary and misleading? Were they completely unconcerned about whether Pacquiao had in fact “backed down” or simply clarified what had been clarified already? Were they frothing at the mouth so badly that they could have cared less about the nature of the accusations they hurl?
You bet your ass they were.
In fact, they were so rabid about using Pacquiao as a cause celebre for fund-raising, regardless of what was factual, that they used one of the worst “hero” figures one can imagine – Floyd Mayweather.
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