The major sporting brand released a statement earlier today, which read, "We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao."
(This is actually the second time Nike had cut ties with the Filipino boxing icon as its endorser. The footwear company didn't renew the partnership in 2012 when Manny got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. The brand signed him again in the second half of 2014.)
The Swoosh brand didn't think twice about dropping Pacquiao (even after the latter promptly issued an apology). And it looks like it's going to stay that way, especially with Nike pulling out Pacquiao merchandise from its online store. On the other hand, this is a chance for other big sporting goods players like adidas and Under Armour to snag one of boxing's most popular and polarizing figures.
At the end of the day though, it's hard to disregard the colorful yet roller-coaster relationship between Manny and Nike. The brand's creative taste paired with the boxing icon's inspiring journey produced a product line that Filipinos can be truly proud of.
With that in mind, we highlight the best pieces from the Nike X Manny Pacquiao collection, from caps to T-shirts to shoes and even ads.
What: Nike Pacquiao MP Snapback Hat
Why: If you're into caps, this black article is just the thing for you (or at least your safest bet). If you're not quite digging the MP logo, don't worry for it conceals itself in the cap's jet-black tint.
What: Nike Manny Pacquiao Ultimatum KO Hoody (2011)
Why: Aside from its sleek and easy-to-match military shade, we give plus points to its "8 World Titles" and "Pambansang Kamao" side patches. Inspired primarily by Manny's rank as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Philippine Army Reserve, it also features Nike's Sphere technology for better insulation, without the additional weight.
What: Nike Dri-FIT 'Manny Knows' T-Shirt (2011)
Why: Manny has a love-hate relationship with t-shirt designs. Most of his styles aren't cut out for casual wear—except if you're actually going to train with him or if you are a member of his entourage. This printed white tee, however, has a simple look that makes it a nice wear outside the gym.
What: Nike Air Trainer 1.3 Max Manny Pacquiao (2012)
Why: You have to understand: boxing boots stay inside the ring. So, the next option would be from his assortment of training shoes. The hues of the Philippine flag are evenly distributed on the Hyperfuse frame and 360-Max Air bag and midsole. Basically, a low-key way of reppin' the country.
What: Manny Pacquiao and Nike Training Present: Inner Strength
Why: Who doesn't love watching and hearing Manny speak English? The Swoosh brand didn't even need special effects and stock footage from previous fights to make this ad great—a documentation of the man's training in black-and-white more than sufficed. In the end, the oddity of Tagalog subtitles made it more amusing.