Manny Pacquiao displayed a not quite-so charming degree of cognitive dissonance this week when he declared homosexuals as worse than animals during an interview.
Let me preface the rest of this article by saying that I don’t have a big problem with boxing. I occasionally watch some of the more popular bouts so that I can pretend that I’m somewhat interesting to my colleagues.
But the name of the game is be hit and hit back. Manny, you punch people in the head for a living. Even our Chimp relatives don’t engage in that behaviour for fun, so where along the lines did it occur to you that comparing what other people do for pleasure to being animals isn’t a little bit hypocritical?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Pacquiao, who is moving into a career in politics, is trying to mobilise a very conservative catholic base in his home country of the Philippines. The problem with that Manny, is that you’re an international boxing champion, and when you say something that the rest of the world did away with a few years back, you’re gonna come in for some flack.
Most politicians can get away with the dog whistle politics of calling people their supporters find uncomfortable ‘inhuman’, but when you’ve been on the world stage for so long, everything you do is being watched. The spectacle you’ve made for yourself gave you a head start, but you’ve also launched at such a pace there’s a headwind fighting against you all the way. The Pacquiaos, the Trumps and even the Clintons of the world are find that their anointments aren’t coming quite as easy as they thought.
Perhaps in future, when you’ve made a lot of money from doing something that other people feel is barbaric, calling what other people do at home as being worse than animals probably isn’t the best course of action.