The LA-outdoor mall The Grove recently barred boxer Manny Pacquiao from appearing at the Mall, today and in the future, for allegedly making homophobic remarks on a conservative website.
Initially, it looked like Pacquiao was quoting from Leviticus, which essentially states that gays should be put to death. But now, the author of the article is saying Pacquiao never said that, and that what Pacquiao did say was "Obey God's Law first before considering the laws of man."
Fred Sternberg, a representative of Manny Pacquiao, stated that "Manny disagrees with President Obama's stance on same-sex marriage, but he did not recite scripture to the reporter. The writer of the article inserted that in his piece for some reason, only he can explain."
The Grove did not return our inquiry for comment, but issued a tweet to the public stating that "Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance"
Industry insiders expect the controversy may adversely affect the 'Pac-Man' brand. Bill King, a senior writer for Sports Business Journal, talked with Madeleine about what impact the controversy could have on his future.
Recently, Pacquiao has started to become a global ambassador, and currently has advertising deals with Hennesy, HP computers, Nike and Gatorade. "If you look at Hennesy's Facebook page, you see people saying 'I'm pouring out my Hennesy, you better disassociate yourself from this guy now,'" said King. "It used to be that a brand had two or three days to sort out what [a controversy] was going to do."
"We're only three or four weeks out of his next big fight, when [advertising] would really want to take advantage of Manny," said King. "You're already planning what [Pacquiao's] going to do in Vegas, you're planning a lot of stuff around this fight. The timing is really difficult for a company that's new to this."
Bill King, a senior writer for Sports Business Journal