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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 19, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 08
Shoe companies kick anti-Gay spewers to the curb
Section One
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Shoe companies kick anti-Gay spewers to the curb

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Two major athletic sportswear brands took action this week in response to anti-Gay comments directed to the LGBT community.

First, it was Adidas. The German-based company posted a pre-Valentine's Day photo on its official Instagram page, which could also be seen on Twitter and Facebook, showing the bottom half of two women's bodies in sporting gear with the caption 'The love you take is equal to the love you make.'

Nearly 300,000 followers 'liked' the photo, some of whom expressed their support of Adidas' message by offering positive comments and feedback. Others, however, were not so happy.

'Shame on you,' wrote @Americanhero123. 'I'm going to Nike now.' Angry face and thumbs down emojis were placed at the end. Even harsher was a comment left by @azemann, 'WTF ADIDAS???? THIS DAY IS FOR BOY AND GIRL, WHEN THEY ARE COUPLE. NOT FOR LESBIANS, STUPID ADIDAS.'

Undeterred, the sports apparel giant, mostly known for its line of shoes sold all over the world, replied swiftly to @Americanhero123 with two emojis, a hand waving goodbye and a kiss. To @azemann, ADIDAS fired back with 'No, this day is for LOVE. Happy Valentine's Day.' followed by a kiss emoji.

An even bigger story this week involved Nike. When boxing champ Manny Pacquiao remarked in an interview that Gay people 'are worse than animals,' the Beaverton, Oregon headquartered corporation released him from its sponsorship contract, not only for his comments, but also his opposition to same-sex marriage by referencing the Bible.

'We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent,' the company said in a released statement. '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.'

It wasn't just Nike that disapproved of the Filipino star's hateful comments, fellow athletes Floyd Meriweather and Magic Johnson sounded off just hours later.

'I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao's contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals,' posted Johnson on Twitter. He also declared that he wouldn't be watching any of Pacquiao's future boxing matches.

For the record, both Adidas and Nike are longtime supporters of equal rights and the LGBT community. In 2015, the former introduced a trio of Pride-themed designed shoes to celebrate Gay pride around the globe. Similarly, Nike rolled out an entire line of clothes - tee-shirts, caps, shoes - last year, as well, called #BETRUE that celebrates the passion and pursuit of sport by all athletes.

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