Sunday, February 21, 2016

Could Under Armour be Manny Pacquaio's next athletic apparel supplier?

A few days ago, various news reports broke that Manny Pacquiao was being dropped by Nike as one of its endorsers for his heinous comparison of gays and same-sex marriage as being "mas masahol pa sa hayop" ("they are worse than animals").

With his April 9 fight against Tim Bradley Jr. looming in the background, netizens wondered who will supply the PacMan's shoes and other athletic equipment, with some speculating that he could be sponsored by either Adidas or Under Armour.

Well, we dug around and checked with the Human Rights Campaign's 2016 Corporate Equality Index for Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and, well, the PacMan's statements did go against Nike's stand on the matter as it scored a perfect 100 on the index which means the company is very LGBT-friendly. For those rooting for Adidas to add Pacquiao to its roster, they'll only be disappointed because it also scored a perfect 100 on the index, up by 20 from last year's score of 80.

What about Under Armour then? For the 2016 study, the relatively new athletic brand was conspicuously absent from the list yet based on the Human Rights Campaign's Buyer's Guide for the brand, it scored a measly 20. Apparently, while the company does not discriminate against its employees' sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, it failed to give them a company-provided domestic partner health insurance, parity in  their partner's soft benefits like supplemental life insurance and employee discounts, and equal health coverage for transgender individuals "without exclusion for medically necessary care" among other things.

So yes, if the index is indeed accurate, Manny Pacquiao could very well wear Under Armour shoes come fight night.

Photos from Manny Pacquiao's and Under Armour's Facebook pages

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