Manny Pacquiao was recently dropped by Nike over his remarks about homosexuals (click here for more). Manny reportedly said, amongst other things, that homosexuals are worse than animals..
Any form of discrimination should not be acceptable
Understandably, many people are upset about what the famous boxer has said. I myself am deeply disappointed as he is someone that many people look up to. Although nobody has ever suggested that Manny Pacquiao is an intellectual whose words should be treated as the truth, I fear that because of his status, success and undeniable popularity, his opinions may strengthen the backward beliefs of some and may influence the thinking of some.
I agree that people have the right to have their own opinions. However, I am frustrated when this right is abused. Sure, we are entitled to disagree and think differently from everyone else, but we must never think that another person is a lesser human being just because they are romantically involved with a person of the same sex. This is no different from any other forms of discrimination such as those based on religious and/ or racial grounds. How would Manny feel if he is publicly degraded by someone based on his nationality or religion? Would he be pleased? I think not.
The case for examining our own thoughts and beliefs
I can only ascertain that Manny’s comments are based on his religious beliefs which are passed on to him, perhaps by elders in his community as well as by pastors/priests/preachers. If this is true, this highlights the importance of examining our own thoughts and beliefs. We must ask ourselves the following questions from time to time:
- ‘Why am I thinking this way?’
- ‘Why do I believe what I believe?’
- ‘Are my beliefs detrimental to other people’s lives?’
- ‘Is what I believe supported by evidence?’
- ‘Are there any alternative ways of thinking that are supported by better evidence?’
- ‘How are those evidence collected?’
It is not a bad thing nor is it ever too late,to change our minds based on better quality of evidence. The reason why I am writing this is to explain that although Manny Pacquiao is an influential figure, not only in his country but worldwide, his opinions must be questionned, challenged and opposed. The same goes with the opinions of others who are more ‘powerful’ and have more authority than us.
Please, let us all use our brains.