Boxer Manny Pacquiao is sorry he said gay people and the people who approve of them are “worse than animals” while on a television program broadcast in the Philippines.
The eight-time champion is running for a seat in the country’s senate and took to Twitter on Tuesday to make his apology.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” he wrote on Twitter. “Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. God Bless!”
However, he added that he remains firm on his stance against same sex marriage: “That’s what I believe. My only mistake is comparing gay people to animals.”
CNN translated a video posted on Facebook by the Filipino station TV5 on Monday, reporting Pacquiao said, “It’s just common sense. Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
Pacquiao will fight Timothy Bradley in April, after which he is set to retire. Last year, the boxer fought Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, which was billed as “The Fight of the Century.” Mayweather won the match based on unanimous decision.
Watch the videos below.
I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. God Bless! pic.twitter.com/bqjRcWqp8R
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 16, 2016