By Leighton Ginn
Timothy Bradley just hopes that Earvin Johnson’s real magic is making ticket sales and pay per view numbers disappear as he prepares to face Manny Pacquiao on April 9.
Last month, Pacquiao created a controversy when he spoke out against gay marriage, and used the term the community is “worst than animals.”
At first Pacquiao apologized, but then posted on his Instagram a bible verse Leviticus 20:13 “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death, their blood will be on their own heads,” but was removed immediately, according to TMZ.
It is the same verse that was attributed to Pacquiao in 2012, when he also spoke out against gay marriage. But Pacquiao said he didn’t say that verse, and the reporter who wrote the story said he was responsible for putting the quote in the story.
Pacquiao’s comments led to Nike eliminating its business relationship with the Filipino superstar.
And Bradley admits it’s bothered him because he could benefit from strong pay-per-view sales, and Pacquiao’s comments could jeopardize that.
“Who am I to judge man, come on. It’s not a perfect world, living in this world, living in this world of sin,” Bradley said last week during a private media session. “I look at it like. ‘dude, what are you doing?’ Really? really? Why was it important to say that? Why was it relevant? You want to be a politicians? Really? You need to work on your speech skills.”
The scope of the controversy hit Bradley when he heard about a Tweet from Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers great and part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A big boxing fan, Johnson said he would never watch a Pacquiao fight again. Johnson has a son who is openly gay.
“This is Magic Johnons and he’s huge,” said Bradley, a lifelong Lakers fan. “Definitely I think it will hurt sales. What can I do? Nothhing I can really do, or say. At the end of the day, I just think what he said was really inappropriate. Real life is one thing and religion is another thing.”
Bradley has been asked about the controversy. Palm Springs, where Bradley was born and still lives nearby, has a large gay community, and Bradley said he has friends and associates who are gay.
But one person who shaped Bradley’s thoughts on the LGBT community has been an uncle who has passed away.
“He had the biggest heart out of all of my uncles and I miss him to death and I still miss him today right now,” Bradley said during a conference call. “I love all people for what they are. I respect people for what they are. I judge people by their heart. If they just talk it and don’t show it then I don’t believe it – that’s what it’s all about. Show me. That’s the most important thing.”