By Neil Woulfe
Radar News Director
Boxer Manny Pacquiao has been banned from The Grove, a posh outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles, and that’s a problem since he was scheduled to tape an interview Wednesday afternoon with the syndicated show Extra, which shoots there with host Mario Lopez.
The ban comes after the popular boxer — a devout Catholic and a Congressman in his homeland of the Philippines — made inflammatory comments against same sex marriage in wake of President Obama’s support of marriage equality.
In a recent interview, Pacquiao — the first-ever to win titles in eight different weight classes — told the National Conservative Examiner that he doesn’t agree with Obama. He then cited Leviticus 20:13, telling the publication that “if a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
In response, a spokesperson with The Grove posted this tweet late Tuesday: Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance.
Prior to The Grove made its decision public, Lopez tweeted his excitement about the upcoming interview, saying: Tomorrow @3pm my boy @MannyPacquiao will be @TheGroveLA! We’ll talk fights, politics, movies & maybe a little singing.. Come on by! #PacMan
As of Wednesday morning, Lopez had not yet to publicly commented on The Grove’s decision to not allow the interview to take place on its property.
Nicknamed “The Pac-Man,” Pacquiao is listed at No. 4 on Forbes’ list of most influential athletes in the world.
His next fight is scheduled for June 9 against Timothy Bradley.