MANILA, Philippines - A national columnist for CBS Sports is no longer a fan of Filipino boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao after discovering that the Sarangani representative raises fighting roosters and enjoys the sport of cockfighting.
Gregg Doyel, a sports writer for CBS Sports, says Pacquiao used to be one of his favorite athletes and believed that Pacquiao was "a nice man."
"Or has always seemed a nice man, until that article came out," Doyel said in his column entitled "Split decision: Diminished Pacquiao fights chickens; I eat them."
The article Doyel is referring to is the profile on Pacquiao featured on the November issue of Playboy magazine, where Pacquiao states that he likes the sport of cockfighting.
"I like the roosters. It's like boxing - the rooster has to be in shape. He has to train for the fight and he has to have so much fight in his heart," Pacquiao said.
But Doyel says he is horrified by the "sport" of cockfighting, and wonders why the Philippines would tolerate cockfighting.
"Can't believe I'm even calling it a sport, this lust for blood, this spectacle of horror. It's evil, cockfighting. If there is a hell, they fight roosters down there," Doyel said.
Doyel says he is unsure of his "moral footing" for his story, as he enjoys eating chickens. "I'm positive I'll keep eating chicken. It makes my life more enjoyable," he adds.
"Manny Pacquiao fights roosters for the same reason. To him, it makes life more enjoyable. It's legal in the Philippines, so he has the right to do it," Doyel says.
"But I have the right to be appalled, and to be saddened, and to never again think of Manny Pacquiao as a good man."
Cockfighting is illegal in the United States and most of Europe.
The Philippines, for its part, has hosted the World Slasher Cup several times in the Araneta Coliseum, with some Americans participating in the competition.