UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has never been shy about voicing her opinion. And she’s perfectly entitled to do so, since it has been her fists and feet, not her words that typically are hurting people.
The same can’t be said about another acclaimed fighter: Manny Pacquiao.
The world-class boxer and current member of the Philippines House of Representatives came under fire last week for calling those in same-sex relationships “worse than animals.” Pacquiao apologized soon after for the latter comment, but reiterated that he is still against homosexuality, a move that brought renewed ire. The 37-year-old was cut by Nike for what the company called his “abhorrent” comments, and several athletes joined in condemning the remarks, including Magic Johnson and WWE’s Dave Bautista (warning: NSFW).
Rousey, who was only told of Pacquiao’s comments Tuesday, responded as well. And she took a rather insightful tact in doing so.
“I understand that a lot of people use religion as a reason to be against gay people, but there was no ‘Thou shall not be gay,’ ” Rousey told TMZ. “God never said that, and I really think that our Pope now is boss. He was saying something the other day that religion should be all-encompassing and should be about loving everyone. And I think sometimes people take the wrong message.”
Manny may pinapasabi ang Santo Papa. pic.twitter.com/ZKrtNNrpMd
— jose marie viceral (@vicegandako) February 16, 2016
While Rousey has never been vocal about her own religious beliefs, she has been open about her views on gay marriage (supports it) and politics (she’s a Bernie Sanders fan) in the past, so this recent comment shouldn’t be a surprise.
In the same interview with TMZ, Rousey also discussed her recent appearance on “Ellen,” in which she revealed she had suicidal thoughts following her loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193.
“I feel like there’s been an overly negative light on [discussing suicidal thoughts]. It’s something real people are going through, not something like a weakness that we should condemn,” she said. “It’s really heavily affected our family…anything I can do to make sure it affects as few people as possible, I’d be happy to do that.”
Suicide has had a deep impact on Rousey and her family, which is why she “never shied away” the topic.
“There’s a history of suicide in my family. My dad and his father both took their lives and I think that suicide is the number one killer of young teens as well. I do a lot of work with Didi Hirsch, which is a free mental health clinic here in L.A. And the last even I went to for them, their whole thing was erasing the stigma… Of taking the stigma away from everything like suicide and making it actually acceptable for people to talk about it and look for help and to not feel like ashamed of themselves for it. I think that should be encouraged.”