Rene Pardo, Purefoods representative to the Philippine Basketball Association Board of Governors, went overboard about Manny Pacquiao like Senator Sonny Angara who wanted the Senate to pass a resolution honoring Pacquiao for beating Chris Algieri, and politicians of the old order Chavit Singson and Lito Atienza who look like Pacquiao’s seconds during Manny’s fights. ABS-CBN News website quoted Pardo as saying about Daniel Orton, the erstwhile Purefoods import who called Pacquiao a big joke of a basketball player: “Everyone is angry at him…it is like he went to the United States and insulted the name of Martin Luther King.” It is Pardo who insulted Martin Luther King for comparing Pacquiao to him.
Martin Luther King went through hardship, deprivation, humiliation, to fight for and uphold not only the civil rights of the Negro people in the United States, but their human rights as well. By his heroic deeds and eloquence he changed American society, resulting in a better life for the Negro people. He is a hero of not only the African-American people but of the African race, if not of the human race.
True, Pacquiao went through hardship and deprivation also, but not to lead the people to a better life, but to win for himself fame and fortune. But he does not want to share his fortune with his countrymen by not paying taxes due from him. And when he donates to calamity victims, he does not take the money from his winnings, he takes it out of his Congressional funds. No, Pacquiao is no Martin Luther King, far far from it.
Also, Martin Luther King never used his stature to break into professional basketball, or into any professional sports in the United States. He never had any delusion that he was qualified for any professional sports team. Popular though he was with both the black and white people of America, he never ran for public office. No one would have insulted him for he never aspired to be what he was not and could not be, unlike Pacquiao who used his boxing fame to get into Congress and the PBA. Orton, if he were of age when Martin Luther King lived, would not have insulted Martin Luther King. Being black himself, he would have idolized him like Pardo idolizes Pacquiao.
Besides, this is what Orton said about Pacquiao, “Professional boxer, yeah okay. Congressman, alright. Professional basketball player? No, it’s a joke.” What he called as a joke was Pacquiao the basketball player. And to call Pacquiao the basketball player a joke is not an insult, it is a statement of fact.
This is what Eric Freeman, an American sports commentator, wrote in his column “Ball Don’t Lie”: “Orton appeared to simply be adding his voice to widespread criticism in the Philippines that Pacquiao is a relatively talentless basketballer who gained his coaching playing role with the Kia Carnival team because of his boxing fame.”
This is what the Agence France Press wrote about the P250,000 fine imposed on Orton: “It’s a meaningful penalty that is surely not warranted by the comments regarding Pacquiao, whose involvement in the PBA seems thoroughly unearned on the basis of basketball skill.”
It’s a good thing Chito Salud is resigning as PBA Commissioner. If the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the team owners learn, if they have not, that the PBA Commissioner has allowed players with only hick town pick-up basketball experience like Manny Pacquiao to play in the PBA, downgrading the league from professional to amateur, they might terminate the affiliation of the PBA with the NBA and not send teams here anymore for their pre-season tune-up games.