Having been raised by a lesbian mother, former WWE superstar, Dave Bautista, has been an ally of the LGBTQ+ community for a long time. He isn't afraid to call out people he believes are being homophobic, even if they're a good friend like fellow Filipino and boxing legend, Manny Pacquiao.
Bautista recently sat down with GQ to talk about several things. When the topic of Bautista's covered-up tattoo came up, the wrestler-turned-actor didn't hesitate to reveal the reason, saying:
I was part of a team of a person I considered a friend and someone I really looked up to. And then, he later came out publicly with some anti-gay statements and turned out to be an extreme homophobe. So, I had a huge issue with it. It's a personal issue with me, my mom's a lesbian. And I just could no longer call him a friend.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe star didn't explicitly name Manny Pacquiao in his statement but it's clear he's who he's talking about. The two fellow professional fighters bonded over their shared heritage to the point he had Pacquiao tattooed on his forearm. The tattoo has since been replaced by a sugar skull design.
Manny Pacquiao's most infamous homophobic comments came in 2016 when he was still serving as a Senator in the Philippines. At the time, Pacquiao compared those engaging in same-sex relationships to being "worse than animals." The ensuing backlash from the said statement resulted in Pacquiao losing his endorsement deals, including a lucrative one with Nike.
Bautista had some unsavory words to share with TMZ back then and it appears time hasn't healed the relationship between the two former friends.
Dave Bautista is currently enjoying a fruitful Hollywood career after he struggled to get his foot inside the industry for years. After spending over a decade as one of the WWE's top-billing stars, Bautista became a household name for his portrayal of Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bautista's set to reprise the role for his nth and final time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will come out on May 5.
After spending nearly a decade with the MCU, Bautista will explore his acting range as he'll play major roles in Knock at the Cabin, a potential Gears of War movie adaptation, a buddy cop movie with Jason Momoa, as well as Dune 2.