Dave Bautista explains the story behind one of his tattoos and a fractured friendship.
During a recent sit-down interview with GQ, Dave Bautista talked about the meaning behind some of the tattoos he’s gotten over the years, including one he got to cover-up one inspired by Manny Pacquiao. Bautista did not mention the boxer by name, but spoke about the Team Pacquiao tattoo he had covered up in response to homophobic comments made by Pacquiao in 2016.
Pacquiao came under fire when he said that marriages between two people of the same gender “are worse than animals.” Pacquiao lost out on several endorsement deals and drew the ire of the LGBTQ community, and it cost him a friendship with Bautista as well.
“It used to be a team logo,” Bautista said. “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. And 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. So, I had it covered up with this.”
Bautista now has a woman donning sugar skull face paint on his arm instead of the original logo.
At the time of the original comments, Bautista told TMZ that there’s “no coming back” from what Pacquiao said. Bautista said that Pacquiao might be a skilled fighter but his “personal views are shit.” Pacquiao later apologized for comparing gay people to animals but still said he hasn’t changed his position on same-sex marriages.