Yeah, that Grove.

All the sudden, I find myself a Floyd Mayweather fan

The Grove shopping center became the unlikely battleground in the debate over gay marriage after it banned boxer Manny Pacquiao from the mall in response to an interview he gave in Los Angeles.

 

The ban led to a day of dueling statements, denunciations and backtracking.

 

Some news organizations erroneously quoted the boxing champion as saying gay men should “be put to death.”

 

That prompted the management of the Grove to issue a terse statement Tuesday evening that Pacquiao was persona non grata at the L.A. shopping center despite a scheduled television interview with Extra, which regularly films at the popular outdoor mall next to the Original Farmer’s Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.

 

“Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at the Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance,” the mall said.

 

The Grove had no further comment Wednesday. But a source inside the organization said Grove officials feared that allowing Pacquiao’s interview to go forward at the mall could have proved disruptive.

 

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, said Pacquiao was free to express his views and that the decision to have him interviewed elsewhere “was in everybody’s best interest.”