FLOYD Mayweather Jr. must have been tired of playing hide-and-seek against Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao because apparently, he now has the backbone to fight him, not inside the boxing ring but in the virtual world of the Internet.

The racist remarks of Mayweather, who referred to Pacman as a “little yellow chump” and a “midget,” which appeared to be a live recording uploaded at u.Stream.com, a video-sharing website, has raised ethical questions among the media and boxing aficionados alike. In the video clip, he also said that the fight will take place only if Pacquiao will quit taking “power pellets,” referring to the performance-enhancing drugs he accuses Pacman to be using or probably his excuse so as not to spoil his unscathed 41-0 record.

Disciplined, cool and relaxed as a real fighter should be, Pacquiao kept his composure saying it was just “uneducated message” from Mayweather and even thanking him for indirectly helping him promote his upcoming bout against Antonio Margarito on November 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas, USA.

Later on, Mayweather apologized through a Web video to everyone who felt that what he said was a racist comment against the Filipino boxing superstar.

“I don’t have a racist bone in my body, you know. I love everybody. Some of my guys are Muslims, Jews, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans, whites, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing but love in my heart,” Mayweather said in another cyber video.

But what caught me off-guard was his next assertion where he said that he was just “having fun” and didn’t really mean what he said.

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It brought me back to that varnish-coated chair in St. Scho, listening drowsily to my teacher in Christian Life Education, then back to my Philosophy 101 class here in UST.

The end does not justify the means. That’s the lesson ethics has been constantly feeding our minds and conscience, and from the vulgar rants of Mayweather, it can be assumed that harmless end or intention tainted by an improper means used can never pass as a morally good action.

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Although many Pacquiao fans cannot possibly believe that the outburst was not intended to disrespect or publicly humiliate Pacman, calling him with degrading names over the cyberspace won’t do the trick. Besides, what fun can a man in his right state of mind get with racist name-callings and crude insults?

The fine line that separates man from animals is rationality. Pinned with the freedom of expression given to us is the responsibility to watch our words and actions, which should always be founded in faith and reason. Our freedom is not absolute. It stops not only when we deprive others to exercise theirs but also when we destroy them in the process.

Words are so powerful that it cannot be retracted or erased just like that. Once it has been said, it cannot be taken back and since the moral damage has been done, the apology is useless if it will not be accompanied with sincere reparation. Good news is that we need not study in a Catholic school to learn simple ethics.

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Mayweather should go back to kindergarten.

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