Baseball’s steroid controversy, football’s outrageous end zone celebrations, basketball’s trash talk and fisticuffs, frequent DUI and assault arrests of sports figures are all making it difficult to be a sports fan. Then we have the multi-million dollar salaries. Owners are at the public troughs to finance their sports palaces but still come up with millions for player salaries. I daresay that the number of millionaire college dropouts in sports far exceeds the number in any other field.
The baseball steroid controversy is especially sorrowful. A few years ago Mark McGwire was a shoo in for election to the Hall of Fame. Once he became eligible for consideration it did not come to pass. McGwire was a victim of the steroid stigma currently ravaging professional baseball. Many feel he used a performance enhancing drug which resulted in his prowess with the baseball bat. Of course these drugs were not banned at the time he was playing. This is where baseball loses me. If a drug is not illegal why can’t one use it. The list of baseball heroes is sprinkled with heavy drinkers. Some of these individuals are in the Hall of Fame. Baseball never choose to ban the use of alcohol . Evidently it is a personal responsibility of the ballplayer to decide whether or not to indulge in booze. Booze is not illegal, so use it if you so choose. Marijuana and cocaine are illegal, so do not use them. Are drug enhancing drugs illegal? Some are and some are not (no one seems to have a problem with Viagra as performance enhancing drug). Why isn’t it the personal responsibility of the individual to make a decision about the use of a legal drug. If the use of a drug requires a prescription the player should have it as long as it is medically necessary and he is appraised of any serious side effects. If his performance is enhanced so be it! I daresay that a couple of drinks before a game enhances the performance of some players. I do not advocate the use of steroids but I do recognize that if they are legally obtained and a player achieves prominence in a sport he should get his just rewards award wise and health wise. So far baseball team owners and the players have bungled efforts to achieve any meaningful drug policies. Could it be that they recognize that the use of performance enhancing drugs is so prevalent that it has become part of the game.Many professional players in all sports have a lack of ethics and a lack of respect for fans who make their standard of living possible. Ultimately fans will make the final judgment as to what is acceptable in the lifestyle of sports figures. If stadiums are full all is forgiven - if they are not owners and players have blown their paycheck.