Steroids - Lame Arguments--Steve Robinson, Managing Editor, CNN Special Investigations Unit
If you've toiled as a journalist in the steroid vineyards as long as I have--some 20 years now-you've heard every single excuse for why it's really no big deal. (So don't send me any-I'm begging you.) Still, I have my personal favorites among the lame justifications for why we should let these guys off the hook:If steroids were around when Babe Ruth was playing he'd have used them.
OK. News flash: They weren't, so he didn't. We are all products of the times in which we live. No, the Babe didn't get the chance to decide whether he wanted to use steroids, but neither did he have the opportunity to sign the Declaration of Independence or get in on the ground floor of an internet IPO. During the Wall St. buyout boom of the '80s some financiers went too far and broke the law. Many others didn't. In the '80s and '90s, when steroids were rampant in sports, some athletes went too far and broke the law. But many others didn't. In our own way, in our own time, whatever that time may be, we are all faced with a menu of choices. Some make the right ones. Others don't. What would the Babe have done? What difference does it make?Who are you to pass judgment on these guys? Don't you break the speed limit every day on your way to work??
This is called moral equivalence, and it is a tired debating strategy employed by apologists for the inexcusable--Stalinists, for instance, who tried to dismiss the horrors of the Soviet Union by arguing that the U.S. did some bad things, too. Yes, I drive too fast and sometimes I even help my daughter with a school project when I'm not supposed to. But I don't dump where the sign says "no dumping allowed" and I haven't asked my personal trainer to stick a needle in my butt so that I can take advantage of the positive effects of an illegal drug. So, what was your point again?Steroids, shmeroids-you still have to make contact with the ball.
How true. Of course, by the time a guy gets to the Major Leagues he has pretty well mastered the art of making contact with the ball. How far that ball travels once contact is made is a function of bat speed, and bat speed is a function of strength, which comes from... Are you keeping up?The stuff can't really do you any harm, if you're careful about how you take it.
This is generally said by those who love to sit in the front row to watch the steroid freaks of pro wrestling or those who are disappointed if a baseball game doesn't end in a 17-14 score with 10 homeruns. These are also the same people who would never dream of allowing their own kid to take anything stronger than Excedrin.These guys never asked to be declared role models.
I'll buy that. But then they ought to return all the money they get from endorsements, most of which comes from products marketed to kids.