In case anyone out there hadn’t heard, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids. And in other news that might have escaped your attention, Michael Phelps was caught smoking marijuana.
Obviously, these two have taken a bit of criticism for their actions. But should either or them be looked upon in too negative a light?
Smoking marijuana is illegal, so Phelps did break the law. And maybe we shouldn’t forgive him for that. But then again, the guy has trained like mad for the past few years and done nothing but prepare himself for the Olympics. If there was ever a person who needed to unwind a bit, it was him.
His biggest mistake was forgetting that cameras are EVERYWHERE and it only takes minutes for a picture to end up all over the internet. I don’t know how exactly he could have forgotten this considering that he’s been followed around by the media constantly for the past year. Maybe he figured that since the Olympics were over, people wouldn’t care as much?
From what I’ve heard, it sounds like a lot of the guys at the infamous party were not happy that he was there. “He was out of control” was the one quote. Maybe I always went to the wrong kind of party, but I thought “being out of control” was kind of what happened at parties where there’s a lot of beer and weed. Sounds like some guys were probably jealous because Phelps was the center of attention. Maybe its a bit disheartening to work great game on a girl, and then have a guy swoop in and take her away, simply because she wants to know what its like to give a BJ to a gold medalist.
So I can’t really blame guys at the party for being mad. I know that I can be a vengeful person at times, so if it happened to me, I might have taken the picture and spread it around too. I’m just wondering if the guy who took the picture made decent money off of it. Did he think “Wow, I could sell this to a tabloid and make a ton of money,” or did he just stupidly post it somewhere and have it spread on its own? Based on the time that elapsed between picture and exposure, I’m guessing the guy had the picture for awhile and finally realized the money making potential.
Anyway, the main fallout is that Phelps lost some of his sponsorships. It always shocks me how quickly companies distance themselves from any controversy. Are there really people out there who say “Michael Phelps smokes weed. He endorses Kelloggs. I do not approve of smoking weed, so I will not buy this product anymore.” Do people like this really exist? Has it ever been proven that consumers won’t buy products that are endorsed by people who have been involved in some sort of controversial situation?
I think these companies are being extremely short sighted. Kelloggs should have gone in the completely opposite direction. Have Phelps appear on camera with a dazed, happy look on his face saying “After a hard workout (wink), I like to eat Special K bars. For especially hard workouts that really tax the lungs (insert cough), I sometimes can eat a whole box!”
And then there’s A-Rod who it was recently revealed tested positive for steroid use back in 2003. While some people are villainizing him, I really can’t fault him for taking steroids. It is believed that in the 90s, steroid usage was rampant in the major leagues. I can’t say this with certainty, because depite steroids being illegal, baseball had no testing measures in place. Anyway, fueled by the steroid use, baseball gained a lot of popularity, and the big home run hitters like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire became icons. McGwire broke the single season home run record, and Barry Bonds later topped him.
If you were playing baseball, and saw that steroid use can lead to stardom (which of course equals more pay) and there was no way to really get caught, wouldn’t you use them? I compare it to speeding on the highway. While we know its illegal, unless there are police or speed traps around to catch us, most of us will exceed the posted speed limits.
Anyway, while baseball executives surely knew how widespread steroid use was, they didn’t do anything about it until public opinion began to turn against them. Finally, they ordered a random testing of players, just to determine if monitoring was necessary. And sure enough, 104 players, including A-Rod tested positive. Of course, these tests were never supposed to be made public, so even when subjected to them, the players didn’t think there would be any consequences.
The main reason that people are upset is because after seeing suspected steroid user (although he’s never failed a baseball drug test) Barry Bonds break the alltime home run record, people had placed their hopes of one day having a clean record holder on A-Rod. But now that A-Rod has admitted to steroid use, it looks like we’ll never have a home run record holder who isn’t either a proven or heavily suspected steroid user.
We’ve all got to move on and accept that steroid use happened, and because there were no tests in place, it might as well have all been legal. So the careers of the suspected steroid users really shouldn’t be tarnished. That means Bonds’ records should be viewed as legit and guys like McGwire and Sosa should be let into the Hall of Fame. And if A-Rod eventually does break the alltime home run record, it should be treated as legitimately as any other record.