Why You Should Get Over Steroids in Professional Sports

Lance Armstrong after winning his 5th Tour de France
What a world we live in with regards to professional sports! The 21st century has brought us some great moments in sports but sadly the dominating theme in many sports has been Steroids or Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s). As a sports fanatic, this saddens me greatly. Not because the athletes are cheating. I really don’t care to be honest, and I will explain why, but because it ruins the essence of professional sports. It takes away the fun of what professional sports always was-a diversion from your everyday life.

Professional sports have always been an influential part of my life. When I was a kid, I looked up to professional athletes because they did what I loved to do at the highest levels. I never looked to them as moral authorities or as people I wanted to base my beliefs or the way I lived my life around. I admired their skills and I wanted to play like them.

As you get older, you realize professional athletes are just regular people. Now I have friends that play professional baseball, football and basketball. They make mistakes just like you do. In fact, they probably make more mistakes because there is much more available to them. To me, this humanizes them, certainly more than money or fame ever could.

I don’t care if a player cheats on his wife or gets arrested for whatever or even uses steroids or PED’s, I really don’t. What they do in their own lives is their business. They are athletes, not saints. To look at them any other way is stupid.

I know people are saying that kids look up to and worship professional athletes. I get that to an extent. I was a kid once too and I still watch sports and love it as much as I did when I was a kid. My whole thing with that is that parents have to influence and manage children’s perceptions of athletes and other public figures just like they do any other person involved in their child’s life.

In 2013, where 60% of marriages end in divorce; there are mass shootings seemingly every month or so; and our celebrities, actors, musicians and athletes seem to let us down spectacularly at all times-parents need to be vigilant with their kids. Let’s face it, the Internet, 24-hour media and social networks have forever changed the way we view the world and how things are perceived.

In the old days, meaning before the Internet and social media, bad things that athletes did were usually reported and mentioned. However, you were limited to the morning paper or the 6 o’clock news to hear about it and like most things-eventually it just went away. Nowadays, everything is in your face 24 hours a day. Everyone has an opinion; which is great in some ways. But these same fickle people who build up athletes when they perform well on the field or court then are relentless in tearing them down as soon as they have one misstep.

It makes me sick to be honest. Social media and the 24-hour news media have turned life into a circus in many ways. We feel obligated and obliged to have news stories available 24/7. We judge without proof and we vilify anyone who does anything remotely controversial.

I am not saying that steroids and PED’s are good or that we should allow them, I am simply saying that I don’t care if professional athletes take them. I really don’t. The way I view sports is as entertainment-a way to escape the pressures and realities of real life. If these professional athletes want to take steroids, risk getting caught and inflate their numbers…so be it. I don’t care because it is a better product for me to watch.

I am a sports purist and of course I would prefer that PED’s weren’t around but the reality is that they are. The truth is they have been around in different forms for decades, it’s just now we talk constantly about it and there are better drugs and better tests. We must accept it, get over it and move on.

I applaud Major League Baseball for the way they have instituted HGH testing and the hardest testing for other PED’s outside of the Olympics. Sure they failed miserably during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s but is there anyone who watched baseball during that time that didn’t love watching the product on the field. Whether you liked or hated Barry Bonds; was there any denying how amazing he was to watch at his height-even if it was PED aided? No.

I have to say that the thing that irritates me the most is how self-righteous people get over this issue of PED’s. The public and worse, the media, want to vilify and demonize these guys for using PED’s or doing anything “morally bad”. Who are people to judge? Is using PED’s to better your job performance as bad as selling heroin to kids, being a child molester or a rapist? No!

People and the media use terms like “cheating the sport” and “setting a bad example for kids”. Give me a break. The media should look at themselves in the mirror and see who is really the driving force behind these issues.

The media puts undue pressure on these guys to perform at the highest levels at all times. The pressure cooker that is our society has to be tough to deal with. So I don’t blame athletes for using PED’s. If I could take a pill or a shot to be better at my job and make a ton more money, I would do it in a heartbeat. So would you-be honest.

I don’t even want to hear anything else about it because until you are in that position; there is all this immense pressure upon you; and you have the ability to provide for generations of your family-you don’t know. We can all sit on our moral high horse and say we would never, but you’re lying to yourself and you’re being disingenuous, self righteous and judgmental. Get over yourselves.

I write this story, in the wake of the Lance Armstrong fallout, not as someone who cares specifically about him or cycling because I don’t. (I think he is a pig who ruthlessly tried to intimidate others and deserves what he gets but I don’t hate him for cheating) I write this as a sports fan-a true fan who lives and breathes sports. I write this as someone who wants to simply enjoy sports again and not be torn and burdened by PED talk. I know they are doing it…I simply don’t care. It doesn’t affect my life, my health or that of my family and friends. Is it really that bad?

To put this into perspective, Charlie Sheen has admittedly and almost jokingly slept with thousands of prostitutes and used copious amounts of drugs and done other things I am sure that most people find morally reprehensible. Hell, he even admitted using steroids while filming Major League 20+ years ago. His punishment, he is the highest paid actor on television and his fame has never been higher.

Don’t even get me started on some of these other idiots who have gotten famous and unfathomably rich as a result of sex tapes and other ridiculous things. Are these not as bad as steroids or way worse? Come on…sports is no longer sacred. Let’s all wake up and smell what’s really going on here so maybe we can all actually enjoy sports again.

Comments

  1. Well said, I am very tired of hearing about PED’s…I wish it would just go away. Armstring is a jerk and does deserve what he gets the way he assassinated other peoples character in defending his own lies.

  2. You can’t let steroids run rampant in professional sports for a few reasons. For starters, the long term health effect of steroids is no bueno, and by not banning them, you’re effectively encouraging their widespread use. 2nd, by not making it a priority at the professional level, the culture of use will float down to the HS level. 3rd, it’s just cheating no matter how you slice it, with everything available to athletes for their bodies, this stuff just isn’t necessary. That said, with Lance, who gives a shit about cycling in the first place, and when EVERYONE in the sport does it–which is just plain true in this case, then yea, who gives a shit.

    • I am not encouraging their widespread use and I do believe they should be banned 100%. If people get caught they should be suspended and even banned after a few times. However, I just don’t like hearing about it constantly and I really don’t like how the media vilifies everyone who does it or gets caught like they’re a pariah.

      It especially drives me nuts that baseball is the most scrutinized when now they have the best testing programs. You can’t possibly tell me that 50% of NFL players aren’t on HGH or something and probably a good amount of NBA players too…these guys are enormous…it wasn’t like that 20 years ago in either sport.

      WIth regards to Lance, I agree who cares about cycling but this is much more than cycling and Lance…it is the fact that cancer is involved, 100′s of million of dollars and a bald faced ruthless liar who ruined peoples lives

  3. I just think that if everyone cheats, trying t fight it is stupid and they should just legalize steroids. They’re not hurting anyone but the people doing it.

    • You can’t legalize them because they are bad for you and also that would start a trickle down effect and then it will always be what’s the next big thing as athletes will still look to get ahead. You have to fight it but much like recreational drugs…it’s never going to stop but you have to keep trying.

  4. This is such an annoying issue. I don’t even want to watch the Oprah interview because I think he won’t say anything of note. He will admit he did it, but who cares, there is so much more I want to hear. I want to see him grovel and plead for forgiveness.

    • I have to agree with you Jason, I imagine he won’t say much…at least not enough for everyone. He will say what the lawyers told him to say. Even Oprah said he was very well prepared.

  5. Lance Armstrong is a complete asshole-end of debate

  6. I tend to agree with your assessment. Sports were the dominate forces in my life until I was 34, and I’ve seen sports bring out the worst and best in fans, players, and coaches. I used to get really irate about people who cheated, whether that be recruiting violations or PEDs. Now I just really don’t care. I think working with a NBA and WNBA team led to the transition in attitude. They are simply people that don’t need to be placed on a pedestal just because of their athletic prowess.

    Lance Armstrong doped? Who cares! The only people who should have a problem with Lance are the clean ones who were defeated by him. I care more about the money and recognition Lance raised for cancer research. I don’t care that he’s a cheating jackass.

    My only issue is that the governing bodies of the leagues need to enforce the rules to ensure a level playing field. If you’re going to ban a substance then you’ve got to be diligent in enforcing that rule. Otherwise scrap the rule and let the players decide if they want to use PEDs or not.

    I could go on forever on this subject, but won’t.

  7. Rachel Wilson says:

    Great article Lee! I love when you get really passionate in your writing! I am convinced!

  8. What a bastard Lance is, I can’t believe the things he has done to others in order to defend his lies. I hope nobody forgives him.

  9. That picture makes me dislike Lance even more

  10. The sad part is he didn’t need to cheat, just overcoming cancer was enough to inspire and he still would have been revered. Now he is forever tainted.

    • That’s a good point Kelly, he really didn’t…even if he came in 15th after cancer, he would been an inspiration to cancer patients.

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