Friday, October 05, 2007

Another Star Athlete Bites The Dust

On every news station today, the opening story was, Marion Jones Admits To Using Steroids. This comes on the heels of the Michael Vick case, whereas Vick eventually pleaded guilty of financing a dog-fighting ring. I say eventually, because like Jones, Vick too vehemently denied the allegations via a press conference with the world as his audience, as did Jones back in 2004. We can't forget the continual accusations against home-run king, Barry Bonds either.

I suppose one might be asking, what's my point? Well I'll tell you. My point is I am so sick and tired of African American athletes making a fool of themselves, while squandering the opportunities of a lifetime, in Vick's case, quarterback in the NFL, and Jones' case, gold medalists. Why is this bugging me? It's bugging the hell out of me because I know of so many young people who would practically give their right arm to have the opportunities these individuals have had.

I'd bet some money and say that neither Vick nor Jones needed these enhancements, as they had God-given talent. So, why would they risk everything they worked for, dreamed of, by using these enhancements in the first place as in Jones and Bond's case, or participate in illegal activities in Vick's case? Didn't they realize, or didn't anyone tell them that they would be under the world's bigger microscope just because of the color of their skin? Didn't anyone ever tell them that they had to be twice as good as the next athlete? I'd venture to say someone did, but that didn't mean using enhancements in their bodies to make them better. That just meant that they had to work harder to get to and remain at the top of their games.

Steroid use had been the topic of many conversations on the sports channels lately, particularly when it became evident that Bonds was set to break Babe Ruth's record, and lo and behold when he did break it he just had to have had help in doing so. But according to many sports analysts, steroid use is very prevalent in sports, yet I don't see them hounding the white athletes (anyone remember the Farve prescription drug abuse case?) as ferocious as they're pursuing Bonds, and obviously Jones too because of her confession.

Now, like Vick, Jones is facing the possibility of spending some time in jail because of her participation in, and then lying about the illegal activity. Jones will be stripped of her gold and bronze medals won in the Olympics, while the Atlanta Falcons organization is demanding over twenty million dollars Vick received from them. And you can bet, they're lying in wait for Bonds to admit he used steroids also so they can strip him of his home-run title.

It's often said that everything happens for a reason. Maybe one of the reasons behind these public embarrassments will be that it will remind future athletes that they will be scrutinized under the world's microscope and that they'd better rely on their God-given talent to fulfill their dreams, and not steroid enhancements, or participate in other illegal activities that will take them down faster than they can say their names because sadly, they will be surely judged more harshly. (Can somebody say THE JENA SIX!) So yes, in 2007, we (African Americans) have to be twice as good, twice as smart as our white counterparts because the world is staring at us through their microscopic sunglasses daring us to rely on just our God-given talents.

Love & Peace,


Walee said...

'Morn'n SmokeyGoddess
As an avid track fan and former 400/800 meter runner,my stomach is still in knots over the Marion Jones fiasco. When soooo many of her peers appeared to be obviously "juicing," she "looked" the part of a pure, natural athlete. There were no abundance of bulky muscles, bad acne, hair loss or any of the other negative sidebacks. Marion spoke well while in front of the cameras, and her commercials were great. Several weeks ago i attended a scholarship dinner that honored 46 track/field Olympians dating back to the 60's. It was such an honor being in front of "greatness" and knowing that there records were pure and untainted. I received autographs from as many as i could and now with the Marion annoncement, the autographs will be treasured even more. Sorry for the long-winded soap box but you sure picked a topic near/dear to my heart.

Karen O'Bannoon said...

Well said, VeeJay. What a shame was all I could say when I saw Marion Jones on national tv facing her guilt in tears. It hurt me. I used to run track when I was in school, and back then I wanted to be someone like her. I hope those coming up behind her are taking notes.

Gregory Forster, Jr said...

I am sorry for taking almost a year to respond to this but I agree with you. We allow ourselves to be lied to by the devil and end up losing what we thought we were to gain. Is it worth it?