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An opinion piece I wrote during the Alex Rodriguez steroid scandal.

An opinion piece I wrote during the Alex Rodriguez steroid scandal.

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  • 1. <br />Alex Rodriguez represents everything that is wrong with sports….seemingly. On the surface A-Rod claims the prize of highest paid brat in the MLB. His 275 mil 10 year contract with the Yankees is ludicrous, his post-season performance is dismal, and his off-field antics are a distraction to say the least. Now that Rodriguez’s steroid use has come to light, more people hate A-Rod than ever, understandably so. Anyone who watched the media circus surrounding his admittance of steroid abuse can tell you that the whole truth has still not come out about what performance enhancing substances he injected, and for how long he was on them; it probably never will. Before this scandal Rodriguez was idolized as baseball’s saving grace. A face for a new era after the last two decades of doping scarred the reputation of the league. Now that the truth has come to light, he is viewed as just another cheater who has disgraced the sport.<br />Hating A-Rod and all the players who have used illegal substances to improve their natural athletic abilities is easy. They cheated, they lied about cheating, they embaressed their sport and themselves. Rodriguez claims that his steroid use stemmed from the intense pressure of playing for the Texas Rangers, from all the expectations that accompany playing baseball for an eight-figure contract. Is that really the case? Do players use performance enhancers because of pressure or do they use them to gain an advantage over the competition and put their names in the history books? Is society to blame for the Alex Rodriguezs’ of sports?<br />Yes and No. There is a validity to A-Rod’s argument. The amount of money these athletes get paid has skyrocketed completely out of control. Paying someone close to three hundred million for playing a game is disgusting, but why shouldn’t the players ask for that much if they can get it? Show me the person who turns down that kind of money because it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Athletes are out to win, but also to make as much money as they can at the same time. Owners who invest that kind of moolah into a player expect miracles, and when an athlete has 300 million riding on their performance there is a lot of pressure to improve by any means necessary. <br />On the other hand, player’s egos can lead to cheating with steroids. Barry Bonds is a prime example of a great player who wasn’t satisfied with only being great. He wanted to be the best home run hitter of all time, and took steroids in order to extend his career in a pathetic attempt to break one of the greatest records in sports. Now A-Rod is on the path to beat that record. How bad does he want the record? Is it really just pressure from others that drive players to use steroids or do they pressure themselves when a chance at glory tempts the ego?<br />