May 7 2010
Should people construed as role models or heros adhere to a higher set of guide
lines? Obviously it’s difficult to enforce different rules and regulations for different
groups of people; some might call this segregation, but let’s stick to a moral stand point.
If an individual has the hopes, dreams, pride and trust of an entire nation resting on their
shoulders, should additional consideration be put into setting a positive and admirable
example? The obvious answer is yes. If the President of the United States were caught,
say, doing something slightly immoral, how would that reflect on the rest of us? Where
does this set the standard of morals for our youth and how would our country be
perceived throughout the rest of the world. Likewise, if police officers are caught
breaking the law or parents are caught doing drugs, what sort of example does that set for
those who look up to them? What will the effect be on those who perceive correct the
examples set by people in positions of power and respect? Let’s take a look at sports,
athletes specifically. Are they role models? As long you have been on earth for longer
than a week, the answer is pretty obvious. Do some hold higher levels of admiration or
national pride than others? Yes, at least from a personal stand point. There is a certain
group of people who excel to such great heights, and accomplish such great feats they are
unanimously considered the best in the world. So my question to you is, should
Olympians be held to a higher ethical, and subsequently face harsher penalties for
anabolic steroid use than football, baseball or other professional athletes?
The first topic we can cover in this debate is the consistent, routine disregard for
rules and laws that plague professional sports. Between football, baseball and basketball
we see more drug charges, arrests and DUI convictions than frat parties and high school
proms combined. Not only are the numbers of athletes getting caught staggering, the
responses seem to be as well. Hearld.cornerstone.edu sites a source commenting on
LeBron James current speeding conviction. For the average individual speeding at 101
mph is grounds for a misdemeanor and possible jail time, according to a personal
interview with the Colorado State Patrol, yet LeBron walked away with a fine and no
feelings of remorse for his potentially life threatening actions. Hearld.cornerstone.edu
relayed Lebeons’ comments of, “That’s it. I was speeding. I got caught. It happens. I’m
not going to jail or nothing like that. I wasn’t drunk. I was just speeding. That’s it.”
Conveying the opinion to young kids, impressionable kids, that speeding at 101mph is
cool, no big deal and that LeBron indorses it. With that said, it would seem like the battle
for the up keep of ethics and morals in these sports has been severely stalled. I realize that
the preservation of ethics and good sportsmanship is a tremendous ideology of these
sports, yet at these levels the need for ethics and good sportsmanship seems diminished
from high school and college. In the world of college and high school, obviously the
conservation of ethics and morals is immensely important. However, once we venture
into the world of professional sports, I believe that regulation instead of prohibition
would be a more fitting practice. We saw with the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s
that if something is made completely illegal, the ability to regulate the substance goes
with it. Also, with the illegality of these substances someone is going to fill in to provide
the services and needs of those who still want the substance. Al Capone of the 1920’s is a
prime example. According to historylearningsite.co.uk Al Capone was making $60
million a year from alcohol sales alone. Looking at anabolicsmall.com we see that over
1,084,000 adult Americans have reported using steroids. Who is going to become the Al
Capone of the steroids world? As shown by alcohol, once illegal there is no way to
regulate the amounts consumed or the types of substances being consumed. Professional
sports are a job, and a tremendously unique job at that. In a business based solely on fan
attendance and participation, the question of how important the protection of solely
natural competition actually is. Would it be more productive to redirect some of the
resources used to insure “fair play” towards the prevention of dog fighting, alcohol abuse
and the championing of drugs? The argument could be made.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Olympic athletes, the epitome of
athletics; the historical representation of competition spanning the bridges of time. The
Olympics have seen world wars, the rise and fall of empires and still persevere.
Technically, the Olympics have been sustained due to the sentimental importance placed
on them. Generation after generation for centuries, civilizations have come together in the
pursuit of a title. The Olympic Games unite the human race in a way that nothing else
can; not art, not music, not even the shared fundamental building blocks of life can bring
us together like the games. They possess a certain spark; they alone hold the ability to
entice the world’s attention for two weeks in the midst of violence, hate and religious
turbulence. This shining characteristic single handedly catapults the games into a
category all its own. With this stated, we return to the athletes charged with continuing
this feat of human achievement, and back to the question of what to do with the cheaters.
The selfish, self absorbed people who are more concerned with personal recognition than
the preservation of this historical wonder. The individuals who would attempt to destroy
the name of this immense collection of human spirit, and attempt to undermine the
thundering abilities of the absolute exceptions in this world. Considering the importance
of the games, and the national disgrace that steroids bring I believe that a life ban from
competing should be in order. There must be serious ramifications for these actions, as of
right now there are bans, yet they only last for a few years. According to txtwriter.com
Marion Jones went to prison after using steroids, but more for lying under oath as
opposed to the sole ingestion of steroids. I’m not calling for jail time, I don’t believe that
that is an appropriate response, but a life time ban will keep these athletes accountable
and force the point across that this will not be tolerated.
While these substances need to be regulated in all aspects of all levels of sport, in
certain circumstances it would be more pertinent to keep them under control than to allow
drug dealers to prescribe them. If we keep them under control and administered at a
responsible level this will allow for regulation and for the appropriate people to distribute
them. Adults will be allowed access to them, under strict regulations and guide lines for
use. Penalties will be kept intact or increased for misuse and in cases of distribution to
minors; I believe that jail time is absolutely justified and needed.
"Colorado State Patrol Speeding Questions." Telephone interview. 7 May 2008.
Johnson, George. "Anabolic Steriods at the Olympics." Txtwriter Inc. Homepage. Web.
07 May 2010. <http://txtwriter.com/Onscience/Articles/steriodsolympics.html>.
"Pro-athletes Are Poor Examples When It Comes to Laws." The Herald. Cornerstone
University, 18 Apr. 2008. Web. 07 May 2010.
"Steroid Statistics - Anabolic Ateroid Statistics - Use and Abuse in Sports." Anabolic
Steroids Information and Alternatives. Bryant Enterprises., 2005. Web. 07 May
Trueman, Chris. "Prohibition and the Gangsters." History Learning Site. Web. 07 May