Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Baseball and Steroids
Why should the government get to decide what baseball players do? The argument for action by the Federal Government goes something like this:
"We have to do something to stop illegal drugs from influencing The Game."
Why? Why do some people feel the need to force healthy/pious lifestyles upon others? Under what authority does one man mandate the choices of another?
"We can't allow the Heroes of Children to use illegal drugs."
Why would anyone allow their child to emulate someone who engages in behavior that they, the parents, deem harmful? NASCAR is certainly a very popular sport, should the Feds require that they drive more slowly so as to set a better example? What about boxers, we wouldn't want children to go around punching people in the face would we? There are many examples one could find of children idolizing characters that they cannot and should not emulate.
"The records of our Sacred National Pastime are spoiled."
So what if Bonds was taking drugs to power his home run records? Some athletes drink coffee. Some drink booze. Some use vitamins and protein drinks. In the days of Babe Ruth, healthy lifestyles were not common. Look at The Babe, he was a bit portly, and couldn't really run very fast. Today, athletes are worlds away from those days. Today they have personal trainers, special diets, strict training regimes and countless uses of technology to advance their performance. We cannot allow records to be valid only if the diet and training program of all current athletes is the same as those of yesterday. Why not allow any and all enhancements to performance? The reason people watch sports is to watch people who can do things that seem impossible. I love to watch Formula 1 racing. They cruise around curves like this one at about 210MPH. Is it safe? Nope. It is for this reason that I and millions more watch sports. It is the right of every person to decide what does or doesn't go into their bodies what risks they take, and whom their children emulate. The greatest traditions of this country are that we are free to make personal choices.