Mark McGwire has been demonized for having used steroids and (until recently) not admitting so. Barry Bonds continues to be shunned from baseball because the belief is that major league fans won't tolerate their team signing him, because of the assumption, most likely correct, that he used performance-enhancing substances during his career.
Lawrence Taylor is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, despite a fairly long rap sheet. Will he be removed from it if this most recent (and most heinous) charge sticks? Is cheating at your job more horrible than rape? It can't be, right?
I'm trying not to rush to judgment, trying not to assume that Taylor is guilty before he's been given a chance to defend himself. But if he ends up being guilty of this crime, the NFL has to step up and say, "Despite his amazing on-field performances, we refuse to be associated with Lawrence Taylor any further. While his statistics will remain in our record books, he has been removed from the NFL Hall of Fame."
And the media needs to react with similar disgust. Otherwise, keeping McGwire and Bonds out of the baseball Hall of Fame is just petulant.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Steroids v. Rape
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For some reason I disagree. I always seperate what people do off the field from on the field. Bad person, great player, he's in.
What McGwire and probably Bonds did was cheating on the field that they were bing praised for. I can see a difference here.
I, however, think that both McGwire and Bonds should be in the hall of fame, but thats a different argument.
It's not just the "Hall of Really Good Sports Players," it's the Hall of Fame. It's the list of players that your sport wants to most acknowledge as being the best representatives of your sport.
I've come to a point where I accept that character is a substantive part of determining whether or not a player should be in the Hall of Fame. But I think that should benefit Mark McGwire, not hurt him. McGwire has had a life-long love affair with baseball. He continues to host hitting clinics that major league players (like Matt Holliday) attend, and he's now the Cardinals hitting coach. Baseball was good to him, and the chase for 62 between him and Sammy Sosa may have saved baseball in the late 90's. On that alone, he deserves consideration.
In the end, you'll probably be right. O.J. Simpson is still a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.
The NFL HOF has always only taken into account the on-the-field stuff and left the off-the-field stuff out. They take pride in that fact and that's why players like Michael Irvin get into the HOF.
With MLB, it seems more like the player needed to be a media darling with the numbers to make it.
We've got two different worlds here.
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