Well, by now you’ve probably heard the news and read the headlines. In so many words, Barry Bonds admitted to being all juiced up.
This is a devastating blow to Barry Bonds, the game of baseball, and professional sports in general. To make matters even more dubious for Bonds, he claims he didn’t realize that he was taking steroids.
Wow. That’s wild.
This weekend I watched the awkwardly titled movie called “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius”. The filmrecounted the inspiring story of legendary golfer Bobby Jones. For those of you who don’t know, Bobby Jones is widely considered one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game.
In spite of his wild success—he learned from his mistakes, valued personal integrity and excellence, and, shockingly, never went pro. He passed on millions of dollars and maintained his amateur status the length of his career and played solely for, as he put it, the love of the game.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t believe it’s wrong or have any problem with athletes being financially rewarded for their talents. It was the priorities, values, and actions of Bobby Jones that created a legacy that is still respected and admired to this day.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe the same will be said about Barry Bonds in 70 years.
In the middle of the movie one of the characters made a simple and poignant statement: “Money will one day destroy sports”.
As an avid sports fan, I can’t help but sadly admit that I agree. Professional sports are suffering from a moral degeneration of enormous proportions. The unquenchable lust for fame and fortune has infected the moral compass of so many past the point of no return. The discovery of steroid use by Barry Bonds may or may not cost him his records.
Maybe they’ll put an asterisk next to his numbers in the record books.
Unfortunately, the ultimate price has already been paid in the form of integrity. I say that with no pleasure or self-righteousness, but with the sadness of a disappointed sports fan.