Sunday, December 05, 2004

I didn't know

I can't resist making a comment about the Balco scandal that has rocked professional sports.

If you are not familiar with what has been going on, the company Balco has been accussed of giving illegal steriods to professional athletes. Big names were called to testify in front of a grand jury. Names like Barry Bonds, third all time on the MLB homerun list. Jason Giambi, a former MVP that now plays for the Yankees. Also many high profile names from Track and Field.

Someone in the government's office has been leaking Grand Jury testimony. It turns out Giambit admits using steroids during his best season. It seems that Marion Jones, 5 time Gold Medalist in Track, actually injected herself with needles.

Yet, it is Barry Bonds that I want to discuss. He claims he used some things that he now knows are steroids, but that when he took them, he did not know they were illegal. It was a cream, I believe, not an injection. His defense is he had no idea what was in the cream. His trainer gave him something, and he took no questions asked.

Before I go further, it should be noted that many are not accepting his testimony as truthful. Apparently there are some documents that show Bonds took steroids the year he set the single season home run record, which he denies. Other things about his testimony have made many shake their heads in disbelief. Making a call on this stuff is not my intent.

There seems to be a debate over whether or not Mr. Bonds should be allowed to keep his records. He will most certainly set the all time home run record, should this record count. The answer is simply, absolutely not. He used steroids by his own admission. It does not matter if he knew or not. He used a substance designed to help you cheat. His records are based on enhanced abilities thanks to drugs. Some argue that his eye hand coordination is not helped by drugs. True. No one denies that Bonds hits the ball, what is in question is how far he hits it once he hits it. This is helped by steroids.

How does this show up on a theology page? Because many people make the same argument about sin. I didn't know it was a sin, they say. Therefore, I am innocent. Bonds wants to argue the same thing, I am innocent because I didn't know. Yet, it is clear that a violation of the law is just that a violation of the law. How many people know what there blood alchol level is when they drive? Not many. Should they not be held responsible for any crash they might cause because they didn't know how much they were impaired. A lack of knowledge is no an excuse. Sin is sin. Cheating is cheating. If Mr. Bonds cared about fair play, he would volunteer to give up his homerun record, or take a suspension or something. He should realize that he cheated, and it helped him. It seems obvious that people look for excuses whether it be baseball or Christianity.