Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Judge ye not?

By now you may have heard about Rafael Palmeiro being suspended for testing positive for steroids. In reading this story, I couldn't help but think about Danny's series on being judgemental. Palmeiro told Congress in March that he had never used steroids. Yesterday he said that he has "never intentionally used steroids." So how do we judge this man? Is he a liar? Or is he telling the truth? If he's telling the truth, then how did the steroids get in his system? Is it right to call him a liar when we don't really know him or really know for sure if he in fact did use steroids? What about that word "intentionally"? Does that change our thoughts of the situation? Can you "accidentally" use steroids?

Very interesting questions-especially in light of not wanting to be judgemental of some one.


ftwskies said...

I'm not sure I understand the whole problem with steroids in the first place. [Gasp! Did he really say that!?] Think about it -- everything else about sports is geared towards enhancing performance and providing teams and players with an edge to assist them in getting the big W. From equipment design to working out to sleeping arrangements on the road, it's all designed to help them play better. So why not 'roids, too? I mean, where do you draw the line between "drugs" and dietary supplement? Between an unfair advantage and a fair one? Should we make players stop eating spaghetti before games (for the burst of energy from the carbs)? Stop working out in the gym? Stop wearing cleats? Look at a modern outfielder's mitt and compare it to one worn in the 1940's. Tell me that's a "fair" advantage. Or go further back to the 1910's when they didn't even wear mitts at all!

Isn't this more about a social taboo than it is about "fair play"?

If I'm all wrong here then somebody point me to the ultimate standard somewhere that says those things are all okay, but 'roids are not.


Danny Sims said...

A drug test is unbiased. It's judgement is pretty accurate and is blind to our human subjectivity.

I feel sorry for Raphael because his best defense is, "I have no clue."

Keith Hollar said...

I agree with you, Jim, about steroids. I could care less what they inject, eat, etc. But the problem arises because: (1) It's an illegal drug(must have a Dr. prescription) and (2) It's against baseball's rules.

Danny, is a drug test really unbiased? Couldn't there be a mistake in adminstering the test? Could a sample be contaminated? Could there be some other way that the test could be wrong? Could someone have rigged the test to get him in trouble? I agree with you that drug tests are considered accurate but my point was that we as a public judge him based on the reports of the results of the test when there could be other factors involved. We judge him by this without knowing him personally, knowing his heart. I was just trying to make a comparison of how we are so quick to judge someone in this situation-as quickly as your friend judged the man at the valet stand.