The Cheaters . . . Poor Examples - The Missourian: Columns

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The Cheaters . . . Poor Examples

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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013 6:32 pm

If you follow major league baseball even casually you know about Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun being suspended for the rest of the season for use of drugs to enhance his play. For being a liar about his drug use and a star cheat, he got off easy.

More major league players are expected to be exposed for the same reasons Braun was sidelined for the rest of the season. Braun also will not be paid for the rest of the season. That will cost him several million dollars. He can afford not to be paid. He’s one of the countless multimillionaires on the diamond.

We don’t know how many professional athletes are cheaters, but undoubtedly sports other than baseball have their guilty ones also. Should they be banned for life from the sport? Many people believe they should be. Depending on each case, the length of the suspensions should be determined. In addition to losing their pay while suspended, they should be fined.

Professional baseball is worried about its image and it should be. That’s why it is so important to rid the sport of the cheaters and/or punish them severely. Undoubtedly, other athletes have lied about using performance enhancing drugs. They lie about it and when caught can be arrogant and give feeble excuses. Braun did take his punishment with an apology of sorts:

“I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”

He should have added that he is sorry for the poor example he has given to the general public, especially the youngsters who look up to athletes as role models. Maybe we should say, “used to look up to them as examples.”

There is no way to measure the damage Braun and others have done to setting an example.

The investigation is ongoing in professional baseball. Other stars are going to fall.

What about the records these cheaters have set? Their records should be erased! It’s not fair to the other honest baseball players who performed by the rules and set records. There always will be doubts about the guilty players and the records they set.

We can’t help but think about the other baseball stars who played by the rules and set an outstanding example. Stan Musial comes to mind first as a role model. He set records, was a solid family man and an outstanding citizen. He was respected!

The cheaters of today in sports don’t seem to recognize the ugly example they have set. They have lost whatever respect they had. Whether Braun will return and earn stardom again is doubtful. How much of what he did on the diamond was due to drugs? That question always will haunt him.

The doubts the cheaters have created in the minds of all baseball fans as to their performances will linger.

/opinion/columns