Alright….I’m mad! As an avid baseball lover, it tears me apart to see PED (performance enhancing drugs) continue and athletes receive the benefits from it. MLB athletes are getting huge contracts after they have been caught cheating! Let me preference this by acknowledging that I, Brent Gray, almost took steroids. It was the summer of my sophomore year in Baker University and I was playing in the Connie Mack League, a summer league for collegiate baseball players in the Kansas City region. I was coming off a decent campaign in my sophomore year and wanted to get stronger, I wanted to be a starter. I had watched other individuals take steroids in order to push themselves, and it was my time. When the day came to start my steroid cycle, I couldn’t do it. I purchased the steroids and was ready to take my game to the next level, but I couldn’t do it. Something didn’t feel right, and to this day and I am proud for whatever reason that I didn’t take steroids.
One of the core classes we must take in the MSA program is Morals and Ethics in Sport. This class looks at the moral and ethical dilemmas in sport. We look into steroid usage, cheating, discrimination, Title IX, and a wide range of topics. Because Canisius is a Jesuit school, leadership and ethics are part of curriculum. When I first entered the program I didn’t understand why such courses were required. However, after taking both classes I have come to realize that as future leaders in the sport industry we may be tempted to skirt ethics in order to reach an outcome we want. In collegiate athletics we may have to deal with compliance issues, player personal issues, and countless ethical decisions that we could easily sweep under a rug. At the professional level, we are dealing with ethical issues about cheating, equality, fraud, and violence. In the sport industry, like many other businesses, when large amounts of money are involved moral and ethical decisions will be imperative not only for the individual but for the organization to succeed and retain the trust of the players, teams, communities, and cities.
You may be asking yourself how do these two topics relate to teach other? As a collegiate baseball player I was afraid I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I took steroids. Was I going to be drafted, even with steroids, probably not. But in the sporting industry, steroids can mean millions of dollars to the user. Recently, Melky Cabrera, of Toronto Blue Jays, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, was suspended for under MLB new drug policy for having high levels of artificial testosterone. His suspension was for 50 games, and he wasn’t able to finish the season and the Giants didn’t bring him back in the playoffs. Did this suspension hurt Cabrera? Sure, Cabrera was in contention for the batting title (highest batting average in a league) and took himself out of contention, luckily. However, Cabrera signed a two year sixteen million dollar deal with Toronto. Similarly, Bartolo Colon was also suspended for artificial testosterone, and he signed a one year 3 million dollar contract with the Oakland Athletics. Cheating is paying off, and athletes are willing to risk it all. New testosterone creams allow athletes a PED in which testosterone is absorbed and out of players system in 24 hours. MLB rarely drug tests on consecutive days and on travel days for athletes. As a baseball fan it is sad to see. I guess the real question in all this is can Colon or Cabrera look himself in the mirror? I can look myself in the mirror every day, and be proud of what I did, and didn’t do. However my mirror isn’t covered in gold.
Until next time,