Thursday, March 17, 2005
"Players that are guilty of taking steroids are not only cheaters — you are cowards," said Donald Hooton of Plano, Texas, whose son, Taylor, was 17 when he hanged himself in July 2003.
"You hide behind the skirts of your union, and with the help of management and your lawyers, you've made every effort to resist facing the public today," Hooton said.
Mark McGwire and other baseball players testified in front of Congress about steroids, today. Mark McGwire refused to admit or deny that he took steroids. Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro denied that they took steroids. McGwire became emotional and even cried a little bit as he described his situation.
"If a player answers, 'No,' he simply will not be believed," McGwire said. "If he answers, 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations."
Here's the problem with what McGwire had to say. What does he care if people believe his denials or not? If he did not use steroids, he should say so and be adamant about his assertions. If I was being wrongfully accused of cheating or engaging in illegal behavior I would protest as much as possible. In fact, I would welcome a public venue such as a Congressional hearing to maintain my integrity and fight for my reputation. It does not make any sense for Mark McGwire to refuse to deny he took steroids if he never took them. A person of his celebrity status knows he can't please everyone and there will always be naysayers and critical voices. However, when you are accused of being a fraud and the charges are false, you must defend yourself.
McGwire's refusal to maintain he had "clean hands" in the steroids scandal is a suspicious gambit.