Was Manny Ramirez Right? Do We have Bigger Fish to Fry?

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Lately we’ve talked about steroids and its impact on the games, record books and possibly the future of society. Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez have all made headlines within the last few months.


Just recently everyone laughed when. Ramirez stated, “I didn’t kill nobody. I didn’t rape nobody.” He lied, cheated and was caught, and that’s all he could say. But maybe he was on to something? What if that was what he had done?


For his positive test, he received a 50 game suspension.


But for all the flack we give those who have tested or been suspected of testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, maybe it’s truly not as bad as what some others in professional sports have done and are doing.


Was Ramirez right? Are there bigger fish to fry in professional sports, rather than those who have tested positive for PED?


Yesterday, Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Dante Stallworth pled guilty to manslaughter after hitting a man while driving under the influence of alcohol. His sentence, 30 days, (of which he’ll only serve 24) and an undisclosed settlement amount with the family preventing them from taking the case to a civil suit.


Comparatively Michael Vick received two and half year sentence for his role in funding a dog fighting ring. While I certainly don’t condone Vick’s actions, something’s not right.


Honestly this probably isn’t a sports issue. Off the get go, it seems to be a US Judicial System problem. But with the power NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has, I wonder how he’ll deem their respective punishments?


But the issue grows deeper. Problems like these arise in our professional sports system. Guilty or not, Goodell has the authority to punish without the legal system even running its course.   


But it’s a fine line we need to walk. One where the presumption of innocence is coveted and you can’t always judge someone by their appearance.


And it’s an even thinner line that’s drawn between hurting yourself (steroids) and hurting others (violent crimes). Is any one worse? Is it ok to have dogs maul each other? No! Is it worse to beat up on a girlfriend? Yes!


But for as much attention professional athletes receive, they are only human. They are not role models. The make mistakes, one, twice and sometimes more. Chances are, they may be individuals at your own place of employment with the same pending issues.


But whether you’re a nurse, teacher, plumber or ball player, we all have responsibilities; responsibilities to ourselves and the rest of society.


We do not always have to follow the standards set forth by others, but should at least surpass those set by ourselves.


Athletes need to start realizing the impact they have on society not just their individual sports. We need to collectively grow up. Because whether you’re cheating yourself or harming an individual, you’re not just an athlete; you’re a person. Start representing yourself like one, and maybe the court of public opinion may someday be as lenient towards athletes as the judicial system is.  


Click here any meet me in the Forum to discuss if maybe we have our eyes on the wrong criminals in sports. Are PED users just the tip of the iceberg?