I’m fed up with the whole “steroids are bad” debate. The morons like Brian Williams who stutter in fury when trying to express their rage are as bad as the clowns who sit and interview Mark McGuire as if he’s some brave, tortured soul for admitting to them he used steroids. It’s a stupid, mindless debate perpetuated by backward troglodytes and insipid oafs who elevate the activity of sport to a halcyon level it deserved neither now nor in the past. There is no argument that explains either why steroids are banned in baseball or why the goddamned Senate needs to get involved.
For those of you who read this blog and are interested in sports, I dare you to make a coherent argument defending steroids. Challenge any one of my points below. Make new ones of your own. Impress me.
A: Why we should care that athletes use them:
1. “These are fallen heroes.” Athletes are never heroes. There is nothing heroic about swinging a club or catching a ball or tackling an opponent. Impressive, amazing, great, cool, fun, awe-inspiring but not heroic.
2. “They are role models for society.” They are not role models. Some of the worlds greatest athletes were amoral, reckless, and selfish. Our society needs to stop being constantly impressed by jerks like Lance Armstrong. After his wife supported him through his cancer, he dumped her, leveraged his freakish cycling ability to make himself famous and wealthy, balled Sherill Crow for a while and is now working his way through actresses and singers. Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth, Ben Roethlisberger, I could go on until I passed out.
3. “But…but…kids look up to them.” I don’t care. Kids look up to rappers and rock stars and war heroes and hippies and super villains and vampires and the blue cat people from Avatar. Kids are impressionable, but that is up to a parent to guide them away from idolizing bad people.
4. “Parents can’t control kids, role models have influence.” So I guess then what you’re saying is we should make every activity we don’t want kids doing illegal for adults too? Is that your argument? Why is this specific topic where you get to insert your moralizing?
B: Steroids are dangerous:
5. “The pressure to use steroids is too much.” No the pressure to play and excel at sports is too much. That the stereotypical “popular” kid in high school – school, as in place of learning – is the head football player and cheerleader is a goddamned travesty. Steroids are a symptom of our miserable failed public school system. Ever wonder why there is so little pressure to take cognitive stimulants?
6. “Steroids are dangerous when misused.” That’s what the word misused implies. Take too much ibuprofen to get over an injury? You’ll permanently damage your stomach lining and liver. Even Gatorade is ‘dangerous.’ The stuff is pure sodium and sugar. If you haven’t been working out, it sends your sodium levels through the roof (read: heart disease) and, if you’re not chugging it, the little sips you take dissolve your teeth at record pace.
7. “But steroids are really dangerous, even when used properly.” Says who? All of these professional sports teams knowingly allow their athletes, who have signed multi-million dollar contracts that hinge on keeping their health in perfect condition, not only to use steroids, but provide doctors who supervise, adjust dosages, and carefully monitor their progress. And by doing so, these men avoided all the classic side effects of steroid abuse. But they’re still dangerous? Really?
8. “High school coaches can’t provide appropriate supervision.” So make safe usage information public the way we do with every other drug. Furthermore, who the hell trusts high school coaches period. Most coaches are pathetic, failed athletes themselves who are a creepy drain on resources, because win-or-lose they suck funds for uniforms and equipment and are required to hold teaching jobs they hate. For every great coach, there are thousands of pathetic geography and woodshop teachers who spend their after school hours extracting vengeance for their own failed lives upon the lives of budding students. Any counter-example of a good, useful high school coach only reinforces my argument – either you admit coaches can provide appropriate supervision or you admit your exception proves my rule.
C: Big Moral Arguments:
9. “The government has a responsibility to-” Let me stop you right there. No they don’t. Steroids are not illegal. Either make them illegal or shut. up.
10. “It ruins baseball.” Why baseball? Why is there no panic about usage in football or hockey or the WWE or basketball? Because of a bunch of statistics nerds are mad that their projections will be thrown off by technology. That’s why.
11. “It ruins the spirit of sport.” Oh. But carbon fiber sticks and million dollar training camps and computer designed race hulls and team nutritionists and safety neck-braces and feather weight cleats don’t. And lets not forget the millions poured into helping athletes heal and recover more quickly. Anyone who treats steroids differently is willfully ignorant.
That’s it. It’s out of my system. Come up with a counter-argument that’s internally coherent and blow my mind.
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
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