The Media’s Effect on Professional Athletes
This is mainly about how the media effects athletes that use steroids. Most of it is about baseball, but there is also some track and field in here.
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There are some professional athletes who put themselves before the rules of their sport or even, above the law. The media exposes the dark side of professional athletics, but they also leave the public wondering whether or not there should be a limit to their madness. Some athletes realize that they are making mistakes, admit them, and then try to correct them. However, there are also athletes that do not care to correct mistakes and constantly lie about them. Either way, the media is there to feast on any rule infraction. The media has helped to destroy the careers of several professional athletes. The media feeds on the misjudgment of these athletes and seems to transfer the greatness of an athlete to themselves. The media can effect the public’s perception of professional athletes.
Jose Canseco was a professional baseball player at one point, for the Texas Rangers and was known for his powerful bat. He has admitted to steroid use and claimed that he was not the only one that used them. Although he admitted to steroid use, the media made him out to be a hero, which was quite ironic. The media influenced the public as well, simply by talking about the athletes that Canseco has accused of using steroids. They never hesitated to believe every word that flew out of Canseco’s mouth whether it was true or false. According to S.L. Price, “Canseco’s book, published last February, alleged that he had injected McGwire and Palmeiro and others with steroids and expressed suspicions about yet other stars, such as Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada and Houston Astros ace Roger Clemens” (Price 3). Most of these accusations have not been proven, but there is a considerable amount of evidence that Canseco was telling the truth. McGwire refused to talk about the past during the Congressional Hearing and Palmeiro tested positive for steroids not long after the hearing was over. This proves that Canseco’s accusations may all be true. According to S.L. Price, “Canseco, who in his book claimed steroids would soon be used by all top athletes, "and that’s good news," tried to remake himself as an antisteroids crusader” (Price 4). This shows that Canseco may not deserve as much positive media coverage as he is receiving. At first he believed steroids were a good thing for professional athletics, but then he realized that they may not be as good as he thought for baseball. Fifty year old records would be broken and tarnished by a steroid user. The earned run average of pitchers would increase by two runs because someone decided to put himself above the game. Canseco may or may not have realized those issues, but he realized that he could become a hero if he exposed the steroid issue to the media. S.L. Price stated, “Canseco may well help end the Steroids Era, but he also helped start it, and if he told the truth now, he also lied then” (Price 6). Obviously Canseco was not the cleanest baseball player in his day, but apparently the media believes he is honest today.