With all that said, though, the NFL’s richer and deeper history of PED use should invite more outrage. Let’s be frank: while we’re not certain to what extent steroid use affects a player’s ability to play baseball, we do know that it makes a much better football player. Football, of course, is a sport that relies on size and raw strength to a much greater extent than does baseball. To gaze upon your average NFL player and see nothing but the work of genetic good fortune and hard work requires a level of credulity that should elude you.
Moreover, that the cycling of anabolic steroids leads to bigger and stronger football players and, hence, to on-field violence of an increasing scale should concern those who worry about the future of football and those who play it. The NFL tests for PEDs, yes, but when those tests turn up positive, it’s back-page stuff. In 2006, Shawne Merriman made the Pro Bowl after testing positive for steroids. In 2010, Brian Cushing won a re-vote for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year despite having tested positive for banned substances. And so on.
Still and yet, it’s baseball players who are subjected to public floggings far more often. That’s fine, as it goes, but it’s curious that such unequal treatment persists despite what we know about steroid use in football. Put simply, steroids in football almost certainly have a greater effect on competitive integrity than they do in baseball, they’ve been around longer in football, and they help make it a far more dangerous game.
So why don’t we care?
Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:23 PM | 66 comment(s)
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