Thursday, June 01, 2006

Barry Bonds and Infidelity

Whenever anyone at work finds out that I'm a sports fan, the inevitable question is, "So what do you think of Barry Bonds?" I should have a firm position on this matter, but the truth is, I don't. There's no doubt he's a great baseball player; one of the best ever. There's also no doubt, however, that he cheated. That being said, his numbers before he cheated were hall-of-fame worthy, so who knows what to make of it? I really just don't know...I think I am part of a small minority of sports fans that do not have a firm position on this.

After hearing an ad this morning on the radio having something to do with infidelity, I did develop a stance; not on Barry Bonds himself, but rather, on those who judge Barry Bonds. According to various websites, anywhere from 22-37% of men have admitted to cheating on their wives...about 1/3-1/5 men. My conclusion based on these statistics: 1/3-1/5 men have no business judging Barry Bonds. How can a man with obvious moral and character (ie cheating on wife) flaws judge another man's moral status? Sounds a bit hypocritical to me...

Also, a side note - regarding Dolphins (and now the Argonauts) running back Ricky Williams. Ricky is currently serving a 1 year suspension for being a 3-time offender of the league's substance abuse policy. There are people that believe that he should be punished more harshly than he is; there are people calling for his permanent removal from the league. All for what?: Marijuana! Sure, it's against the rules and he deserves to be punished, but who says smoking marijuana makes you a bad guy? Is smoking marijuana just as bad as smoking crack, as the league's substance abuse policy implies? Do you not know that there are players in the league that have raised their hand to their girlfriend/wives? Accused murderers?! You don't see them facing harsh penalties from the league.

I do believe that, one day, marijuana will become legal. What then? It will then be no worse by law to smoke weed than smoke marijuana. People view marijuana use as a cardinal sin, and it's ridiculous. In my opinion, anyone that has ever raised his hand to his wife deserves a harsher penalty than Ricky Williams - all for a little dope.


Anonymous Donny said...

It is indeed hypocritical.
I believe the reason that people respond this way to the "cheating" of athletes is because sports fans view athletes as being representative of everything that they would like to be. The same way that these people would strike out in a major league game while Barry Bonds would hit a home run, these people can cheat on their wives while Barry can't take steroids. Its all hypocritical, but it fits with the mentality of a die-hard sports fan.

10:37 AM, June 01, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Donny, Excellent point. Your example hammers home my point exactly.

Do we know each other?

11:08 AM, June 01, 2006

Blogger Jewboy said...

The fact that some people cheat on their wives doesn't change anything. If a jury convicts someone of murder and some members of the jury have cheated on their spouses, should that change the guilty verdict? Bonds's numbers simply cannot be regarded in the same light as Babe Ruth's or Hank Araron's. By the way, Barry also cheated on his wife.

In regards to Ricky Williams, the bottom line is that marijuana is illegal and on the NFL's list of banned substances. Until it is not, Ricky violated the policy. Someone like Ray Lewis was found not guilty in a court of law. In our country, we don't punish people for crimes they were found innocent. Besides, if the NFL banned every player accused of a crime, the Ravens wouldn't have a team.

11:12 AM, June 01, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

No, it doesn't change the verdict, Jewboy. The point is that those with flawed morals aren't the best judge of others moral characters. Let's be honest, Barry Bonds didn't murder anyone. Murder is cut and dry - steroids are not. There was no policy against them for the longest time and his numbers were great before he took them. I'm not saying I'm on this side of the fence, but I am saying that isn't comparable to murder.

If he cheated, he cheated, nobody can change that. What is up in the air is whether or not he was immoral for taking steroids - those who have flawed moral characters cannot be the best judge of this.

Thank Gd for the judicial system - without it, the Ravens wouldn't have a team. But you really think that Ricky's offense is as bad as Sean Taylor's (aggrevated assault)- who, I should mention, will not face jail time, and may not miss ANY of the upcoming season. That, my friends, is ridiculous.

11:22 AM, June 01, 2006

Anonymous Donny said...


There is a big difference between understanding that someone has done something wrong and announcing it publicly in the street.

It is true that two wrongs don't make a right. Barry is wrong for cheating (along with many other things he's done in his life) while people who cheat on their wives/taxes/ final exams etc. are wrong as well.

The issue that is being discussed here is this "holier than thou" belief that is a phenomenon accuring with sportsfans today. As if it as acceptable for the sportsfan to live a despicable life but it's not for Barry. It is equally wrong for both people.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of Barry Bonds. Not in the slightest. I just find it interesting that people look at what Barry did as being the "sin of all sins", while the reponse to a guy who cheats on his wife is, "Hey, half the nation is having affairs!"

(Alanlaz- I believe you do know me)

11:24 AM, June 01, 2006

Blogger Zazy said...

In a sport such as basball where 20-25 homeruns and 25-30 can mean a difference of 5-10 million, players will look for any edge that they can obtain, yes it was a problem that he and many other players took Steroids and that Major League Baseball didnt care b/c it attracted mroe fans. The problem was that the fans didnt care enough to step up until it was too late.

11:46 AM, June 01, 2006

Blogger Jewboy said...

I wasn't equating murder with steroids. Fine, substitute a steroid conviction in my jury example instead of murder. No, I don't think marijauna use is as bad as what Sean Taylor did. Nevertheless, as a pro athlete Ricky is setting a bad example and his actions should be condemned. I'll admit that it seems unjust for someone accused of a felony to not miss any time, but the NFL can't convict someone when the courts did not.

12:36 PM, June 01, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

For the record, Sean Taylor pleaded no contest to battery and assualt. No contest, as Spiro Agnew put it, is like saying, "I didn't do it, but I'll never do it again."

12:52 PM, June 01, 2006

Anonymous Jake said...


Stop hatin on the skins.

3:45 PM, June 01, 2006

Blogger SephardiLady said...

>>>Besides, if the NFL banned every player accused of a crime, the Ravens wouldn't have a team.


11:12 PM, June 03, 2006

Blogger SephardiLady said...

How can a man with obvious moral and character (ie cheating on wife) flaws judge another man's moral status? Sounds a bit hypocritical to me...

I think your argument is mistaken. One of our jobs in life is to make judgments between right and wrong. One can make a bad decision (adultery being a particularily bad decision) and still exercise some moral authority (declaring drug use wrong).

To say that a non-perfect person cannot exercise moral judgment at some level, is quite frankly ridiculous. I've made plenty of mistakes (adultery and steriods are not some of those mistakes, thank G-d) and I plan to continue to exercise judgment between right and wrong, whether I am exercising judgment on my own behavior, my children's behavior, or even a public figure's behavior.

11:19 PM, June 03, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

I would argue, Sephardilady, that there is a difference between a person that has made moral mistakes on a level that you have, and someone that has committed adultery.

Keep in mind, Barry Bonds' use of steroids is not as cut and dry as the statement "drugs are bad". Would marijuana smoking be "bad" if it was non-prohibited according to American law? Many would say not. There was no rule in baseball prohibiting steroids. Therefore, it cannot be comparable to the statement, "drugs are bad".

To say that "drugs are bad" takes little, if any, moral judgement. It would only be confirming a klal that has been generally accepted in the American public. To weigh both sides of an argument which is not so cut and dry requires much more moral judgment, something, I would argue, that those who have committed adultery aren't the best at.

11:37 PM, June 03, 2006

Blogger aishel said...

The problem is that you're equating cheating on your wife with taking steroids. I would agree that the 1/3-1/5 of those people would not be able to judge someone else who cheated on their wives, but to say that just because they cheated on their wives means that they can't judge someone who took steroids doesn't seem right. Now, if there are those who take steroids themselves, and then they judge Bonds, I agree with you, that shouldn't be taken into account.

2:48 PM, June 04, 2006

Anonymous Greg said...

Pirkei Avos says you can't judge someone until you stand in their place.

Now at the risk of being unpopular, this reporter places the blame for all of this squarely on you, the viewers!

6:58 PM, June 04, 2006


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