What I hope happens during the Michael Vick case, and impending legal trial he faces for illegal dog fighting (beyond justice being served of course), is that sports fans in America, casual or fanatical, and our government begin to see the distinct delineation between someone like Barry Bonds and Michale Vick.
Both are polarizing figures, both are incredible athletes, both are rich beyond most of our wildest dreams, both are black, one will certainly be indited within the month, and the other may follow close behind. But why, are their actions truly so similar in the legal eye as well?
Bonds for years has been vilified for being a "bad guy" a "bad teammate" a "cheater", none of which I'm telling you isn't true. But, lets take a closer look. Barry is mean to members of the media, often disregards the attention of adoring fans, and is possibly going to break the most cherished record in American sports by virtue of performance enhancing drugs. None of these things I would want on my resume, but they are incidences we can all relate to, perhaps have even been involved with in some way, or are guilty of on some level. Rudeness, treating others with a lack of respect, cheating on loved ones, in school, or at work. All are very common, and are relatively petty bones to pick at.
I hope a minute number of us can relate to the alleged actions of Vick. The disgusting, inhumane, barbaric, nauseating acts Vick is being accused of should help remind us all of the true reason Barry Bonds is national whipping boy; it is a vendetta being carried out by the executive branch of the federal government.
Most of us remember the State of the Union where President Bush made steroids in sports a national issue, and one that required immediate federal attention. This of course makes sense considering at the time we had already found Osama Bin Laden, brought justice and vengeance to the terrorists behind 9-11, rebuilt the middle east in the mold of a true democracy, fixed our nation's widespread voting problems, started a socialized health care system, improved our schools, and found renewable, alternative, and clean forms of energy, just to name a few.
What the Bonds investigation boils down to is that in December of 2003, a man potentially lied in front of a grand jury (again not a resume builder) about what he put in HIS body. The most prolific steroid trafficker and dealer known on the planet, Victor Conte, the Owner of BALCO Labs, has already served his time behind bars for his involvement in the case, a whopping four months. And to further diminish the current largeness of the effect of steroids, countless Major League Baseball Players have fallen off the face of the earth since testing went into place.
What we should expect from our leaders, who also took an oath to tell the truth, is leadership, not finger pointing. Bush, before being Governor of Texas, was the owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and authorized a trade for Jose Canseco. Yes, Canseco who proudly claims to have introduced steroids into baseball.
It is time to put our energy, resources, focus on other matters of national interest. The current grand jury was scheduled to be finished yesterday, July 19, 2007. They should not be retained for another six month period. Instead, let us concentrate on bringing the true "bad guys" to justice.
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