Legality of Steroids in Professional Baseball
The steroid epidemic in baseball has been a hot button topic for sports media and the general public alike for many years. With the release of reports and statements from former players, the achievements of some of the sportís most famous players have come into question. Furthermore, professional baseball has decided that steroids, given their primary effect of increasing performance and endurance, have no place in the sport and have therefore been banned. Some support this decision, claiming that the competitive nature of baseball is tainted when some players have an artificial edge. Others disagree, saying that the purpose of professional sports is to entertain, and when athletes perform to the best of their abilities it makes the game more fun to watch. On the other hand, medical researchers have determined that the health risks that ensue from using steroids are numerous and can even be fatal. Despite the entertainment garnered by watching super-humans tee off on live television, steroids should remain banned from professional baseball because of the medical risks, cheating's impact on the integrity of the sport and the likelihood of young, impressionable children picking up the habit.
First off, the medical dangers associated with steroid use have become more clear in the last several years. While before a baseball player may not have thought much of his decision to use drugs, new information has made some question their choice. The realization that steroid use may cause as many problems as it seems to remedy has sent ripples through the institution of sports. On the other hand, some athletes still believe the competitive edge gained is worth every risk. The truth is that along with the power and performance, the true effects of steroids can emerge. The huge muscle mass that is gained may fade and give way to a fatal cancer or a heart attack. These adverse effects can ruin an athlete's career, especially a young, growing star whose body is still developing. Considering all of these factors, steroids should be banned from professional baseball if baseball is concerned at all about the well-being of its players and its own preservation.
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In addition, the achievements of many star players have been disputed given allegations from former teammates that they may have used steroids at one point in their career. A sort of witch-hunt for players who have used performance enhancing drugs has ensued, fueling the release of documents that name names and ruin reputations. However, it's not just the reputations of players that have been tarnished by the steroid scandal; baseball as a whole has taken a hit. Since the early years of the millennium when the scandal was first receiving attention, interest in baseball has slowly declined and some would argue that it is no longer the national past-time of America. With the recent breaking of the single season home run record, one of the most revered accomplishments in baseball, by a player who has been at the center of the controversy, anti-steroid sentiment has never reached a higher point. However, the burden remains on the institution of baseball to take a stand and decide whether or not its image is going to be clean or dirty. The uneven playing field created by steroid users puts them on a whole different level from those that naturally work to get better. The dignity of the game of baseball is at an important point; if it wants to preserve it, then steroids should remain banned outright.
Most importantly, there exists the critical problem of widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by young athletes in every sport. In some circumstances, their use can be inherited from an adult who is either not aware of the dangers surrounding steroids or is more concerned with seeing their child win than be healthy. However, a more indirect source of this perverse inspiration can be found in the men that these boys strive to become. Professional athletes, whether they recognize it or not, are images of worship for millions of young people. Some accept this and become positive role models. Others disregard that and choose to engage in destructive acts that send the wrong message to their fans. When kids see baseball players and other athletes accomplishing amazing feats and overcoming odds with the help of dangerous drugs, they are encouraged to use those drugs themselves. Some may consider the prevention of this to be the parents' responsibility, but not all parents are that knowledgeable or responsible. In addition, consider the natural reaction of a child to distrust their parent and it becomes even more obvious that the same figures that seem to encourage the use of illicit substances for performance enhancement must step forward and speak against those very same substances. Major League Baseball must, in turn, keep steroids banned in baseball and set forth more restrictive measures to prevent their use unless they want the next generation of athletes to be burdened with dangerous and possibly fatal side effects.
Regardless of the distinct appeal of steroids to athletes, they must remain banned because of the dangerous side effects, the impact to the integrity of the sport and the effect on the nationís youth. Sports are not about who is the biggest or strongest, but about things deeper than that. An athlete needs to have strong willpower and courage, as well as the heart and love for the game needed to succeed. Steroids only undermine this by artificially aiding those that feel that they require help. The fact is that if baseball wants to set the right example, preserve the dignity and integrity of the game and keep its' athletes in good health, it's leaders need to step up and face this problem in the eye and ultimately, rid itself of it.
P.S, This is (according to our teacher), not the sort of essay where you need to look up any facts or cite any sources. I do know how to, however ;)