By Daniel Wallace
In the baseball world, the city of San Francisco has been in the news a lot recently. And it’s not because the Giants are the defending World Series champions. No, it is because the all-time home run king woke up Thursday morning as a felon.
Barry Bonds, the former San Francisco Giants outfielder and seven-time MVP, was convicted of obstruction of justice on Wednesday. He was found guilty of misleading and evading a grand jury in a 2003 steroid case.
This is just the beginning of more trials soon to come, and likely more convictions of perjury for Bonds. Other than the fact that he can now add the title of a felon to his already impressive resume, the conviction itself holds little importance. Rather, the significance of the conviction comes in the impact of the case as a whole. The case goes deeper than baseball; it goes deeper than if he knowingly used steroids; it goes deeper than the perjury charges that are also against him.
The significance lies in this—Bond’s actions affect a plethora of people. They affect himself, his teammates and his family.
Most importantly, however, his actions affect the thousands of children across the globe who watch baseball and marvel at their heroes on the diamond. Whether Bonds knowingly used steroids is not the point in this case. That is a discussion for another day. The point is that he clearly cannot be trusted to tell the complete truth.
I think guilty charge of misleading and evading a grand jury backs me up on that statement.
Children look up to professional athletes; boys from state to state want to be just like the grown men they see on television.
The children who watched Barry Bonds play and stood in awe of his performance wanted to be just like him when they grew up.
We now see that this man cannot be trusted and has severely tarnished his legacy in being the face of the steroid era for baseball. Professional athletes ought to be held to a higher standard
because of the innocent children who view them as role models.
We might not ever know if Bonds knowingly used anabolic steroids to enhance his performance on the baseball field. What we will know though is that he has been dishonest and has committed a crime. Call me crazy, but I think this whole mess could have been avoided had the truth been told eight years ago in front of that grand jury.
That is the message that needs to be sent to children around the world — honesty is always the best choice. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt Bonds himself if he heard that message, either.
Ironically, some good might come out of this whole Barry Bonds steroid dilemma.
If anything, Bonds has made it clear on what not to do.
Hopefully, kids have been taking notes on that and they will change their path after seeing the effect Bonds’ decisions have had.
If one kid can make the decision to not use steroids or to fully tell the truth, the Bonds case can be viewed as a success.
Daniel Wallace is sophomore journalism major from Colorado Springs and a sports reporter for the Lariat.