It Is Difficult for Athletes to Be Role Models
Gary Sailes argues that athletes belong to one of the toughest professions in the marketplace, as they are role models regardless of whether they want it or not. The article starts with controversial assertions made by NBA player, Charles Barkley, who asserted, in one advert, that he was not a role model but a basketball player. Other participants in studies that the author conducted disagree with Barkley because they believe that people look up to sporting professionals. However, studies indicate that criminal behavior among athletes is representative of criminal tendencies in society. Athletes are not any different from ordinary citizens; they just face greater scrutiny when they engage in mischief. Furthermore, sometimes media representatives and opportunists incite them into trouble.
The cult of the body is beautiful
Helen Jubran writes about the double standards that the media industry applies when portraying male and female athletes. She explains that women are underrepresented in the media regardless of their 40% contribution to the sporting world. Most magazines define female sportswomen on the basis of their looks. Their images are often over-sexualized and objectified. When asked why they play along, some female athletes claim that it is the only way they can get publicity for themselves or their sport. Once the public associates an athlete’s name with that stereotypical, sexual image, then company endorsements and marketing opportunities will follow. On the flip side, some athletes regret posing for such magazines because it cheapens them and makes the public disregard the efforts they put into their sport.
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, 1926¨C2012: A Legend with a Tragic Final Chapter
Sean Gregory reflects upon the life and times of influential football coach Joe Paterno, who died in 2012 from lung cancer. The author explains that Paterno was one of the most accomplished football coaches in the sport. He trained Pennsylvania University football teams for 42 years and won 409 games. The school erected a bronze statue of the coach and Paterno also received several medals and trophies for his work. Nonetheless, his career ended tragically after he was convicted of failing to report his long-term assistant’s sexual abuse behavior to the authorities. Paterno’s life could have been immortalized had it not been for this incident.
After 25 years, ESPN still channels how to view sports
Rudy Martzke and Reid Chern analyze the impact of media giant ESPN on sports viewing in the US. The company dominates sports broadcasting in the country since approximately 82% of American households watch it. ESPN redefined sports news by airing it 24 hours a day and adding a dose of humor to its sports analyses. Before the company’s launch, sports news was a 5-10 minute stint on local news. Now, fans can get information about all the games they love from the network. However, some critics assert that this constant availability has watered-down the anticipation behind many weekend sports games. Since ESPN often dwells on highlights, it has caused many fans to lose interest in full, ninety-minute games. Nonetheless, the network has supported college football and women sports.
The article focuses on the effects of steroids on athletes. Steroids are chemically-derived from the male hormone, testosterone, and they lead to muscle increase and strength. Users may be male or female, athletic or nonathletic, or in blue-collar or white color jobs. Even adolescents consume the drug despite its propensity to cause stunted growth amongst them. Other unwanted effects in men include the development of feminine traits like breasts, excessive weight gain, and impotence. Women may experience facial hair growth, disrupted menstrual cycles, and other masculine traits. When taken excessively, they cause addiction, heart attacks, weakened tendons, bouts of depression and rage, clotting disorders, and liver damage.
Steroids in Sports: Bring ’em On!
Author, Nelson Montana, believes that banning steroids would be unnecessary and misguided. He claims that the war-on-drugs launched years ago yielded no results because drug-taking is a victimless crime. The author reveals that no single athlete has ever died from steroids. Furthermore, their use only enhances strength; not athletic ability. Montana affirms that, on the matter of steroid use, the media is playing double standards on athletes because even caffeine can change a person’s traits. He argues that athletes should have the right to decide whether they want to ruin their health or not. It is idealistic to expect sportsmen to refrain from steroids; instead, authorities should be controlling their effects through legalization.
Application and Analysis: Steroids and HGH in Sports
The participants of “Inside the NFL” largely believe that steroid use should not be permitted in sports. They stress that it is illegal and wrong, so sportsmen should refrain from it. Furthermore, it is tantamount to cheating because users get an edge over other participants. Steroids change people’s moods and could cause physical injury to others. Users could take jobs from non-drug users because their counterparts have an unfair advantage from the drugs. However, one of the participants of the show believes that it is unfair to penalize hall-of-Famers now because they used steroids when the substances were not illegal. He explains that great players would remain great either way. If sports authorities want to penalize athletes for drug use, then they should punish all players, including those who did not make it into the hall of fame. This latter category of players still reaped the rewards of enhanced performance by hitting more home runs or getting bigger salaries. Another speaker says that the numbers reported in the media are exaggerated and that the problem is not as serious as they are making it seem. Charles Barkley also explains that if a lot of rewards were on the line for professional players, then they would be tempted to use steroids. Furthermore, steroids only accentuate natural abilities; they do not turn talentless people into professional athletes. Nonetheless, one of the participants still believes that it is a slippery slope since high school students would be tempted to use steroids in order to get to college, yet the drug is detrimental to adolescents.
The participants of the show have succeeded in bringing out the complexities of steroid use. They have illustrated that steroid use is not a miracle-working drug that will turn users into super athletes. As Nelson Montana explains in his article “Steroids in Sports: Bring ‘em on”, steroids do not improve athletic ability; they simply give athletes extra strength to turn fly balls into home runs. Legalizing steroid use would level the playing field and eliminate all the pretentiousness in the sporting world. Therein lies the contradiction in Montana’s argument. If steroid use can give an athlete an added advantage, such as hitting a home run, then this would be tantamount to an unfair advantage. One of the speakers in the YouTube video believes that steroid use is cheating because instead of playing against a real athlete, an opponent would be playing against the athlete and his unnatural attributes. If steroid use was legalized, the action would still not level the playing field because not all athletes would want to use the drug. This means that different categories of athletes would be competing in the same game. Unless sporting authorities made it mandatory to use steroids after legalizing it, then athletes with natural and unnatural abilities would be playing together. It is unlikely that authorities would do such a thing because the public frowns upon synthetically-altered talent. Even if mandatory steroid use was required, athletes have different reactions to them, so it is unlikely that they would be engaging in fair competition.
In their article “Anabolic steroid use”, ESPN explains that steroids have adverse health complications. Supporters of steroid use, such as Nelson Montana, argue that these health complications only affect the user, so he or she should be allowed to make his own decisions. This argument lacks merit when one considers the pressure other players will be under when their teammates or competitors will be using. Once authorities lift the ban, many more athletes will be forced to take the drugs and thus harm themselves. The sporting fraternity will become a big health risk for participants. Besides, sports authorities must protect the integrity of sports regardless of how rampant use has become. Sporting activities are supposed to be about honing people’s God-given talent. Legalizing steroid use would reduce sporting champions to persons with the strictest steroid regimen.