January 2009 Ethics Dunces
Mark McGwire, the former baseball
slugger who was the toast of the sport when he was on the way to breaking
the all-time record for homers in a season, now resides in Baseball Purgatory.
Ever since a combination of published exposés and his shame-faced
refusal to answer questions before the Congressional committee investigating
steroid use in baseball marked him as a steroid-user, McGwire’s reputation
has deteriorated to that of a coward, a phony, and a fraud. With career
accomplishments that would normally provide an automatic ticket to the
Hall of Fame, McGwire has met with rejection each time his name has come
up for a vote. Many predict that his stature will never recover sufficiently
to gain him the honor.
This is tragic, but McGwire brought
it all on himself. He decided to cheat. He gladly played the shining hero
as he broke Roger Maris’s record in 1998, accepted the cheers, and took
the endorsement checks. And when he could have accomplished much good
by admitting everything, giving the details of his steroid use and apologizing
sincerely, he opted for silence and exile.
But now his estranged brother,
a former champion bodybuilder down on his luck, is peddling his own revelations
of his brother’s steroid use — use, Jay McGwire says, inspired by
his success building himself into a trophy-winning 300 pound tower of
illegal muscle. Brother Jay says he has written the book “out of love”
for his brother, who no longer sees, speaks to him, nor, presumably, gives
Right. Jay McGwire is selling out
his brother for cash. This is not a courageous whistleblower alerting
a company to crime in its ranks. This is not a family member doing the
right thing by refusing to help a parent, sibling, or offspring get away
with child abuse, treason, fraud or murder. There is nothing admirable,
selfless or courageous here. Jay McGwire wants money, and he is willing
to embarrass and exploit his brother to get it.
I finally feel sorry for Mark McGwire. His friend and former team mate, Jose Canseco, sold him out for cash with his book, but like the old fable about the frog and the scorpion, McGwire knew what kind of person Canseco was before he shot steroids with him. You are accountable for the friends you keep. But it isn’t your fault that your brother is an Ethics Dunce.Sports & EntertainmentJay McGwire (1/1/2008)