The Vilification of Steroids in Sports: Baseball vs Football


In Greg Downey’s article, he discussed the history of the “Roid Age” as well as giving a brief history of doping. In an era of professional athletes making millions of dollars and being viewed as hero’s, it is obvious that they are striving for every possible advantage. Even with all the so many resources being put into professional sports, it is often a struggle to find out who is performing under “normal” body conditions and who is not.

Even people who are not sports fans cannot escape the drama of accusations and trials of athletes as it is displayed in the media very often, most often with baseball players. Why is it that when baseball players are accused of doping it is national news but when football players are caught it is back page news, often times not even heard about by avid sports fans like myself.

Dayn Perry argues that is it the nature of the sports that make this happen. In America baseball has a nostalgic,magical feeling with so much history linked to the legends of Babe Ruth and others, after all, it is our national pastime, right? Aside from the athleticism and sportsmanship in football, there is no denying that it is entertainment through violence with a “gladiatorial nature”. We like to see players make powerful violent hits. Also, football is much less of an individual sport.

Baseball is much more focused on the individual; one hitter, one pitcher, with so much weight given to individual record and accomplishments. When Barry Bonds, the poster boy of steroids breaks the all-time home run records of the legends like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, people care. It has even led to investigations by the United States government.

This hatred for steroids in baseball is clearly driven by our societies media attention to it, as well as the perception of baseball as a “pure sport”.