It was January 10th, 2015, and the Bengals and Steelers were facing off in a playoff game in the National Football League. It was 1st & 10, and the Steelers needed a score to secure the victory. Wide Receiver Antonio Brown, the game’s best receiver, gets knocked out on a play by a Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) user, Montez Burfict, resulting in a major concussion to Brown, changing his career forever. Burfict was only suspended 4 games.
We have seen this in sports when steroid users have extreme advantages over players in all sports leagues. The New York Times estimates that about 40% of pro athletes use steroids or PEDs. This is a huge problem in our sports world that needs to change. PEDs aren’t only bad for opposing players, it’s also very dangerous to users as well. According to Mayoclinic.com, some symptoms of PEDs can be joint pain, muscle weakness, fluid retention, diabetes, vision problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, impaired glucose regulation, an enlarged heart, and even death.
In sports, we see other types of cheating. Performance Enhancing Drugs are still an issue in the league, but in this case we see another way of cheating. The 2017 Houston Astros baseball team was caught cheating by setting up cameras in their home stadium, to see what pitch was coming, all throughout the 2017 playoffs. They eventually won the World Series in 7 games versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, but when the media and the league found out that they cheated, they were given lots of hate, but they were not stripped of their World Series trophy, which is a serious problem, because they cheated. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred states in a press conference, “They had an obligation to play by the rules and they didn’t do it,” Manfred said. “I understand when people say the players should have been punished. I understand why people feel that way, because they did not do the right thing.” Manfred fines them for $5 million, and stripps them of some of their draft picks. Manfred has to wake up and really has to punish the Astros for cheating.
Luckily we can work to prevent this. Sports leagues like the MLB and NFL NEED to make constant drug tests, and bigger fines. The NFL has started to create some sort of PED rules after the Antionio Brown incident, but they still are not handling the situation well enough for a national sports league. And for the MLB, they are starting to hear lots of hate and disappointment through its fans and players when handling cheaters. Rob Manfred needs to listen to the people, and create a fair, equal league. Things need to change.
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