Athletes pressured into taking steroids

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    Major League Baseball fans need to calm down and take a step back from the absolute media frenzy surrounding the steroid scandals.

    It was difficult to accept that Alex Rodriguez was using steroids when he was the overpaid star of my beloved Texas Rangers. How could this man whom millions of fans adore and admire take performance-enhancing drugs? Perhaps a better question is how could he not.

    Every athlete is looking for an edge on the competition, or at least a level playing field. Is it really cheating when so many in the game, including many of your opponents, are doing it?

    Steroids and performance-enhancing drugs did not give A-Rod his talent. It doesn’t allow a player to connect the bat to the ball or throw the correct pitch. He may get some extra feet on a home run, but with players like A-Rod and Barry Bonds, do they really need those extra feet?

    These athletes were hammering long balls well before and after their admitted drug use.

    Part of me wants to feel betrayed like the majority of people who care about these things do. But how can we turn on a player for using them when it was culturally acceptable and the player is ultimately trying to provide better entertainment for a billion-dollar industry?

    Baseball fans want to be entertained: the long ball, perfect games, web gem plays and the occasional bench-clearing brawl.

    Obviously, steroids are dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed, but we are just going to have to get over these past indiscretions and look to the future.

    Most of us know nothing about the pressure these players are under with million-dollar contracts and constant pressure from the media and fans requiring them to be a role model when all they want to do is play ball.

    It’s time to put this era behind us and give ourselves time to prepare for the next big “scandal” that will be blown way out of proportion by the media and government.