Steroids In Sports, Congress Fails Again

Posted: August 28, 2010 in Baseball, Other
Tags: , , ,

Look I get it.  I get that Roger may have lied under oath and I get that baseball has an antitrust exemption granted by baseball, I get all that and therefore I understand why Congress might have an interest with steroids and baseball, I get all that.  But just because they CAN have an interest in something, should they?  Better yet, isn’t there another organization where steroids and drugs are a much bigger deal?  Zero baseball players have died from any steroids related illness but what if I told you since 2000 that 15 people have died from a steroid or drug related illness?  Doesn’t that seem more severe?  It does to me.  Well it’s no joke, it exists and it’s called pro wrestling.

I should point out that 3 of the 15 are Chris and Nancy Benoit and their son.  Nancy and her son were murdered and Chris committed suicide because it was believed his brain was so badly beaten up he had a severe case of dementia.  But for what it’s worth Benoit was linked with illegal steroids, having received some just days before his death.  It’s also worth mentioning all of the 15 people were under the age of 50 when they died.

Now look, I understand that it’s ultimately the person taking the steroids or drugs who is ultimately responsible for their own deaths but why is WWE totally getting off the hook?  Baseball and baseball players are getting hammered in the media and in Congress.  Is it because wrestling is “fake” and it’s just part of the business?  I don’t buy that, that’s still 15 dead people that didn’t have to be.  I mean you look at how baseball is getting attacked by Congress and you see that they have zero deaths under their watch, imagine if they had 15!  I would venture to say that MLB would have a LOT of explaining to do, so much so that there could be talks of shutting it down.  Seriously.  If 15 ball players died of steroids, hell make it 10 players, died of steroids in the past 10 years you’re gonna tell me Congress wouldn’t be taking MAJOR steps to fixing this even going as far as saying “Clean up your act of we’re shutting you down.”

So my question is why is WWE not getting any heat on them?  15 People dead, and no the numbers were not cherry picked all of those people worked for WWE at one point (minus Benoit’s wife and son).  The one positive from the Benoit tragedy was that it at least gave this problem some national publicity.  Fox News, CNN and so on all covered the story, but only for a few days, after all it’s wrestling so who cares right?  But the brief public outcry did result in WWE issuing a “wellness policy” where, get this, guys who failed drug tests were actually punished!  What a novel idea right?  You’re not 10 years too late or anything but I digress, better late then never I suppose.

But how’s that working out?

“The New York Daily News, ESPN and Sports Illustrated reported the following names respectively:

Randy Orton, Charlie Haas, Adam Copeland (Edge), Robert Huffman (King Booker), Shane Helms, Mike Bucci (the now retired Simon Dean, who was not on the active roster and worked in talent development), Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella), John Hennigan (ECW Champion John Morrison), Darren Matthews (William Regal), Ken Anderson (Kennedy), Chavo Guerrero, Shoichi Funaki, Dave Bautista (Batista), Chris Mordetsky (Masters) and Eddie Fatu (Umaga). All of which are or have been major stars in the WWE during the last few years.

Randy Orton did not suffer a suspension and it is generally thought that because he was on his last chance he may have been punished before it was agreed to suspend all the other wrestlers. Thus he was not suspended with everyone else. Others see this as WWE covering up for one of its top stars. We will probably never know.”  Taken from WrestlingTruth.Com

Out of those names: Orton, Copeland, Carelli, Hennigan, Matthews, Guerrero and Mordetsky all currently work for WWE.  Bautista and Huffman recently retired (although Huffman requested to be released from WWE, wrestled for a bit then retired) and Fatu is dead.  Haas, Helms, Anderson, and Funaki were all fired for other reasons, mostly budget cuts.  Another big star was suspended by WWE and that being Rey Mysterio.  He said the drugs were prescribed to him but he couldn’t produce the prescription in the allotted time before his suspension so believe what you want.

Is this wellness policy enough?  I suppose it is for now as long as WWE doesn’t decide to suspend the big stars and fire the minor guys just to say “See we’re firing people.”  But the point is, why do they not have to pay for their crimes?  They allowed this culture of steroids, drugs and painkillers to fester and grow and did nothing to stop it.  Many even say that WWE indirectly encouraged using steroids by really pushing the bigger guys.  But don’t take it from me, here’s former wrestler Chris Nowski on the subject:

You’ll also notice Linda basically answering my question as to why WWE shouldn’t be responsible for their employees dieing.  The problem with her explanation is Heath Ledger is an actor.  I’m not for sure but I doubt he has to take drug tests for a movie.  Ledger is also only responsible to a studio for a short time.  Once he’s done filming a movie he moves onto the next one, it’s a totally different situation.  Besides, Heath is one guy.  While it’s true drugs are rampant in Hollywood what is a movie studio supposed to do about it?  If you can’t see the difference between the relationship of an actor and a movie studio and a wrestler and the company he works for then maybe you shouldn’t be running for office Linda.

So what’s it going to take for Congress to realize they’re attacking the wrong company?  Ideally I wish they’d focus on jobs and the economy but if they have to tackle drugs in sports than attack WWE.  Sure they claim to be clean now with the wellness policy but so does baseball and Congress continues to go after them.  You’re telling me nobody is going to be held responsible for these 15 deaths?  Seems like it’s going to be that way.  I think the big outcry against WWE was the Benoit situation and now it’s over.  I mean Linda McMahon is running for Senate and all her competitors can focus on is that WWE has shown women being humiliated and necrophilia.  Who cares, that’s just stupid TV, it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Maybe if a documentary was released?  It worked for fatty foods when Super Size Me came out and for going green when Inconvenient Truth came out.  Maybe a movie would shed some light on the problem and people might say “Oh, you know what?  It IS BS that WWE is getting off so easily and baseball isn’t when one has 15 deaths and the other has 0.”  Whatever happens (probably nothing) I just hope that this blog can at least make 1 more person aware of this than before I wrote it, if that happens than mission accomplished.

  1. Love the theme. Great stuff man. Can’t wait to read more!

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