Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Steroids and Professional Sports

As you may already know, I am a HUGE sports fan. Mainly I am a college sports fan, but I do love sports in general. However, my dislike for professional sports keeps growing and growing based on the reports of steroid use. So someone gets paid millions and millions of dollars to cheat? MLB's home run record holder has been accused of taking 'roids. Now, all kind of professional athletes have been accused of taking steroids. I bet there will be some of these professional athletes that make it into their prospective hall of fame's, but MLB's all time hits leader Pete Rose, will not be allowed into the baseball hall of fame, because he bet on baseball. If I remember correctly, he didn't even bet on his own team. Kind of strange isn't it? You may be asking yourself what this has to do with PR. Well, I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with PR. What if everything you believed was one big lie? You watch pro sports because you are amazed at what the athletes can do. They can jump 5 feet high to catch a ball, they can run over 3 defenders, they can run the length of the field in 12 seconds...you want to be mesmerized by them. Now what if I told you that they were not truly human like the rest of us, that they were taking drugs that make them more than human, have more advantages than the normal person. You would feel betrayed, just like I would. How would you react to that? That is the problem that the pro sports world is looking at. The more these athletes are found guilty of steroid use (or accused of it), the more I see pro sports taking a hit. People will become angry that a cheater is getting paid millions. The only way to alleviate this problem is for the professional sports administrators take charge of the situation and eliminate illegal substance abuse. I suppose almost like a "witch hunt." I believe the MLB is somewhat already doing this, but it needs to be shown that they are NOT taking it lightly. I believe that is the only way to secure the history of professional sports. Tell me what you think. Until next time...


Evi said...

Hi John!

It seems that we have many things in common! I am also a PR student, obsessed with sports and fed up with all these athletes that use drugs in order to succeed.

You may remember, the incident when 2 of the best Greek runners (I’m Greek!), Kenteris and Thanou, a day before the beginning of the Olympic Games in Athens, didn't appear in order to be subjected to anti-drug tests, from WADA. That was a great stroke to their fans and a great wound to their image, as well as the Games' image.

I would like to agree with you that many of the "fantastic" things we see every day in the world of sports are result of good Public Relations. Or maybe Marketing has done more in that field, creating icons, and helping a lot to the commercialization of the sports.

But I don't think we should flatten everything. You can't reject the fact that some people are indeed charismatic. Good PR helps their popularity to grow, but still even the best PR wouldn't be able alone to create a myth.

I agree (as I am now preparing an assignment about sports celebrities) that some people have gained great attention because they had good PR practitioners to guide them. And I don't find anything immoral to that.

What I agree that is immoral, is to cheat everyone, win medals and become a hero, having taken drugs. But PR has nothing to do with that. Everyone that chooses that way in order to make a name for himself does, actually, bad PR for himself. Once stigmatized, always stigmatized.

Building reputation and gaining public's trust and support, is not easy. Public Relations have, indeed, a lot to give to sports. It's up to the practitioner's conscience, if they will ever support such tactics. But we can’t condemn Public Relations for creating a fake sports world.


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