Skip to comments.Jesse blasts Bonds critics (JESSE JAGMO RIDES TO BARRY'S RESCUES)
Posted on 07/17/2007 4:51:06 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
BROKEN RECORD? | 'He's been condemned without a trial,' civil rights leader says
So what if Barry Bonds is the poster child for the Steroids Era? Should it be a wanted poster?
And even if his pursuit of the most cherished record in American sports is the culmination of the two-decade period of unparalleled power in the game, what about the hundreds of players who actually tested positive for performance enhancers in the 4½ years big-league baseball had a testing program?
And what about cheating by stealing signs, or throwing spitballs or using corked bats? And what about all the pre-1947 performances in major league baseball, when only whites were allowed to play?
Those are the questions the Rev. Jesse Jackson asked again Monday just before Bonds' San Francisco Giants opened a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
''Even with the grand jury [testimony], he's not been indicted nor convicted,'' Jackson said in reference to Bonds' leaked grand jury testimony in which he said he unknowingly used at least two forms of steroids in the early part of the decade. ''So what do you make of that? It's subject to interpretation.''
And part of Jackson's interpretation of the outrage and fury surrounding Bonds' allegedly performance-enhanced production seems to be that hypocrisy has overtaken fair-minded thinking in relation to Bonds -- at the end of an era in baseball many already claim was full of hypocrisy.
Jackson said commissioner Bud Selig should be there when Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record of 755 career home runs instead of essentially allowing baseball to turn its back on Bonds after celebrating the wealth of home runs hit by sluggers throughout the past decade.
''When the commissioner of baseball, by inference, suggests you're guilty, by 'I will not be a part of the triumph,' that leaves Barry out in the cold, without the infrastructure of baseball,'' said Jackson, who has known Bonds for years and met with him before Monday's game. ''That's a very heavy blow by inference.''
And whether Bonds' personality, his race, his grand jury testimony or any combination creates it, singling him out as pariah at this time is hypocritical of the establishment at large, Jackson said.
''[The newspapers] are here, the networks are here, the advertisers are here,'' he said. ''So if you are taking from his very presence, exacting that kind of benefit, seems like you can't have it both ways.''
But what about cheating? What about breaking records set by those who didn't cheat?
Jackson raised the point that Bonds never has been known to test positive for banned supplements under baseball's testing program, but he didn't mention that many players have been associated in recent years with human growth hormone (HGH), for which there is no reliable test and which acts like a steroid.
More than that, Jackson sees an upside-down application of American justice being played out in the court of public opinion.
Would Jackson's opinion and sympathy for Bonds and his records change if it's proven he used banned substances? ''Yeah, but it has not been proven,'' he said. ''He's been condemned without trial. He's guilty until proven innocent, based upon something subjective and subjunctive: 'if.' ''
Maybe that's one of the great piles of debris left in the wake of the Steroids Era: a time in America of generally rising expectations of instant gratification soothed by the instant offense of eye-popping home- run numbers, sliding into a cynical, finger-pointing look at record books now seen as corrupted.
''My question is if 400 guys tested positive, do you put asterisks by all of their names?'' Jackson said. ''Do you put asterisks by [famed spit-baller] Gaylord Perry's name? Do you put asterisks by guys who had the ultimate enhancement [by] denying others a chance to compete [before integration]?
''I don't think so. I don't think you can retroactively judge players. I think you have to make judgments in a reasonable time frame.''
And if that judgment comes now -- before all the facts are in -- is it fair to single out one above the rest of the reputed cheaters?
''This to me has been one of the worst things I've ever seen in sports, how one guy can get so victimized, everybody in the world has turned on him, says bad things,'' former NBA star Charles Barkley said last week on Fox TV. ''First of all, a lot of guys were using that stuff. But they don't get the same treatment that Barry gets.''
Barkley attributes most of that to the fact that ''Barry is not a nice guy'' and attributes about 30 percent to race, he said.
Whatever it is, Jackson said Bonds' critics and those who would focus on the Steroids Era when watching his pursuit of Aaron are missing the point.
''I just hope that people will accept this moment for what it is when it comes, that Barry is one of the most phenomenal hitters the game has ever known,'' Jackson said.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Is Jesse trying to spoil Barry’s big moment by ‘injecting’ himself into this story?
The "victims" of the "unfair" public opinion in that case were white.
The "victim" in this case is black.
I wonder if that had anything to do with his opinion?
I think Brother Jesse should arrange a summit meeting between Barry and Hank to sort this out and determine, once and for all, which one of these guys is King Shit.
Barkley attributes most of that to the fact that ''Barry is not a nice guy''...
Well, exactly - and especially not to the sportswriters who have turned this into a five-act drama as a way of exacting vengeance. But most top athletes aren't nice guys - they got where they are by being hypercompetitive. Nobody who had to play against him considered Michael Jordan a nice guy either, but he was smart enough to smile for the advertisers. ;)
Go write a check to take care of your by blow, Jesse.
Hank Aaron was a real gentleman who earned his record by years in the trenches. Were Bonds white I wonder what Jackson would be saying.
I have no sympathy for Bonds, or anyone of any race caught using steroids. And Jesse Jackson should close his yawp. I get sick and tired of Jackson supposedly being the moral arbiter of all things American. Bonds is a)a cheater and b)a liar. And the people who defend his steroid use but no white man’s are racist.
Quite frankly, Aaron always struck as an ass-wipe as well beginning with a personal experience back in ‘66 or so.
No Jesse, but the Grand Jury is still out on him (literally).
As if Bonds didn’t have enough trouble.