by user ASwaff
Is anyone else tired of athletes trying to make themselves into a group of martyrs? I certainly am. The latest episode of self-victimization comes from none other than Barry Bonds. Yes, the man who just last season blamed the media for his injuries and accused them of delighting in his agony, is at it again.
ESPN.com is reporting that Bonds says his life is "in shambles," and that he is "just trying to stay sane." He then followed it with a dark comment that ESPN.com said was clearly a joke: "Go to the Empire State Building and jump off, commit suicide and people can say, 'Barry Bonds is finally dead.'"
I understand the man has been through a lot. He's had to face more than perhaps any other pro athlete is recent history, and more than he deserves. But, here's the problem: he goes out and says stuff like this, and then wonders why he's vilified in the press.
If you're going to act like a jerk, act like a jerk. But, you can't treat everyone around you like dirt and expect them to treat you kindly in return. You just can't have it both ways. It doesn't work that way for me, and it certainly doesn't work that way for you, Barry.
Barry Bonds has faced a lot of accusations, perhaps some unfairly staked. But, if he wants to address those accusations, he should do what everyone else does and address them. He's been accused of doing steroids, and instead of directly answering the questions, he comes out with a weak statement that sounds a lot like "I might have done steroids, but I certainly had no idea I was using them." Was the media being biased when they didn't buy that garbage from Rafael Palmeiro? No, they were being appropriately skeptical. Bonds shouldn't be stunned when the reporters are that consistent.
I've always been the first to say that celebrities, including athletes, face an unfair amount of public scrutiny. I'll never understand what it is that makes people think that we have an inherent right to know everything about a famous person's personal life. But, they do all face scrutiny. Many of them deal with it, and deal with it well. The only ones that truly struggle are the ones like Bonds, that refuse to deal with it and instead opt to make themselves victims.
Barry has brought a lot of this upon himself. Nobody, baseball players included, should treat others like dirt and expect to be praised in return. Life doesn't work that way, and neither does the media. Sooner or later, the self-martyred athletes will have to come to terms with the fact that they are not particularly persecuted by the media. The media persecutes consistently and without particular bias.
If Barry can ever come to grips with that, he might just find it a little easier to stay sane.
Mon 03/27/06, 11:50 pm EST