Today we step away from main stream sports to take a brief look at the world of competitive BodyBuilding. We turn our eyes toward "the King", as MuscleMag International refers to him as. Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He is a 7 time Mr. Olympia, 6 of which were consecutive. Say anything you want, you don't mess those guys. They may not be able to scratch their backs but they are huge. Artificially so!
He admitted using steroids, "while they were legal". Ah yes, it wasn't cheating because everyone was doing it. Where have we heard that before? Oh yes, that is Baseball's excuse.
Well he shows us that steroids have been around for a long time, this is not at all a new problem. He also shows how much, in the right context, Americans are willing to tolerate. He gets away with it because he "stopped", he was "honest" about his use, and it was culturally acceptable in his sport, so he was not ever counted as a "cheater". When he was making his name in movies during the 80's, people knew of steroids and we did not really think too much of it. We thought it was something done only by those people who had a reason to do it, so he got a free pass. He even appeared in an anti-drug music video, sponsored by President Ronald Regan called Stop the Madness.
It was just understood that he was on steroids. So he, I feel, more than anyone shows us how mainstream steroids are. This is not a case of forgiving and forgetting something that occurred over 20 years ago, this is a tacit acceptance of steroid use by a major political figure in America.
Again we have to point to the hypocrisy of our reactions to steroid use. Poor Barry Bonds has suffered everything short of pitchforks and torches and he can't get a contract to save his life. Yet Arnold is a popular governor and is a major force in the American political landscape. So you can run for office with a steroid track record but you can't ever get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Canton Ohio, yes
Olympic gold medal, no
Mr. Olympia, yes
Yellow Jersey, no
The lines are clear but I can't figure out how they were drawn.
So, a big thanks to The Governator. You are clearing a path for all those kids in high school who use steroids. Thanks to you they all know that they have a future in politics. Well done sir.