Indicted slugger Barry Bonds has a choice to make.
He can continue along the low road, or move up to the high road.
The low road is the path blazed by our disgraced former president, Bill Clinton. Nobody ever accused
After the infamous stained blue dress proved beyond doubt that
Now Barry Bonds has been indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a grand jury. Bonds has denied for years, even under oath, that he used steroids, or at least used them “knowingly.” Unfortunately for Bonds, he has been confronted by the equivalent of the blue dress: federal officials have leaked that Bonds failed a steroid test.
The high road is the path taken by another famous athlete embroiled in the BALCO steroids scandal, disgraced Olympic champion Marion Jones. The track star won five medals at the 2000
At her press conference, Jones tearfully acknowledged, “I am responsible fully for my actions. I have no one to blame but myself for what I have done.” Jones specifically apologized to “my young supporters,” and asked for forgiveness from family, friends, fans and God. Jones retired from track and field, surrendered her Olympic medals, and faces a six-month jail sentence.
Bonds can't do as much damage to the nation as Bill Clinton did, but he has broken many more American hearts than Marion Jones. Asked to comment on the Bonds indictment, Fox Sports baseball announcer Joe Buck reportedly said,” I think fans have accepted by now that they have to be skeptical, at the very least, of any star that they're rooting for.” Former pitcher Ken Sanders is a master of understatement: “Unfortunately, this hurts the game.” And it hurts a lot of young fans.
If he follows Jones onto the high road, Barry Bonds can still redeem himself. By admitting guilt and paying the consequences, Bonds could regain the respect of his fans and the nation. Perhaps, after he pays the piper, Bonds could reach out to kids across the nation, visiting schools to warn about the dangers of steroids, and of perjury.
Does Barry Bonds have the courage of Marion Jones? We'll find out soon enough.