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Sunday, August 26, 2007

SOUND OFF: FOUL ON BONDS

San Francisco Giants baseball player, Barry Bonds, hit his 756th career home run on August 7th, breaking Hank Aaron's long-held record. While the crowd cheered his achievement, the question of Bonds' alleged use of steroids to enhance his performance still looms large.

But Bonds has not yet been found guilty of any crime. Do you think it was wrong of Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig not to attend the game where Bonds broke the record? Is it OK for sportswriters who vote retired players into the Hall of Fame to pass judgment on Bonds before allegations about his steroid use are proven? If given the chance, would you vote to keep Bonds out of the Hall of Fame based on the allegations of steroid use surrounding him?

If you would, tell me why. Post your thoughts here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below. Please include your name, hometown, and state, province, or country. Readers' comments may appear in an upcoming column. Or e-mail your comments to me at rightthing@nytimes.com.

[To read reader responses to a similar question I asked about Barry Bonds' grand jury testimony on steroid use three years ago after he'd hit his 703rd home run, check out - What do you think of the Barry Bonds steroid scandal? Make sure to scroll down on the page.]

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2007 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As compelling as the allegations may be, it has not yet been determined that Bonds is guilty of steroid use; however, it is equally disturbing that Bonds has not consented to testing, which could confirm or deny these allegations.

"Innocent until proven guilty," the law says. And, until the matter is resolved, via testing, it appears that Bonds is the victim of allegations and not a criminal. If I were him, I would consent to testing in order to dispel suspicions and rumors as such.

Granted Barry Bonds' arrogance and behavior does little to substantiate his defense, regarding steroid use, and no matter how much we may hate him as such, "innocent until proven guilty" is the rule. Therefore, until a conviction arises, it appears that he remains a valid baseball player entitled to the rights and privileges associated with his 756th home run milestone.

Bud Selig is entitled to his opinions, as we are, and his refusal to attend the event, for whatever reasons, is his right to do so. If he is making a statement, so be it. Bonds should consent to testing in order to confirm or refute these allegations and allow the season to advance without ongoing speculation associated with alleged steroid usage. Sportswriters are entitled to their opinions; however, "guilt or innocence" is determined in court and not the media.

Personally, I think that Bonds should consent to testing, which is the main issue here. Innocent individuals generally consent to testing in order to prove their innocence. Until he does so, the media will continue referencing the issue.

Patrick Bouvier Fitzgerald Burris
Charlotte, NC