Lesson Not Learned

Published: Apr 01, 2014 00:54am EDT
By shaunmerritt, Entertainment/Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 01, 2014 @ 12:54am EDT


"Our fans see that athletes are not perfect. Athletes are human beings. Human beings make mistakes," Brewers president Rick Schlesinger told USA TODAY Sports and he's right. We all make mistakes, but what Ryan Braun did was more than just a simple lack of judgment. He cheated, got caught, lied about it, ruined innocent people's careers, got away with it, got caught again, and only then paid the price. If the way fans treated him on his return to field tells us anything, its that his lesson was not learned. 

After being suspended for the final 65 games of 2013 for his role in baseball's Biogenesis doping scandal, Braun was given a thunderous standing ovation. You will have to forgive my choice of words and decorum here but I really have to ask... WTF were they thinking? 

For all we like to preach about forgiveness, we never forget in sports, especially in baseball. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Ask anyone from Barry Bonds to Roger Clemens if anyone has forgotten about their "mistakes" and see how their PED use has kept them out of the HOF. This is what makes the situation in Milwaukee so puzzling. What has Braun done to win back fans so quickly? Why did they forget that just a short while ago, he denied using PEDs and tossed an innocent sample collector under the bus?

“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say, ‘I did it.’” Braun said. “… I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.” See, he lied right to our faces. Not since Rafael Palmeriro has a player made such a decisive statement only to be caught red handed a short while later. Once MLB had hard evidence against him, he began singing a different tune. 

MLB has shown us these last few years that it's current PED use deterrents are not working. Players who get caught are still getting fat new contracts and now, standing ovations upon their return from suspension. It really begs the question.. what incentive does a player have to stay clean? Are we saying "to the cheater goes the spoils?" How we can as a fan base trash and cry foul over players like Bonds and Clemens, but then turn around and praise players like Braun? 

No matter your opinion of Ryan Braun, one thing is for certain... this was a sad day for MLB and its fans. After all the outcry over the purity of the game and how PEDs are ruining America's pastime... this is how we hold the line. How can we expect MLB to clean up its act when we won't even hold them to task? If there is one thing that this standing ovation has taught us its that MLB's biggest problem might not be PEDs... it might be the fans. After the game, Braun told reporters, "It was special. It was an emotional moment for me." Well I'm sure glad you learned your lesson Braun because obviously the fans still have a lot to learn. 


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