When it comes to an NFL athlete's health and safety the athletes should call the shots. They have a higher vested interest than anyone else. They have worked hard to get where they are. While agents, promoters and governing bodies have a financial interest in the athlete they are not as concerned for their health and well being as the athlete. However, the players are not able to call their own shots. They have to be baby sat like little school children. The Governing body has had to set rules. The Federal government had to set “sentencing enhancements…The U.S. Sentencing Commission has …’emergency’ amendments” (U.S. Anabolic Steroid Punishments Increased) that had to be added to the federal anabolic steroid sentencing guidelines. On the other hand, if more players would take the stance of veteran Eddie Robinson who played 11 seasons in the NFL as a Linebacker then I would agree players could call their own shots. Prisco quoted Eddie as saying "I think guys look for something that can get them over the hump…You see it. But ultimately, you have to get your mind prepared and ready to play naturally." That’s a great idea. Play the game naturally the way the sport was meant to be played.
August 14, 2001 the NFL and its players union performed a great task. As reported by the AP News, they fulfilled their ethical duty and agreed to prohibit players from making endorsements of dietary supplements. While this is great step in the right direction it is far too little. This is simply not going far enough. The stage needs to be set so that the players will be responsible for their self and not wait for the rules and policy makers to set parameters for them.
It appears the punishments don’t fit the crimes. Roberts from the New York Times states the punishments “are not based on the legal system, but on a morality code for elite athletes who are idolized by malleable youth.” Prisco in his article “Supplements: Deadly danger in NFL locker rooms”, quotes Josh Evans of the New York Jets, a player who is known for many drug violations and suspensions as saying “it's a tough sport everybody takes something to keep up the stamina.” In the twisted logic of the athletic arena of reason it seems this means its ok. It’s obvious these athletes work hard to achieve their level of play. Not everybody makes it to this level. However, if it’s not done naturally its just not the real deal. Taking performance enhancing drugs tilts the axis of the sports world and it seems for the most part to be tolerated, as long as you get away with it. So if the player can circumvent the rules long enough he can hopefully build his reputation and pad his pocket book and play as long as he can. "Everyone wants that edge. The majority of the players who need that edge to stay in the league will do it,” former Miami Dolphins Zach Thomas was quoted as saying by Prisco. Players will go to great extents to gain and keep their edge if they feel they need to.
Ian Gerard in his article...