Friday, December 14, 2007
RT Staff Note: We altered this post for release to the press and it was published in over a dozen newspapers and web sites in the U.S. Here's the version we released to the national press:
America, it’s time to wake up! There is a distinct difference between Ambition and Greed. Really…Daniel Webster said so. Ambition is everything that good parents of baseball players, their high school coaches, and summer programs try to preach to our kids. Webster defines it as: a desire to achieve a particular end…a desire for activity or exertion. That means that ambitious people have a plan and exert themselves through a disciplined work ethic to get there.
Greed is something altogether different…defined as: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed. The key words in the definition of Greed are: "more of something than is needed". The desire to achieve that "something more" is so distorted, that there are people that will pull strings, bend rules and yes, even cheat to get it. And, we never seem to learn the consequences that result from our greed. Have we forgotten the pain inflicted from the Enron debacle and dot-com insanity earlier this decade? Are we aware that this same greed has fueled today’s mortgage crisis and fuel prices? We seem to have these demons that draw us to more than is needed. Likewise, in our baseball world, Barry and the Rocket already had the HOF locked up prior to the year 2000….They didn’t need to feed the greed. Now they must face the consequences.
Are we really that clueless to the differences between Ambition and Greed? Do we understand the anguish and hurt our ignorance can inflict? Has the Fox Network dumbed some of us down so much that we can’t even differentiate good from evil anymore. Are we really dumber than a fifth grader? Isn’t it time to learn from our repeated mistakes and just face the truth?
The problem with todays celebrities and athletes is that everyone seems to take the Nixonesque "I Am Not A Crook" approach to their social responsibilities. If the athletes in question did steroids or HGH, then they need to say they did it, say they are sorry, and then, set up youth programs and foundations with the millions they made from their suped up bodies and educate America's youth that it's wrong to cheat, lie and take shortcuts. There have been other athletes, but Magic Johnson comes immediately to mind as a prime example of what to do when confronted with a social issue. He didn't hide. He initiated a foundation. According to his web site...
"The mission of the Foundation is to identify and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health, and social needs of children, young adults and inner-city communities throughout the nation. MJF also donates needed funds to organizations that provide HIV/AIDS prevention and health care education to the minority community."
Some media outlets have asked the athletes to step down or for baseball to ban them from future HOF consideration. However, rather than stepping down, the best way to make an impact for the future of the game is to have the athletes step up! The higher road for the "accused" athletes to take is telling the TRUTH and use their celebrity to stop this runaway train of performance enhancing drug use. Denying it is almost like endorsing it, by teaching kids that hiding will make all their troubles go away. And, in our rapidly decreasing, sound bite induced attention spans, maybe that's true...but it certainly is not RIGHT!!!