Milwaukee Brewers: Public Perception of Ryan Braun Needs to Change

Michael KimbleContributor IIIFebruary 25, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 13:  Ryan Braun  #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers during Game Four of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 13, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After testing positive for PED's, Ryan Braun's offseason has been difficult to say the least.

He has had to answer questions about his ethics and integrity; and his career, past, present, and future, has come into question.

But after winning his appeal and having his 50-game suspension overturned, all of that should have been over for Braun; his name should have been restored and he should have been able to go back to baseball in 2012 without much outcry over the positive results in December.

However, the media and many in the general public have become outraged over the decision, shocked that a player could "get around the system" and "get off on a technicality." What many don't seem to be considering is the validity of the test, which has been questionable from the start.

Because Braun appealed the process of the sample collection rather than the results themselves, everyone is assuming that since Braun is not appealing the results, he must be guilty.

What Braun appealed should not be the issue; however; it is the job of Braun's lawyers to erase his suspension, so they found an easier way for him to be cleared of the accusation. Finding a loophole and appealing the process is a clever legal strategy, not an admission of guilt.

The reaction from the media and the general public is a perfect illustration of why Braun couldn't dispute the results, because apparently, these steroid tests are so highly regarded that people see them as infallible, and anyone who tests positive is automatically guilty.

It seems as if for many, Braun is already guilty, because he tested positive on a test that apparently is without flaws, and there is no hard evidence to prove that he is innocent. But people need to remember that the evidence that pointed to his guilt was flawed from the start.

I'm not saying that I am absolutely sure that Braun is innocent; I'm not sure if we'll ever know the whole truth. But everyone deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt, especially considering the murky circumstances regarding the tests and how they were administered. 

Instead of accusing Braun of wrongdoing and assuming his guilt since he was not proven to be innocent, people need to remember that everyone is always innocent until proven guilty, and it is a stretch to say that anything is proven at this point.