Barry Bonds: An Open Letter to USA Today's Christine Brennans' Bashing of Bonds

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Barry Bonds: An Open Letter to USA Today's Christine Brennans' Bashing of Bonds
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USA Today columnist Christine Brennan is calling on Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to strip Barry Bonds of his both his career and single season home run records.  Brennan’s call for action from Selig essentially stems from Bonds’ recent conviction of obstruction of justice charges concerning his use of steroids.

You suggested the following:

Christine, I think your public bashing of Bonds is totally unfair.  You focused on bashing one singular big fish when there were others you could have reeled in as well.

I have several questions for Christine: Where were you when Mark McGwire pleaded the fifth during his congressional hearings in 2005?

Did you bash him for his unwillingness to talk?

Where was your commentary on McGwire when he was quietly interviewed by Bob Costas two years ago where he admitted to using steroids for a decade dating back to his playing days in Oakland?

Where was your commentary when McGwire was hired as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach after he admitted to juicing by the same manager (Tony LaRussa) where his steroid use began?

You don’t have an issue with a steroid using slugger like McGwire being employed as a hitting coach?

Should Barry Bonds have his home run records taken out of the record books?

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Why didn’t you hammer the Paul Buyanesque slugger in a similar fashion as you have bashed Bonds?

I wonder why.

Then there’s Roger Clemens.  Clemens has been linked to steroids the last several years.  He’s defiantly denied using performance enhancing drugs yet there is a segment of the media and fans who believe The Rocket is lying even though he’s not been convicted of any wrongdoing.

If and when Clemens is done with his ordeal, will you be as persistent in bashing Clemens as you blasted Bonds?

Will you call for Selig to strip Clemens of his record seven Cy Young’s he’s accumulated as being hailed as arguably the best right handed pitcher in Major League history?

Let’s take a look at Andy Petite.  The former New York Yankee hurler was a borderline Hall of Fame candidate until he came clean and admitted to using steroids.  The people rarely bring up Petite’s name because the he’s not quite a big fish.  

Didn’t Petite quietly retire during this past off season Christine? 

Petite holds the record for most post season victories.  Why haven’t you used your platform to call for Petite’s name to be wiped away from the record books like you’ve requested for Bonds?

Seems to me Christine you merely want to continue to further grind that ax into Bonds’ legacy.  Don’t worry Christine: You and a segment of the media contingent have ensured Bonds won’t get into the Hall of Fame unless he buys a ticket.  You’ve help to ensure Bonds won’t likely get a job in baseball despite being one of the greatest players of all-time.

Hey Christine, what about all of the players on the Mitchell Report who reportedly cheated? 

What do you propose Selig does about those players who reportedly juiced?

Better yet Christine, what will you advise Selig to do when Alex Rodriguez—provided he plays at a fairly high level the next few years—breaks Bonds’ all-time record for home runs?

Rodriguez came clean that he used performance enhancing drugs, didn’t he? 

Christine, it is of my opinion you either have a personal axe to grind with Bonds, want to draw attention to yourself, or both.  Even though I don’t agree with your position you are entitled to your opinion, now I’ll share mine with you.

I believe the likes of McGwire, Clemens and Petite have gotten a media pass in terms of coverage: They have benefited from a combination of the celebrity, race and a lily-white mainstream media.

Meanwhile Bonds’ arrogance, race and celebrity have been a detriment.  Part of the reason why Bonds is still vilified clearly has to do with the lack of diversity.  If more African-Americans and women were in the media, coverage would be more accurate and telling.

So let’s get this straight; McGwire is back in baseball, Clemens is not getting much media attention and Petite slides into retirement and few even notice—yet Bonds is still being bashed by the like of you and others.

I believe you should have manufactured a piece where it addressed the array of players who are record-setters or prominent players who have juiced.  I don’t think it’s fair to focus on one big fish that happens to be African-American like Bonds but fail to mention the array of whites like McGwire, Clemens and Petite who either admitted or are believed to have cheated.

Here’s a suggestion: Why don’t you utilize your platform for something that truly matters rather than bashing wealthy athletes like Bonds—who likely doesn’t give a rip what you or I think anyway?

Why don’t you write a piece that calls attention to the lack of diversity in the media?

Look around your office.  Look at the race and gender of most of those who write about sports in mainstream outlets. 

Don’t you see a glaring absence of women?

According to The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES), 88 percent of the sports columnists at mainstream outlets are white males. 

You are a very reputable columnist with an esteemed outlet.  Did you know just six percent of the columnists are African-American, while one percent being comprised of women?

You think you can utilize your platform to increase the number of women who write instead of bashing multi-million dollar athletes like Bonds?

I’ve watched you on ESPN and have digested some of your work.  I have respect for most of what you write but I feel you have crossed the line with what I deem your unfair bashing of Bonds while failing to bash others.

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