Steroids Are So Evil That Even Endangering the Life of a Toddler Doesn’t Even Begin to Compare According to the NBA
The Phoenix Suns have suspended guard Jason Richardson for one game without pay due to “conduct detrimental to the team”. The suspension means that Richardson will forfeit $111,111 out of his $12.2 million salary this year. Could this be the unfortunate fallout from another revelation of anabolic steroid use plaguing professional sports? The admission of steroid use by Major League Baseball’s superstar Alex Rodriguez has dominated the news for the past week. Does the National Basketball League (NBA) have its own problem with anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs?
Fortunately, the Phoenix Suns third leading scoring was not busted using steroids nor has anyone alleged that Jason Richardson uses anabolic steroids presently or anytime in the past.
Jason Richardson only received a single game suspension to be served on Tuesday, February 17th when the Phoenix Suns play the Los Angeles Clippers at the US Airways Center. The suspension is a relatively minor one compared to using anabolic steroids in violation of the prohibited substances clause of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Anti-Drug Program.
If Jason Richardson had been busted using steroids, he would have faced a 10-game suspension for his first violation of the league’s steroid policy which would have cost him $1.1 million under the NBA Anti-Drug Program. A second violation would have resulted in a 25-game suspension or $2.8 million in lost salary. Richardson would have received a one-year suspension and forfeiture of his entire $12.2 million salary for a third violation.
The NBA has no tolerance for steroid users who are “convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest, or nolo contendere to) a crime involving the use or possession” of anabolic steroids. A steroid user who violates United States steroid laws will be kicked out of the NBA.
The good news is that Jason Richardson did NOT use steroids. There will be no asterisks included next to his statistics and no allegations of cheating. He did not commit the ultimate sin in professional sports – the use of anabolic steroids.
What relatively minor transgression did Jason Richardson commit to deserve the proverbial slap on the wrist? He was only arrested by the Scottsdale Police Department over the weekend for child endangerment, reckless driving, excessive speed, and failure to use a car seat while driving his 2008 Mercedes Benz 90-mph in a 35-mph speed zone – just 55-mph over the posted speed limit - with his 3-year old son unrestrained in the backseat of the vehicle. Eight weeks ago, Richardson was arrested by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Police for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.
No big deal.
At least it wasn’t steroids.
If these youthful indiscretions by Jason Richardson were steroid-related crimes, the $12 million dollar player would have been humiliated by the media, subjected to ridicule by basketball fans, forfeited millions of dollars in salary, and faced banishment from the NBA.
Everyone knows that anabolic steroids are infinitely eviler than the lives of children and individuals potentially placed in harm’s way as the result of reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. The hypocritical steroid laws and anti-doping policies make that clear.
Jason Richardson made a mistake. But society can take comfort in the fact that…
…at least it wasn’t steroids!
“Richardson suspended 1 game after charge,” February 17, 2009
“Phoenix Suns guard Jason Richardson accused of DUI,” January 5, 2009
By Millard Baker