Hank has class
Yesterday, Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's all-time baseball home run record, hitting his 756th. Barry is a controversial figure -- he is accused of using steriods, including the detailed account in Game of Shadows. Barry is also a man with an acerbic personality. This makes it so much more difficult for people to even try to like him.
Hank Aaron, the previous home run record holder, is a man of great class. He has tried not to comment on Barry's pursuit of the record in order to avoid commenting on Barry's alleged steroid use. After the record was broken, a video was played of Hank congratulating Barry.
I think that Bonds used steroids, but he was far from the only one. But, the reaction to him is so much stronger. Is it because of race? I don't think so -- Gary Sheffield also is accused of using steroids, is African-American, is even somewhat controversial. But, he is a nice guy, a good teammate, and speaks to the press. So, there is very little ire directed to him.
Barry's pursuit of the record certainly puts a much bigger spotlight on him. But, if he played nice with his teammates and the press, he would probably be given a much lighter treatment. Athletes love the big paychecks, but they also need to realize that they are in the entertainment business, and the press is part of it. The smart athletes learn how to get along with the press, and they have a much more positive image portrayed to the public.
Almost no one in baseball likes Bonds and can defend his attitude. So, he deserves what he gets. There is no question that Bonds is an amazing talent. He probably cheated, along with many, many others. There is no way to carve out the statistics from the steroid era, so Bonds deserves the record in addition to the fans' scorn.