Article first published as Why Barry Bonds Will Lose Perjury Trial on Technorati.
Opening arguments have begun this past week in the Barry Bonds perjury trial over his alleged steroid use. As you may recall, Barry Bonds was indicted almost 7 years ago over his testimony that got him in trouble in the first place. Mr. Bonds troubles started with his involvement and subsequent investigation of BALCO. The company was originally founded in the 1980s by Victor Conte to provide private blood and urine testing for Olympic athletes.
This article isn’t so much about the grand jury or what the judge will do with Mr. Bonds, it’s about the court of public opinion. Barry Bonds, was fun to watch as the big-time slugger for the San Francisco Giants. It was fascinating to watch him hit the ball out of the park. Sadly, that’s not what he’s going to be remembered for.
Barry Bonds demeanor, rather than his guilt or innocence is what will do him in. Mr. Bonds who can come across as very aloof and distant and someone who really doesn’t care to do interviews, will have to answer some tough questions. One of the traits which I admired about Barry Bonds, is he is his own man and not looking for any one’s approval and did things his way.
Let’s face it, the public has a real problem with perceived spoiled, bad-boy multimillion dollar athletes. The rank and file American worker resents their wealth and how they flaunt it. There is a dark side in all of us who are less fortunate who secretly want to see them fall, and fall hard. Barry Bonds is no exception! There are those who are drooling and anticipating his meteoric rise to come crashing down to earth.
Another fact we don’t like to talk about is the issue of race and class. American sports fans like to see their athletes humble. Mr. bonds was far from humble; that and not his guilt, will play into his downfall. At water coolers in workplaces all over America are frustrated white males who have been passed over in middle management complaining about overpaid athletes in general and black athletes in particular. Let’s face it, people hate to see these athletes with multi-million-dollar salaries; especially in our current hard economic times.
My advice to professional athletes, who have been endowed with incredible physical gifts which have translated into multimillion dollar deals is, keep a low profile and try to fly under the radar. The haters are out there in full force, the hounds are baying at the gates. Bottom line is that a jury of his peers; supposedly, will decide Barry Bonds fate. Mr. Bonds has a serious public relations problem with most of America. I don’t see any way that he could win his perjury trial. Of course, after it’s all said and done he will get probation and we’ll move on.
What Barry Bonds will lose is far greater. It is highly unlikely he will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, and all of his accomplishments in baseball would be moot. His record home runs will have an asterisk next to his name and there will always be a cloud of doubt over his magnificent accomplishments in the game of baseball. That will be Mr. Bonds punishment; sad indeed.