Rather than face the insurmountable evidence against his steroid use and admit to his wrongdoing before a Congressional committee, Roger Clemens instead stood strong and denied the accusations against him. Unfortunately, those men and women he stood before and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth were not necessarily convinced that he did so.
With the indictment passed down on Thursday August 19th, Clemens learned a tough lesson about lying to Congress; there is no equality in regards to those who get persecuted for their steroid indiscretions.
Now don’t misunderstand me, Clemens is getting what he deserves, having to face the full wrath of the government’s scorn because he refused to come clean and speak the truth. But keep in mind that Clemens isn’t the only baseball player that has lied before a federal grand jury or committee, as both Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Miguel Tejada have proven in the past.
Certainly, Bonds and Tejada have been charged by the federal government, with Tejada having plead guilty to the charges in 2009 with perjuring himself in front of Congress and Bonds awaiting trial for lying to a federal grand jury during the Balco investigations. But then there is the curious case of Rafael Palmeiro, who escaped federal prosecution after testing positive for steroids just a year after testifying to Congress that he had never taken the stuff. And that is not even to mention the other players who sat on that same panel and are still speculated as having taken steroids and lied about it.
The problem is, the Bonds and Clemens indictments show an inherent problem in the system, showcasing the government’s desire to grandstand and only charge those who bring the headlines as opposed to treating each and every players on an equal basis. Then again, the larger point here is the government’s involvement with Clemens at all.
Fact of the matter is, our government is not paid to hold full day sessions in order to interview professional athletes about how they cheat the game they play and the fans they entertain. That is the job of the commissioner’s office, the ruling body of each league, which is in place to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed. There is nothing written into the rule books of Major League Baseball stating that the federal government operates an oversight committee to step in should they feel the commissioner isn’t doing his job.
The Bonds case is different, as he chose to obstruct justice against a known steroid dealer because he feared being included in the charges against Balco. Clemens chose to lie because he wanted to protect a legacy that was slipping through his fingers and lying was all he had left in his control.
Roger Clemens deserves to lose his bust in the Hall of Fame, he deserves to be suspended for life from the game he cheated, and he definitely deserves to feel the wrath of Brian McNamee’s lawsuit. But does Roger Clemens deserve to go to jail for an investigation lying in an interview that never should have taken place?
– Roger Clemens Indicted In Steroids Case, news.yahoo.com
– Rafael Palmeiro, Wikipedia.com
– Miguel Tejada, Wikipedia.com
– Barry Bonds, Wikipedia.com