Marion Jones

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The WNBA has relocated to Tulsa in the form of the Shock, and today the team held a press conference to announce the signing of Marion Jones.

In 99 percent of American cities, this would constitute Page D17 news—has-been 34-year-old track cheater decides to play in a league that (if we’re being honest here) nobody watches. This being Tulsa, however, Jones’ signing made waves. There’s the proverbial excitement in the air; people are psyched for Shock basketball; to see Jones leading the team on the break, just like she did at UNC all those years ago. (Admittedly, I’m taking a stab here. I’ve been to Tulsa, and commonly cite it atop my list, AMERICA’S LAMEST CITIES. Maybe nobody gives a damn about Jones. Odds are they do).

I’ll admit, I find myself mildly intrigued by the Jones signing, in that it makes yet another loud statement about how pathetic we are when it comes to athletes, drugs and cheating. Not all that long ago, Jones used performance-enhancing drugs to transform herself from a fast person to a track and field icon. Quite literally, she stole medals from someone who was clean. Maybe the clean sprinter came in fourth; maybe 10th; maybe 12th. Somewhere out there, however, exists a runner who competed in the Olympics sans HGH or steroids or whatever. That person has the right to give Jones an enormous middle finger.

As far as I’m concerned, Marion Jones, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jack Cust, Shawne Merriman—once you’ve been caught, you’re done. Over. Done. Not in life, obviously, but in sports. Once you’ve cheated, you no longer have the right to compete on a seemingly fair playing field. The Shock press release semi-praised Jones for “coming clean.” But she didn’t come clean. Like all the other frauds, she was caught, then stepped up. Huge difference.

If Marion Jones wants to be an actress, a nurse, a video game tester, a drummer, a lawyer—hey, she has that right. But not an athlete. Not any longer.

10 thoughts on “Marion Jones”

  1. Every time I read your thoughts on a athlete who used PEDs I can’t past that you make money writing books about them. Why don’t you write a book about a Sal Fasano type? Put your money where your mouth is for once.

  2. Maybe they have excellent dental coverage and she can get that “hang tooth” of hers pounded back into place?

    Agree with you Jeff… she didn’t “come clean” and she doesn’t belong in the WNBA (even if no one watches).

  3. The Pride of Curry

    Am I not right in saying the Shock aren’t actually an expansion team, but rather the former Detroit Shock, 3-time WNBA champs?

    Which makes this move all the more confusing, honestly…

  4. I agree with the PED thing.
    I used to love Baseball, I do not watch any more. Even the World Series.
    Sure they use PED’s in other sports, but so much of baseball is the stats, the history, and the belief that an average sized guy can play.
    PED’s stole that.
    Marion? I don’t have a whole lot of respect for her. If she stays clean, I don’t think she should be denied to right to play.

  5. This might be one of the few areas where I disagree with you.

    You think Marion Jones did anything unusual? I don’t. She just got caught. Look at the notable female sprinters prior to Marion Jones. There’s whispers about *all* of them, with the possible exception of Evelyn Ashford.

    Furthermore, Jones was absolutely scapegoated by the IOC. How many East German swimmers were proven to be on the juice? All of ’em. How many of *them* had to give up their medals? None of ’em. And the IOC’s line used to be about the can of worms opened up by doing these things retroactively. Funny how that all disappeared.

  6. I have a question for you, Jeff: If a journalist is found to have plagiarized something, or knowingly wrote something that is not true or factual (and seriously presented it as true or factual), should that journalist be banned from ever practicing journalism again?

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