The War Against Athletes

The War Against Athletes

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     In schools around the country, many athletes are being subjected to a great indignity. They are being stripped of their personal privileges. They are scorned and questioned of their morale, without cause or evidence. The trust once shared between students and teachers, the bond between children and parents has been torn apart. Athletes ranging from middle school to high school are being subjected to tests for drug use. Drugs that only thirteen percent of the student populations are responsible for. (Brecher, n.pag.) The remaining eighty-seven percent of the students are being accused of, and unrightfully suspected of drug use. But why just athletes? Why not the rest of the students? In their quest for a more civil society, administrators have forgotten their true goals ­ equality for all students. If an athlete is to be stripped of his rights, why not another student? What makes an athlete more susceptible to drug use than a non-athlete? A clear level of discrimination is evident in the Supreme Court decision to make drug testing of athletes legal in the United States. (no author, 4). It is wrong to suspect a person more likely to do drugs than another person solely on their extra-curricular activities.

     Athletes are subjected to conditions most students are not. They go through more training and spend more time working than do most other students. Athletes, along with their parent or guardians, spend time and money to participate in athletic events. Each one of them works hard to achieve their personal goals, something that schools try to incorporate into their curriculum all over the country. Athletes are an example to the rest of the student body, through their level of effort and their desire to improve. They are rewarded by shoving their hard-status down the toilet, along with any feelings of privacy or personal pride. Only nobody seems to notice this injustice. For some reason, our society, or its government at least, seems to believe that athletes are the focal point of drug trafficking in schools around the country. By being the uplifting students they are, athletes have drawn attention to themselves. Attention that has gone from sweet to a more hateful suspicious attention. The kind of attention the press brings when a famous person is suspected of wrongdoing. The suspicion feeds on itself, until some anarchist reporter brings it to a rolling boil by exposing the entire scandal.

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In our case, it¹s the Supreme Court doing the cooking now, and the problem has jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

     In Don Nardo¹s Drugs and Sports he goes to explain that an athlete might use drugs to enhance their athletic ability. (Nardo, p.65) Steroids, muscle enhancers, and other performance drugs have been suspected of playing an important role in many athletes¹ careers. A small portion if any at all, of athletes have ever encountered these types of drugs, their use is illegal and unfair to "clean" athletes. But the small percentage does not justify the testing. Sometimes athletes get carried away and focus only on winning at all costs. This can eventually lead to illegal drug use. But in most cases, this can be avoided. Coaches, parents, teachers, and even fellow students usually recognize the signs of drug use. Some of them even recognize it and choose to ignore it for the better cause. These people are partially responsible for the atrocities being committed against athletes today. A student using these drugs is cheating themselves and their colleagues. These problems arise in schools far and wide. But where there is a problem, there lies a solution. The solution can be found through friends and family. If the schools themselves dealt with the problem, the need for government would be totally unnecessary. The individual schools can deal much more directly and appropriately with their problems than can a generalized government policy. A few schools refusing to care for their own problems do not justify the nation-wide search for drug-positive athletes. Involvement by teammates, family, and faculty can solve the problem of muscle enhancing drugs much better than the Supreme Court decision.

     Even now, the usefulness of school drug testing is being questioned. There are endless ways to overcome the difficulties of the testing system (Tawar, p.2). Private enterprises are offering drug-negative containers of urine for an easy answer to student¹s problems. Some even list ways of bypassing the system. Precautions are taken by examinees, but this only compounds the problem. Students feel violated to start off with, and look for ways to feel vindicated, only to be counteracted by higher security standards. Compare it to a dog chasing it¹s own tail. The dog chases it¹s tail, not knowing that the farther he moves, the farther away his tail gets. The drug test is like the dog, where athletes represent the tail. They are chased endlessly for no point at all. It¹s a complete waste of time. Athletes see it as such, and deal with it accordingly. That¹s what justifies these counteractive enterprises. They exist to protect athlete¹s fourth amendment rights, which should never have been contradicted in the first place. A vicious circle exists between athletes and drug testing. Contradictive techniques are not totally moral, but like the saying goes, everything¹s fair in love and war.

     This may seem a little far-fetched, but what justifies a 9-year old boy having to be subjected to a urine test for illegal drugs? (Wren, A16) Nothing does, absolutely nothing justifies the atrocities being committed against athletes today. Only a nation wide sweep of equality of justice will counterpart this injustice. If athletes must be subjected, then all or none should be subjected. The circumstances must be equal for all people. The communities must become involved and must be informed on the subject. Otherwise nothing will prevent this decree from continuing on. The Supreme Court¹s decision on drug testing for athletes should apply to all students everywhere, not just a certain type of student. Without equality, justice is just a word.

Works Cited

Brecher, Elinor. "A drug test pits parents¹ concern against kids rights." Miami Herald 31 March 1995. N.pag.

Lewin, Tawar. "Testing the usefulness of school drug testing." New York Times 2 July 1995: 2-3.

Nardo, Don. Drugs and Sports. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1992.

"Under the Eye." June 1997: On-line. Internet. 10 Aug. 1999. Available WWW

Wren, Christopher. "Hair Testing by Schools Intensifies Drug Debate." New York Time 14 June 1999: A-16.
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