The sports world is always changing; whether it is for the better or for the worst. Recently with the uncovering of the doping circle in the bicycling community and rumors of numerous other athletes taking performance enhancers, it has taken a worst path.
A huge dark cloud forms over any athlete who is proven to take performance enhancers. The community of that sport and also outsiders become outraged towards the athlete and even the sport when news hits the public. Like in high school, rumors and news spread in nanoseconds. When Lance Armstrong admitted to being the ring leader to a doping circle, his image and his future were permanently scarred for life. The sport will never be looked at the same. Almost every other major sport has had top athletes dope. Major League Baseball, the National Football League, even the NBA had some problems.
Now the question is raised. Will the MLL or NLL have a problem with doping? What would happen if players are caught doping? If the MLL and the NLL started to have a problem with doping, Lacrosse would take a hit so large it would prevent Lacrosse from growing as well as it has. We could basically kiss the Olympics good bye.
The consequences would be amplified thanks to the media. Lacrosse and the media haven’t really had the best history. (Duke Rape scandal, UVA Lacrosse player murdering his girlfriend, who was also a lacrosse player) Actually it’s quite terrible. The media is thirsty for bad stories about Lacrosse. The media would tear Lacrosse apart if a doping epidemic broke out in the MLL and NLL to the point where people would stray away from Lacrosse and have the worst attitude towards the community and the sport. Lacrosse can’t handle another bad news story because that’s equivalent to a death sentence. We aren’t big enough like the NFL and MLB to handle such blows.
That being said let me explain why we shouldn’t worry about doping in the Lacrosse scene.
Professional Lacrosse is not the cash crop that the NFL is. With the average salary running around $15,000 and below, players don’t play for the money. They mainly play to fuel their passion for the sport. Very few are full time athletes. Most have a primary job where they earn their living. What would be the point of using performance enhancers if it doesn’t get you loads of money? The cons severely outweigh the pros. In fact, there are no pros. The reason athletes dope is to get better contract offers. Millions are on the line for them, but not in the Lacrosse scene.
The passion to play the sport is famous in Lacrosse players. We don’t play for the money because there is no money. Let’s be honest here. If there were money to be had, Lacrosse just might have a problem with doping. But for now, it’s not even remotely a problem.
It’s unfortunate that the NFL and MLB have doping problems, but we can use this to our advantage. Lacrosse can finally have a good news story being spread to the world if certain people take a stand, use their power and get the ball rolling on a couple of things. The NCAA, MLL, and NLL must implement strict anti-doping rules and tests, the sooner the better. If they do it right and are serious about it, it would provide a key structure to further growth and the media will present the Lacrosse in a good light.
This is a huge turning point in the history of Lacrosse. If handled correctly, wisely, and quickly, it could be Lacrosse’s big break.