Sports Illustrated has a good article about Hank Aaron and his response to Bonds breaking his record. I thought it was going to be a Bonds bash, but it wasn't. It was more about Hank Aaron and his inner character, and why he's not going to be anywhere near Barry Bonds when he breaks his record.
For the record, I always respected Barry Bonds. Never liked him, but I always respected him. I loved his ' Kiss My Black Ass' attitude, BECAUSE.....
He had the game to back up the attitude.
But, that kind of attitude comes with a downside. For the record, I believe the overwhelming majority of sports writers are frustrated White guys who never got to live out their own sports dreams, so they've decided to leech onto sports anyway they can. Now, I will say this, they are resentful of' White athletes too that they feel don't deserve it - Ted Williams and Roger Maris come to mind, but I believe they resent the hell out of these young Black men making more money in a month than they'll see in 2 years, and they search out ways to make these young Black athletes look bad.
So, when a Barry Bonds comes along and tells them repeatedly to Kiss His Black Ass, they DOUBLY resent it. They sit there, seething, just waiting for the opportunity to strike back at Bonds, and when given said opportunity, they pounce on it like vultures.
Let's get these facts out of the way.
1. The period in which Bonds is ' suspected' of steroid use, it was LEGAL. Completely LEGAL with regards to the rules of Major League Baseball.
2. Like the rumor swirling Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds has passed EVERY SINGLE TEST given to him. Period.
Do I believe that Bonds used steroids? Let's just say that I'll give him the benefit of the doubt right up until he fails his first drug test. But, I'll always be mad at him, because HE HAD THE PHYSICAL CHOPS ALREADY.
He was already going to be DA MAN, and could have had all these records - WITH his attitude, but WITHOUT the taint.
As for Hank Aaron, it's a generational clash between him and Barry Bonds. Hank Aaron went through literal hell for THREE YEARS leading up to his breaking Babe Ruth's Home Run Record. I mean death threats kind of hell. The press might be vicious against Barry Bonds, but as far as I know, no FBI agents have been assigned to him under threats of death. Hank Aaron is Old School. Like Jackie Robinson and other athletes from those days, their political lives, and commitment to the community went hand in hand with their talents on the athletic field. They were another era in which they knew when they stepped upon the field that their actions would reflect not only upon themselves, but the community. Aaron knows that isn't the case with athletes these days, but he shouldn't be chastised or condemned for his CHOICE as to not be there when Bonds breaks his record. Why SHOULD he put even tacit approval towards Bonds, when he has this cloud around him? Why should this Old School Aaron support Hip Hop Bonds? Aaron knows that it's a 'new day', but he has earned the right to live out the rest of his life by HIS own principles.
I will be glad when Bonds breaks his record, but I'll always be disgusted that Bonds let himself be caught up in mess like this, tainting what could have been HIS moment, free and clear.