The Instigator
TeaPartyAtheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Benshapiro
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Steroids Should Be Legal in Professional Sports

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Benshapiro
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,631 times Debate No: 36221
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

TeaPartyAtheist

Pro

I contend that professional sports leagues should legalize steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. I understand that this position may initially be considered blasphemy, but there are multiple reasons that leagues should legalize performance-enhancing drugs.

First of all, throughout history, humans have been trying to stretch the limits of what is possible. This includes through the use of any available technology. The fact that humans cannot physically fly did not stop the Wright Brothers from building the first airplane. Yes, legalized use of steroids would create frequent changes in the record books, but those are all part of human achievement. Furthermore, comparisons between eras are already moot, considering the differences between the rules of today and those of 50 or 100 years ago.

Also, it benefits the sports economically to allow performance-enhancing drugs. In 1999, when Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire both broke Roger Maris's single-season home run record, interest in baseball soared. Many casual fans found their accomplishments fascinating, as those men were going to a place no human had been before. A comparable analogy would be when the oldest person ever, Jeanne Calment of France, died at the age of 122 years. She would never have been able to live that long with primitive technology, but people were fascinated by her shattering the record (no other human has even lived to 120). Why should a different standard be applied to sports?

Baseball was always the sport most impacted by performance-enhancing drugs. Thus, it saw the biggest excitement around new records. Today, players normally are caught and suspended when they take other performance-enhancing drugs. Thus, there is less opportunity to have the excitement of breaking records. Consequently, baseball's ratings have slipped in a time where football and basketball are basking in rising ratings relative to the average TV show. Thus, steroids should be legal in sports.
Benshapiro

Con

1) Steroids further human achievement and comparisons between human achievements in different eras are moot since the rules change so much.

Steroids do further human achievement in sports. But at what cost? What is the purpose of competiting in sports in the first place? Steroids have many negative adverse affects physically (shrunken testicles, acne . . .) and mentally (aggression, violence . . .). The purpose of competing in sports is to use skill, knowledge, and physical investment as a way of competing with others. If we allow sterioids, the best players will only be those people who have cutting edge steroids. Also, it sends a message to kids growing up that they should abandon the values of fair play and seek to better themselves by finding the latest substance.

2) The sports benefit economically by allowing performance-enhancing drugs. Someone lived to 122 yeard old, a feat only possible by having new, not primitive technology.

The media craze didn't know at the time of their steroid use. Solving a huge math problem but always turning around and using a hidden calculator before turning back around to reveal the answer is much more impressive if people didn't know you had the calculator. People's fascination with sports would die out if they knew everyone was hyped up on steroids because it encourages unfair competition (only those who have the best, newest juice will have the benefits). In response to the analogy, living to 122 years old by having newer technology is a good thing - because there are not the same negatives associated with increasing the maximum livable age opposed to the negatives with steroid use (physical and mental side-effects) as well as the effects it would have on the spirit of the game.

Baseball has a lot of steroid use. Thus, it saw the biggest excitement around new records.

This is a false correlation. Nobody watches the sport just because its most impacted by performance-enhancing drugs. Otherwise everyone would watch WWE.

2,000 char limit
Debate Round No. 1
TeaPartyAtheist

Pro

1. Sports already have health risks that one needs to accept to be willing to play. One only needs to look at the recent focus on concussions in football. The physical side-effects that you mentioned are just that- physical. It is someone's choice to look a certain way. Thus, I do not see why a sports league should ban a substance for aesthetic reasons. If the mental side-effects that you mentioned were true, why would we not see a disproportionate number of athletes on steroids arrested for violent crimes. Also, this is not teaching kids to "abandon the values of fair play", as steroids only complement natural skill. If an average man decided to take steroids, he could not hit 762 home runs in the MLB (as Barry Bonds did). Thus, the legalization of steroids would actually help to put everyone on an equal playing field.

2. Your argument seems to be that broken records are less impressive when one knows that steroids played a part. However, you do think that it is impressive that someone lived to 122 with modern technology. Let me ask you this: If we develop anti-aging technology and someone lives to 500, is that impressive or the equivalent of steroids? My point is that the best, most cutting-edge technology is a part of human achievement. If we did not accept that, then we would still be living in the way that the early cave men did thousands of years ago.

3. It is not a false correlation at all. There may not be much interest in the WWE, but that can be for other reasons. For example, the idea of a scripted sport appals many. Just look at the Nielsen ratings. Per Spotted Ratings, the 2004 World Series had 216% the demo audience of the average TV show in the 2004-05 season. Most recently, the 2012 World Series only had 170% of the average show in the 2012-13 season. This came while the other sports have been rising relative to the average TV show. The NBA Finals and the Super Bowl have grown from 127% and 817%, respectively, in 2004-05 to 329% and 1884% this year.
Benshapiro

Con

1a. Injuries occurred in sports are risks to your health. Steroids are also risks to your health. Therefore steroid use is acceptable.

Players avoid injuries. Steroid use is intentional. Therefore you should avoid injuries and steroids for the health risks.

1b. Banning steroids for aesthetic reasons should not be a problem since we all choose to look a certain way.

It is just a side effect of a harmful substance - no one chooses to use steroids just for shrunken testicles and acne unless they're insane. Also, it is illegally altering your body composition.

1c. No evidence shows that steroid use has mental side-effects.

Ever heard of "roid rage"? "

"Anabolic steroid use is linked not only to roid rage and sudden mood changes, but also to a higher incidence of suicide than in the general populace." [1]

1d. Steroids only complement existing skill and will put everyone on a level playing field.

Steroids allow unnatural muscular development. It can complement existing skill and it can also allow somebody with lesser skill a greater physical advantage due to his increased muscular development. There are different kinds of steroids, not everyone will have the same ones, and those with the "cutting edge" ones will have the greatest advantage.

2a. My point is that the best, most cutting-edge technology is a part of human achievement.

Breaking records by having an altered body composition is not human achievement, it's an achievement made by a human with superhuman alterations. This is not the point of competing in sports.

3.a “Baseball was always the sport most impacted by performance-enhancing drugs. Thus, it saw the biggest excitement around new records.” And your response to my claim that it was a false correlation: “It is not a false correlation at all. There may not be much interest in the WWE, but that can be for other reasons.”

I used the WWE as an example of how you falsely correlated interest with steroid use.

char limit

SOURCE: http://www.wisegeek.org...;[1]

Debate Round No. 2
TeaPartyAtheist

Pro

1a. When someone decides to play a contact sport, he or she is knowingly accepting the possibility of an injury that can have long-term ramifications, such as a concussion. As much as a player may try to avoid injury, there is always still a risk. Likewise, steroids are only a health risk. Not everyone on steroids has shown health issues, just like not every former NFL player is mentally damaged from a concussion.

1b. No one would take steroids just for the aesthetic side-effects. Also, steroids (and other banned substances) are sometimes prescribed during recovery from injury. Therefore, I see no reason why they cannot be allowed for other circumstances.

1c. NFL players who had severe concussions also are prone to the same tendencies. In fact the concussion symptoms are so severe that 50 former NFL players or their families are trying to sue the NFL over how it handled concussions [1]. However, that does not mean that football should cease to exist over the risk.

1d. Yes, the muscle growth is unnatural, but so is our ability to fly in airplanes. Your argument that some people will have better steroids than others is also irrelevant when compared to other areas of society. Some people have a better education, better technology, or more money than others. That is just a fact of a Capitalist society. However, should a player demonstrate sufficient skill, he or she would be looked at by top universities with the top resources.

2a. Why is there a difference between achievements related to human bodies and those related to technology? We constantly set new records for the fastest car, plane, or train. Why can the same standard not be applied to sports?

3a. If there was no correlation between interest and steroid use, why are the MLB ratings going down while other sports are experiencing ratings growth [2]?

SOURCES:
1. http://www.cbssports.com...
2. http://www.spottedratings.com...

Benshapiro

Con

1a. As much as a player may try to avoid injury, there is always still a risk. Likewise, steroids are only a health risk.

The difference is that injuries are meant to be avoided, like all health risks, and likewise so should steroids. Players don't accidentally inject themselves with steroids.

1b. No one would take steroids just for the aesthetic side-effects. Also, steroids (and other banned substances) are sometimes prescribed during recovery from injury. Therefore, I see no reason why they cannot be allowed for other circumstances.

I agree that no one takes steroids for the ugly aesthetic side-effects, it's an unnatural side-effect. By saying "It's someone's choice to look a certain way" is not addressing the fact that it's an unwanted consequence of steroid use.

1c. NFL players who had severe concussions also are prone to the same tendencies. That does not mean that football should cease to exist over the risk.

Players don't intentionally give themselves concussions. Players intentionally give themselves steroids. But they are both harmful to your health as your example of concussion and my example of roid rage (which you didn't address) points out.

1d. Yes, the muscle growth is unnatural, but so is our ability to fly in airplanes. Some people will have better steroids than others is also irrelevant. Some people access to better education, technology, more money than others...

I am not arguing that everything unnatural is bad. I'm arguing against steroid use, which is also unntural, is bad for the side-effects and the consequences it has on the spirit of the game.

2a. Why is there a difference between achievements related to human bodies and those related to technology?

Why not just have high-tech robot arms and legs to play sports for us? It's not the point of competing in sports. It's based on skill, physical investment, competition.. ect.

3a. If there was no correlation between interest and steroid use, why are the MLB ratings[changing].

Correlation is not causation.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by rja7 3 years ago
rja7
1.if any kind of ugh were legal in sports what kind of example would that be setting for younger athletes?you would have 12 year olds just thinking they need to start juicing to get better.
2.It creates a paradox for the players who care about things like long term effects and general health.It could possibly get to a point where the only way to stay relevent is to use hgh. If you cant beat them join them.

3.Would anybody really enjoy watching all there past hero's and idols records be smashed into obscurity?
Posted by Hatstand 3 years ago
Hatstand
IN PROFFESIONAL SPORTS are the operative words. If you get caught using blacklisted drugs, you get banned (temporarily at least).
Posted by TheYummyCod 3 years ago
TheYummyCod
Steroids are legal, idiots. It's only against the league rules.
Posted by Hatstand 3 years ago
Hatstand
I can't stop thinking about what legalising steroids in professional sports would do do the players. You don't get that good at a sport unless you live doing it (or at least that should be the reason) and any sense of achievement would vanish if it was artificially created. As someone who doesn't watch many sports, I can't tell you what the fans would think, but as someone who competes at sports internationally (and kind of gets paid for it) I can tell you that, in my opinion, allowing steroids would ruin competitive sport for the genuine sportsmen and turn it into a ratrace for those who just want to bask in the glory of victory.
Posted by dashy654 3 years ago
dashy654
Not sure if I am allowed to put in my thoughts, but I think that PRO is wrong in that people would be interested more if steroids were allowed. I like to compare myself to athletes and I am astounded at what they can do because they are human. Giving them an advantage that other competitors in the lower levels do not have would make the rise in competition feel false. It would be like they are cheating, or I would believe that without the steroids they would be far less skilled. I enjoy watching sports because the athletes are human, but can do seemingly superhuman things in a seemingly effortless way. I would be unable to take steroids, but my mindset would be, if I could take steroids, I would be just as good as them, therefore their accomplishments are much less interesting.
Posted by Benshapiro 3 years ago
Benshapiro
agreed.
Posted by TeaPartyAtheist 3 years ago
TeaPartyAtheist
Good debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by daniel_t 3 years ago
daniel_t
TeaPartyAtheistBenshapiroTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro could have done much better in this debate if he had invested a little more time in research. For example, an argument can be made that legalizing steroid (and other PED) use would make them safer than they currently are, but Pro instead accepted Cons health argument and tried to refute it with a "it doesn't matter" argument. Also, an argument might be made that PEDs give those who aren't genetically endowed for a particular sport a chance to compete. Lastly, an argument could be made that since some PEDs are already allowed (for e.g. caffeine) there is no reason to prohibit others. http://bjsportmed.com/content/38/6/666.full.pdf