The US Open is going to start in some days time and one of the things I’ve learned about this current edition is that Maria Sharapova has received a wild card. And I saw some backlash towards this decision by some tennis fans, all because she was caught using a banned substance. Now I don’t know if she was aware it was banned at the time (Maria says she didn’t know, and to be fair it did just get banned only a few months prior to her getting caught), but whether or not it was intentional is not important because it is not what I want to talk about.
What I do want to talk about is the whiny fans that complain she was given a wild card instead of *insert random tennis player name here*. Why do they complain? Because she was at some point in her career caught using a banned substance. And of course, the special snowflake fans who have never committed or cheated in any way, shape or form in their entire life, get to have their say about whether or not she should be allowed to participate.
Now I am no Maria Sharapova fan by any stretch. I’m not even that big of a tennis fan in general, but this annoying, whiny attitude towards any woman or man who was caught in such a manner has to stop. Maria Sharapova was caught, and subsequently banned. She has served her punishment. It was not a lifetime punishment, it was a fixed period in which she could not play. End of story. Whether or not YOU think she should participate is of no importance because legally, she is allowed to play.
The same goes for Justin Gatlin. The World Athletics Championships have just concluded and Justin won the 100M race. And upon rewatching the best bits of the championships, one of the commentators mentioned his annoyance at the booing that Justin recieved during the preliminary rounds. And I fully agree with him. Justin Gatlin served a 2 year ban for using illegal substances. He has served his punishment. Whether or not he learned a lesson is a different subject. But if the sporting law says he can run/play/participate/whatever, then he can do whatever he wants.
You know what is more funny? I’m thinking there are two reasons people complain about athletes like Maria or Justin. Either they are the pure people who have never cheated once in their entire life and expect the same from others while also having no empathy, or they’re scared that the athlete returning is actually so good he might beat their favorite ones. The second one seems more likely, as people tend to take sports results very seriously from time to time.
I am not condoning doping, far from it actually, as it is dangerous for one’s health. What I am hoping for is that people stop complaining every time a sports person starts participating in tournaments again after serving a doping ban.