Unmanly Athletes

"Unmanly Athletes," Wall Street Journal, 19 June 2006.


The fact that professional athletes, possibly including the great slugger Barry Bonds, have been using steroids opens a new chapter in the modern history of drug use. Professional athletes, as distinct from other professionals such as doctors, lawyers and professors, are manly. They love competition, as other professionals do not. Drug use is a threat to the justice of the competition they love.

Other professionals have rivalries. I know professors do. But rivalry is not part of the profession as in athletics. On the contrary, a profession is a kind of brotherhood, a bond in which professional courtesies are expected. …