Bob Knight: Gatorade = Steroids?

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Unless I misremember what I saw and heard on ESPN last night, Bob Knight compared the use of Gatorade to other performance
enhancing drugs such as steroids.

ESPN trotted out Knight, whose day job is as a basketball commentator for the
cable sports network, to comment on the Mark McGwire steroids issue. Yesterday, McGwire, after five years of silence, admitted
to using steroids while playing Major League Baseball.
Knight is a long-time baseball fan and close friend
of Tony LaRussa, who is the manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, where McGwire played during his later years. LaRussa recently
hired McGwire to be the Cards batting coach.

“I have a different approach to performance-enhancing drugs
than a lot of people do,” said the former Indiana University basketball coach. “My question is, who decides what
can be used and what can’t be used, and on what basis is that decision made? You know, Gatorade is a performance-enhancing
substance. It replaces electrolytes in the human body that are used up through extreme exercise. So I’ve always had
a really skeptical approach to all this performance-enhancing stuff.”
A different approach indeed.

To answer Knight’s first question; Lawmakers. The last time I checked using steroids for anything other than
a legitimate medical reason is and has been for quite some time against the law. As far as I know, in most of the civilized
world, there’s no law on the books against selling, buying, distributing or consuming Gatorade.

On what basis
are those decisions made? Knight asked. Well, if a substance does mean and evil things to your body over the long-term, not
to mention helps your muscles unnaturally expand in a very short period of time, that substance makes the list. Last I checked,
no case of Gatorade rage had ever been reported. But I admit, I haven’t seen every police report on the face of the
earth since Gatorade first hit the market.

And as far as I know, Gatorade doesn’t have adverse affects on
the reproductive system, damage the liver and/or cause cancer, as steroids are suspected of. I don’t claim to be a doctor.
I only know what I’ve read—over and over and over again.

That aside, Knight continued in his unabashed
support of McGwire.

“I think as far as Mark is concerned, Mark should have been in the Hall of Fame on the
first ballot,” Knight said.
If Knight would have stopped with the first half of that statement, I could
live with that. After all, the man’s entitled to his opinion. But he continued.

“He’s one of
the great people I’ve ever met in sports,” Knight added.


Knight continued to say
if he and LaRussa had been giving McGwire advice instead of his lawyers before and during his Congressional testimony five
years ago, things would have gone differently.
“I think he got a lot of bad advice. There are some
good attorneys and there are some bad ones,” Knight said. “I don’t think Mark got good advice in his appearance
before the Senate committee. I think had Tony and I been advising him, he would have come off a lot different.”

Knight on Capitol Hill? Sworn testimony? Potentially hostile inquiries? Not to mention the media mob.

We can
only imagine what might have been.

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