Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were long considered first ballot Hall of Famers, but the steroids scandal, which has dominated baseball since the ’90s, has destroyed their reputations and could very well keep them out of Cooperstown.
Right now, Clemens is spending his days in a federal court in Washington, D.C., accused of lying to Congress about his own steroid use. Bonds is appealing an April conviction of obstruction of justice for giving an evasive answer to a grand jury, but he was acquitted on the more serious charges.
What’s amazing is that federal prosecutors have spent years going after Bonds and Clemens. And at best, they are going after them for supposedly lying to a grand jury or Congress. Don’t get me wrong, we are supposed to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but looking at the amount of time and dollars spent by the feds on these two baseball players, you would think that they were drug kingpins.
Yet while this is going on, the biggest crooks in the world — almost single-handedly took down the United States economy with their shady banking practices — are kicking it in their private suites at the baseball park, enjoying the huge bonuses that continue to flow on Wall Street.
Lady Justice is not supposed to be blind. You screw millions of Americans out of billions of dollars and force the federal government to bail your firm out with billions of dollars, but then prosecutors won’t even bother to knock on your door. But lie to a grand jury about injecting yourself with steroids? Your world will be turned upside down!
This really shouldn’t be an either/or scenario. But with the nation’s unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, and the country still trying to dig itself out of a cataclysmic situation that culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, surely the American people should get some satisfaction out of seeing Wall Street fat cats walk the perp walk and answer to their activities in court.
But we don’t see any of that.
Instead, all we see today are federal prosecutors talking about baseball and syringes, and Casey Anthony’s attorneys gloating about getting their girl off.
It is unfathomable to think that Wall Street executives are getting off scot-free and continue to receive million-dollar bonuses. It’s shameful to listen to them whine about the clamps being put on them by federal regulations; it was lax oversight and the total relaxation of rules that allowed them to go haywire, all in a search for quarterly profits to boost their personal wealth and sink ours.
It’s degrading to watch Wall Street’s protectors in Washington, D.C. — Democrats and Republicans — cry mightily about onerous regulations and suggest that anything meant to protect consumers from these dastardly devils is a “jobs crusher.”
Sorry, folks, I really don’t care about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and steroids. Spend all day if you like arguing about the integrity of the game. What’s more important is the integrity of the legal system where there is supposed to be fairness in going after wrongdoing.
The feds have fulfilled their obligations with baseball. And they have struck out when it comes to holding Wall Street accountable.
Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and the author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at www.RolandSMartin.com. To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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