When he’s not taking pea-brained potshots at reporters on twitter, Roger Clemens is preparing for his trial on felony perjury charges. There seems to be little interest or outrage about Clemens, which is surprising. For some reason our moral absolutist sports culture, leaves him relatively unscathed. We seldom list him among our most despised athletes of recent vintage, yet, he may be the most despicable of them all.
Roger Clemens embodies the traits of our most reviled athletes, arguably to a greater extent.
Both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens face perjury trials related to steroid use thanks to Jeff Novitzki. Bonds is far more sympathetic. He was forced to testify, when his steroid use would have been an unfathomable scandal. While still an active player, Bonds would have risked his livelihood. Even then, he told a partial truth. He did not deny using PEDs, only that he knew what he was using. He was scared his testimony would be leaked and ruin him. That was a valid concern, because it happened.
Clemens was not called to testify. He called himself. He did not misrepresent the truth facing circumstantial evidence. He blatantly lied in a lame attempt to contradict overwhelming evidence. His own personal trainer testified he injected him. His wife took HGH. He had notable performance spikes and incidents of rage. His career was over at the time. His money was made. Barry Bonds became embroiled in a controversy. Roger Clemens created a farce that will cost taxpayers millions.
Brett Favre is a diva. Roger Clemens is just as bad. Clemens announced he was retiring after the 2003 season. He did the tour, accepted the gifts and plaudits. He acknowledged the standing ovations from opposing fans. His retirement lasted until January, when he signed with Houston. He retired and returned to the Astros twice. He held four teams hostage until mid-season in 2007, eventually signing with the Yankees for a prorated record contract. Favre wants some attention during the summer. Clemens stretched his affairs through midseason. He announced his last return with the Yankees during a game.
Tiger Woods is a cad. Clemens is a creep. Both had mistresses. Clemens’ saving grace was sowing his wild oats before smart phones, sexting and tarts exploiting him for fame. He may have consummated his relationship with Mindy McCready when she was 15. He may, as they maintain, have salivated over her during some bizarre, platonic courtship until she was of age. Either way it’s perverse.
Do you think LeBron James left Cleveland poorly? Look at how Clemens left Boston. First, he signed a lucrative four-year contract and took the next four seasons off. Then, he became so pissed Boston would not offer him a new contract afterward he joined a team within the division, worked himself into shape by unnatural means and won two Cy Youngs. Still not content, he engineered a trade to the Yankees and latched onto a World Series winner. LeBron’s “decision” was insensitive. Clemens was a vindictive prick to Boston for years.
Roger Clemens is selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, dishonest and tactless. He’s a cheater. He’s even a little racist. He may be the most objectionable superstar athlete of the last 25 years. He’s flailing and alone. His colossal hubris is about to receive its ultimate undoing and no one cares?
[Photo via Getty]