Longtime Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun officially retired on Tuesday afternoon. Don’t let the Brewers tribute distract you from the time he almost ruined a man’s livelihood for no reason.
We’re far removed from Braun’s initial positive steroid test, and the fallout that occurred as a result of that test. While I’m of the mindset that players who took performance-enhancing drugs during the steroid era deserve a second chance given the disadvantage they would have been at had they not taken part, what Braun did was indefensible.
Not only did Braun deny his positive test — a step taken by many star players during that era — he tried to frame an innocent drug collector to clear his name. His legal team blamed the drug collector for bringing the original urine test the next morning, rather than the night of, and even tried to frame him as an anti-semite.
“It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation,” he said at the time. “We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun’s career is forever tainted
In 2013, Braun later admitted those were lies, and apologized to the drug collector.
“I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards,” Braun said at the time, per ESPN. “I have disappointed the people closest to me — the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong.”
In Milwaukee, Braun has been forgiven. His achievements on the field largely outweigh his sins off of it for Brewers fans. Such is generally the case.
But for the rest of baseball, Braun’s legacy is the aforementioned scandal, and how he handled his original suspension. His retirement from baseball is appropriate, and whatever accolades we still credit him with ought to come with an asterisk.
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