Listening to sports radio last week, I heard yet another opinion regarding the Seahawks and PEDs. In this scenario, the radio personality opined that Pete Carroll was actually the source of the problems with the Seahawks players indulging in PEDs because he permitted it. I may be wrong on the actual verb. He might have said condoned, allowed, overlooked, pardoned, tolerated, etc. Pick your word; the position of the radio personality was clear… Pete was ultimately responsible for the PED use in the Hawks locker room.
I could not disagree more. And I have two points I’d like to make.
First, I understand the suspensions the Seahawks have racked up make great radio fodder. We have to fill the airwaves with something, right? And I guess there’s only so much you can say about OTAs, the depth of our team, the fabulous draft and the championship off season. I also recognize that creating controversy is part of the job sports broadcasters take on. No controversy, no callers. Totally get it. But I think Seattle is being singled out as the capitol of PED use and by default, I guess Pete would be president or the chief dispenser or some such nonsense.
I did some research and noted that there are a few teams that have multiple PED suspensions, yet when I do an internet search for NFL PED use, The Seahawks are 18 of the top 20 search results. I take that to mean that we are getting the bulk of the sports media attention for this issue. I’m not denying the issue exists, just saying that somehow we’re getting the spotlight on this. I’d much rather get the spotlight for our football prowess!
Secondly, not only do I have difficulty visualizing Pete telling the guys “I’m okay with this, just don’t get caught,” I don’t think he’s the deciding factor in whether or not players decide to use PEDs. Bluntly, I think the players are ultimately responsible for their PED use not matter how permissive or strict the team culture is. Taking a position that there’s something wrong with our team culture or Pete as a leader is just silly. The decision and the solution both rest firmly with the players.
I’m pleased that the senior players called a meeting with their teammates to discuss this issue. At the end of the day, I believe peer relationships are going to have much greater impact on this issue than anything else.