Monday, January 7, 2008

Should Marion Jones Go To Jail?

Disgraced Olympian Marion Jones is hoping for probation in her upcoming sentencing for lying about steroids and check fraud. She is claiming that her "public disgrace" is enough punishment. I say baloney! I was a big fan of Ms. Jones and I remain a supporter, but I'm sorry, she's got to do some time. She enjoyed the fame and the money as long as it lasted and she lied for as long as she could get away with it. If she wasn't famous, she would be in jail already. I admired her hearfelt apology and I will truly respect her if she takes her punishment with the same dignity.

What do you think?


JJ January 7, 2008 at 6:32 PM  

Is she a harm to herself or anybody?

If not then give her probation and call it a day. Jail is a waste of time for her and a waste of tax payer money.

It's expensive to lock folk up.

She has been throughly punished in loss of gold medals, money, endorsements whatever.

Jail is just piling on. Even the check fraud I'm sure she has to make restitution for.

Hell I'm still trying to figure out why she admitted to steroid use...pretty much anybody who place in that Olympics in track was using.

Jail is pointless in this case. The courts can make great use of her as far as probation goes with a serious community service element.

Villager January 7, 2008 at 6:41 PM  

I think that public figures who suffer disgrace endure a punishment much worse that going behind bars.

Also, I think that we have too many people of African descent behind bars as it is.

Therefore, I don't think that Marion should do time. Probation, community service, that should be fine.

She had to give up her fame, her medals and she was publically humilated ... and she's broke now. That seems quite enough to pay for trying to fly so close to the sun that your wings melt.

peace, Villager

Professor Tracey January 7, 2008 at 7:41 PM  

If she wasn't famous would you still feel this way? My point is when we start making excuses for famous people, how do we expect ordinary folks to follow the rules? She lied and she cheated. The things she lost, she didn't deserve in the first place. Losing them is not a punishment, it was what was required.

If it was just about the lying with the steroids, I could consider it, but the check kiting was deliberate fraud on her part and a completely different matter.


I agree with you about too many black folk beind bars. I just wish we would stop taking short cuts that put us in direct conflict with the justice system.

Professor Tracey January 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

JJ -

Thanks for your comment. Well said. I don't agree, but I respect your points.

wisdomteachesme January 7, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

lol--"is she going to harm herself or anyone else?"
naw, she is not going to be able to coach and teach the little ones if she is behind bars--there are enough people behind bars for minor stuff as it is.

too much money--i think she is quite humbled by this experience. and hopefully ready to pursue her career on a higher plateau than in the past.

on a side note- she should read your list for women wanting to be with a life partner--and who not to get!
she was involved with much mess other than this drugging thing.

i like her and i think she is very talented & gifted. i watched her play b-ball at carolina when i could. and the track meets were off the chart when she ran.

there is better for her life let her go get it i say.

SheCodes January 7, 2008 at 9:27 PM  

1) Embarrassment is not a punishment. You can not measure it -- and do not know if a famous person is 'embarrassed' or just claiming to be to get out of something.

2) If we start making 'special' rules for people because they are black, then we are no better than our oppressors. Just because there are a bunch of us in jail doesn't earn her a black pass... any more than there are white rapists in jail -- should they get a 'white pass'?

Treat her EXACTLY like you would treat any other athlete who has done this... no more, no less.

JJ January 8, 2008 at 1:12 AM  

Yes. If she wasn't famous I would feel exactly the same way.

I don't believe in locking people up for crimes that are best served with probation, community service and a healthy dose of public humiliation.

It's a waste of money and time.

I feel about Marion the same way I'd feel about anyone who was in her position.

wisdomteachesme January 8, 2008 at 8:49 AM  

every case is different.

it's easy to say what should be done or what we would do-when it's not us directly involved in the situation.

rich-famous-or not-each case is different and should be seen as such.

being a rapist(and all that being one is made of) and being a person that committed a crime in which the person only hurt their own career and future is different.

no rapist that is guilty should get any passes from punishment.
this is sports and she basically hurt herself- if need be it could be seen that she raped, pimped and played herself.

Mes Deux Cents January 8, 2008 at 9:25 AM  

Hi Professor Tracey,

I don't think Marion should go to jail.

I'm not going to try to make up a reason, I don't want her to go because I was a fan of hers.

I feel bad for Marion.

SheCodes January 8, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

I used to be a very serious runner (400 meters). I am in my 30's and still hold a few records in New Jersey. I even had a scholarship to Olympic training camp when I was 15. Carl Lewis' mother was my coach back then.

I don't think that average people or non-athletes understand the magnitude of the damage that people who cheat in the Olymics create.

There are thousands of young people all around the world who make enormous sacrifices their entire lives -- some since early childhood -- physically and mentally grueling schedules for years and sometimes decades, blood, sweat, tears, injuries, and their parents entire financial situation, to become Olympic winners. Most of them are poor, it's their only shot out of abject poverty.


It steals careers and economic opportunity from the people who really deserve it. So who was supposed to win in the prequalifying races, but was bumped off from a cheater? She's probably working in a Walmart somewhere. Her running career was ruined. How about the endorsements that the rightful winner should have received?

How about the investors who believed in her, and gave into her training program, and is Nike going to get their money back?

No just because Marion is a 'sista' doesn't make me forget how much pain she has caused. But maybe only an athlete (or former athlete like me) can fully understand the magnitude of the pain that innocent people have gone through because of her.

So NO special treatment.

rjweems January 8, 2008 at 11:13 AM  

Gotta agree with JJ on this one, Professor Tracey.

Marion, oh Marion my girl, deserves some form of punishment, for sure, but jail time is a waste of tax payer money on this one. She has certainly suffered enormous humiliation, but a strenuous amount of hours doing serious public service work with/on behalf of kids, picking up trash on the streets, or whatever, should do it for this kind of crime.

JerseyBred January 8, 2008 at 11:28 AM  

I don't feel she should do any time. As it was said earlier, jail's expensive, & she's been stripped of her money, fame, & medals.

JerseyBred January 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

Great post SheCodes. Although I do believe that Nike's doing just fine. Any money lost can be regained through overpriced kicks & sweatshop labor.

Can't discredit the rest of your post though.

Typical Jersey question: What exit?

Professor Tracey January 8, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

I think everyone here "feels" for Marion, but I'm with SheCodes. How does her "public" embarrassment make up for the people who lost opportunities because of her cheating? I doubt those folks are feeling so charitable toward Marion.

SheCodes January 8, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

Oh, and I just re-read my post -- And I need to clear something up: I hold the records for races I ran in my late teens.

If I tried to burn through a 400 meter race today, I'd probably pass out and get sent to the hospital :-P

wisdomteachesme January 8, 2008 at 12:44 PM  

it's life-people miss out on much because of others actions and re-actions to situations.

if it is meant for other track stars to succeed and marions actions caused a delay for their climb up...
it will be given to them a different way.

she was not the only way for them to rise to the top as she did.

it's all about the game of skill & chance-yes you can train and work hard spend lots of money for training and supplies and all-but in the end it's always that someone is better than the rest.

there has always been and i'm sure will always be, cheating in sports on some level. it's about greed.

she got caught. her motives were all wrong-her ethics became skewed and full of ego. winning at any cost is what she was doing and she has been exposed.
as have so many others.

and she will not be the last black nor white person, man or woman that cheats and gets caught.

Villager January 8, 2008 at 12:55 PM  

At the end of the day ... i don't think that her punishment should be jail. The prosecutor/judge have other options and I hope that they use the other options.

Frankly, I don't think that Mike Vick deserved two years in jail for his offense either. I don't see other dog-fighting criminals behind bars for two years.

Prosecutors/judges often give disparate treatment to celebrities for the publicity and name recognition that it brings to them. Very important for those prosecutors & judges that need votes to be re-elected.

Anyhow, I think Marion is the one on trial ...not Nike or the other atheletes she competed against. Her crime that is being judged for punishment (jail or something else) isn't taking steroids ... it is lying about it.

peace, Villager

JD January 8, 2008 at 2:33 PM  

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time!!!

SheCodes January 8, 2008 at 3:06 PM  

LOL Jerseybred... Exit 5! Ha ha!

rjweems January 8, 2008 at 6:08 PM  

You're right about those folks who "lost opportunities" because of Marion's cheating probably not feeling charitable toward her right now. That's true. And so? All of us are inclined to be bloodthirsty when someone gets ahead of us from cheating. That's understandable. But jail time doesn't seem the suitable thing to me for this sort of crime.

Sure, my father was good about taking a belt to all of us kids in the house -- whether one of us was guilty of leaving the milk out overnight or one of us was caught playing hooky from school or one of us was guilty of wetting the bed. We felt the punishment and we got the point already. But the punishment didn't always fit the crime.

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