In Barry Bonds's wake, a trail of broken lives
The Barry Bonds trial has played out like a daily morality play, offering an unvarnished look at how sports stars' entourages can be made and ripped apart by fame, wealth, and scandal.
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The last time she spoke to Bonds was at his father Bobby Bonds’ funeral in August of that year.Skip to next paragraph
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Her brother, however, wasn’t allowed at the funeral.
At this point in the cross-examination, Ms. Hoskins’s demeanor, which had been feisty, began to crack and she lifted her glasses up to wipe tears away with a paper napkin.
Bonds eventually contacted the FBI about his allegation against Mr. Hoskins.
In response, Ms. Hoskins said on the stand, her brother contacted the FBI and told agents about the injection his sister had witnessed.
When later it became clear that the FBI was going to ask her about the incident, she got a lawyer because her brother “threw me under the bus, and that’s why I’m over here,” she said.
When prosecutor Matthew Parrella questioned her, he asked her: “Are you testifying here just to back your brother up?”
“Absolutely not,” she responded.
“Are you happy being here?”
“No,” she said, choking up and lifting her glasses to wipe more tears away. “I was put in the middle of this.”
Ms. Hoskins’s story is particularly poignant, says Derek Van Rheenen, director of Cultural Studies of Sport in Education at the University of California at Berkeley.
“She was witnessing unethical behavior and turning a blind eye,” he says. “We need to ask ourselves, what investment do I have in this person that’s causing me to ignore my own values?"
“If you’re turning a blind eye because you’ll be out of a job or feeling like you’ll betray someone, that’s a challenging position to be in, particularly if your livelihood depends upon it,” he adds.
Yet, in some ways, Dr. Rheenen sees Anderson’s situation as the most intriguing. Anderson has not appeared at the trial because he has been in jail more than a year for refusing to cooperate with federal investigators.
But his name has been ubiquitous at the proceedings. Four witnesses – Jason Giambi; his brother, Jeremy; Marvin Bernard; and Randy Velarde, all current or former professional baseball players – testified that they used banned steroids, some of which they bought from Anderson, who apparently used his association with Bonds to find new clients for a dubious concoction he called “the cream and the clear.”
“He’s the only one who has paid any price for his behavior so far, certainly with going to prison,” says Rheenen. “In a way that’s honorable.”
But on the other hand, “sometimes loyalty runs face to face up against ethics,” Rheenen says. “We really honor loyalty, but if your loyalty is part of unethical behavior then that loyalty has to come into question.”