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Mill and the Mitchell Report

April 2, 2011

On December 13, 2007, George Mitchell released a 409 page report stating information he gathered about anabolic steroid use in the game of baseball (Mitchell).  The release of this report was very controversial because many star baseball were going to be looked down upon for their performance enhancing drug use even though steroids were not illegal at the time.  The report consisted of a list of players that have used drugs, the effectiveness of the MLB Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, and recommendations regarding future drug regulations in the game of baseball (Mitchell).

In my opinion, Mitchell had the right to release the report even though it would tarnish the reputation of several people in the baseball world.  The public had the right to know which athletes were cheating and which were staying clean.  Mill supports my idea that the names should have been released when he says that keeping people from stating their opinions robs “the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation” (Mill 601).  If the Mitchell report had not been released, discovering who used steroids would have been a witch hunt and it would have been impossible to truly know who was taking the performance enhancing drugs.  This is especially true because several players lied to a judge about their steroid use including the “home-run king” Barry Bonds, who is currently on trial for lying to a judge.  The video below is of superstar first baseman Rafael Palmeiro claiming to have never used steroids.  Less than a year later it an illegal substance was found in his blood.

Now the counter argument to Mitchell releasing his report is that he could have been wrong about some of the players he was accusing.  However, Mitchell spent a lot of time working on his report and had evidence from valuable sources, so it was very likely that all of his accusations were going to be correct.  The only player that put up a fight after the Mitchell Report was released was Roger Clemens, and so far it is looking like he actually was on steroids.  As I said earlier, even though Mitchell could have been wrong with his accusations of a few players, I was still in favor of him releasing the report because I thought it was beneficial to society and that he had the right to release his thoughts.  Mill supports me on this topic by stating that people should always voice their opinions so long as they act on their conscientious conviction (Mill 600).  Additionally, since Mitchell released so much unknown factual information in his report, he was performing a great service to humanity which is another one of the reasons Mill believes people should always have the right to state their opinions (Mill 615).

Bibliography:
Mitchell, George J. The Mitchell Report. Harpercollins, 2007. Print.

Wootton, David. Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to
Nietzsche. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2008. Print.

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