Monday, January 3, 2011

A-Rod Keeping His Commitment to Steroid Prevention

Alex at press conference in Tampa following steroid admission
In February of 2009 after Alex Rodriguez admitted to steroid use while playing in Texas, he said that he would like to join the fight against steroid abuse. Since then, not much has been publicized about whether or not Alex had actually followed through on his commitment, and if you're like me, you may have wondered why he would make such a public statement and go back on it, knowing that the media and still some fans in New York would relish an opportunity to dog him.

What Alex has done is join the Taylor Hooton Foundation in their efforts to educate young athletes about the dangers of steroids. He began his relationship with the foundation that same February of 2009 and decided to play his part in the fight, discreetly.

"I've just made a point to do instead of talking about it," Alex told The Dallas Morning News during the ALCS against the Rangers. "It's all about Mr. Hooton and his enthusiasm. He lives this."

Don Hooton, the organization's founder and father of Taylor Hooton, who took his life in 2003 after falling into a depression from anabolic steroid use, reached out to the Yankees for Alex and was present at Spring Training camp in Tampa that February in '09 during Alex's now infamous press conference. Since then, Alex has participated in speaking engagements at high schools, fundraisers at the stadium and golf tournaments, all to raise money and awareness for steroid prevention. 

Since his steroid admission last year, Alex has been a model for the benefits of discretion. He's only spoken to the media about his play on the field and has refrained from anything that puts him in the spotlight. The formula is working, as Alex has gained the respect of many who wrote him off after his hip surgery last year. He continues to improve as a team player and hopefully his efforts with the Taylor Hooton Foundation will improve the lives of many young athletes who are tempted or feel pressured to use steroids. Kudos, Alex!

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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