Multibillion-dollar baseball industry responsible for MLB players' widespread drug abuse: Research
The widespread use of illegal steroids by Major League Baseball (MLB) players has reportedly been fueled by an 'economy of bodily management', the free agent market and exploding television revenues.
According to a research carried out by the University of Texas at Arlington, by attacking individual ballplayers' morality, commentators have obscured the more salient issue.
A researcher Sarah Rose said that baseball is representative of the fact that Americans increasingly live in an age of biotechnology in which bodily modification for profit has become the norm and, often, an unstated job requirement.
The researchers found that while the league minimum salary remained at 6,000 dollars between 1954 and 1967, players' average salaries soared to 16,000 dollars in the mid-1960s, which were paid out of funds newly attained through television revenue, which rose from 21 million dollars to 54 million dollars between 1964 and 1979.
Players and owners investigated new ways to preserve and enhance players' bodies and the research further said that enticed by the riches, players and teams harnessed fitness training, reconstructive surgery, biomechanical analysis and performance-enhancing drugs to reduce wear and tear of the body and radically alter them for profit.
The study suggests that the question raised by steroids is not individual morality, but rather the morality produced by a political economy of labor that calls for both services and body parts rendered.
The researchers contend that before the advent of salary arbitration and free agency, ballplayers were disposable parts in a high-risk work environment, although buoyed by exploding television revenues, the free agent market drove players' salaries into the millions, transforming the economics of bodily management.
(Posted on 15-02-2014)