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Monday, April 22, 2024

I forgive marion, can you?

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Marion Jones asked for my forgiveness, so I’m going to give it to her.

I’m handing her my forgiveness on a used paper plate because by the time I finish writing this I might want it back.

Like many of you, I believed Marion. I cheered for her when she whisked past her opponents on the track and applauded her for keeping her head high when every finger was pointed at her calling her a liar and a cheater.

I was just like you, yelling at all the haters to stop trying to bring a Black woman down.

Now this.

When I first read that the Washington Post reported a letter written by Marion admitting that she lied and had indeed used performing enhancement drugs prior to and during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, I dismissed it.

As a journalist, the word “reportedly” is a huge, bright red flag to me. I needed to hear Marion say it. I needed to look at her and see her mouth the words.

She did and my heart broke.

It broke because deep down in my heart I truly believed her. She hadn’t tested positive (well, her B sample didn’t). She had been running like a champion since she was a kid, why did she need “extra” help?

Unfortunately for Marion, she’s not New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick who was caught and punished for cheating yet still deemed a genius, and will never recover from this blow.

I want to forgive Marion because if I made a similar mishap in judgment I’d want the same. I want to forgive her because she looked so darn pitiful and regretful during her press conference. I want to forgive her because she’s human and she’s made mistakes, just like you and just like me.

But when I think about the kids it’s hard to do. Kids who are running their butts off right now, training all day and all night and eating healthy to beat their competition the right way. For their sake, I hope the new stars of track and field like Allyson Felix, Jeremy Wariner, Lauryn Williams, Afasa Powell and Tyson Gay are clean.

I hope they’re clean for my sake too because I don’t have too many more used paper plates to give away.

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