The Ryan Braun suspension has triggered a slew of reactions and disgust this week. One of the strongest condemnations of Braun came on July 26, from a fellow Wisconsin star who was once of his biggest supporters. Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers lamented that he “trusted” Braun — especially after Tweeting last year he would bet a whole year’s salary that Braun was clean.
Rodgers won’t have to pay that much, yet his dismay over the case was one of the strongest to date. This in itself is noteworthy, given how much scorn Braun has faced over the last 18 months, and in the last week most of all.
Here is a list of some of the stronger reactions over Braun’s suspension, with most of them coming pretty hard on him. But these attacks have been stronger than most others, as they’ve ranged from calls for his lifetime ban, forfeiting his 2011 MVP award, and issuing the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks a public apology.
Rodgers had the strongest reaction from someone outside of the baseball world, although he and Braun are the two most famous athletes in Wisconsin. The Packers’ quarterback stuck up for Braun when few did last year, which is why he said he was “shocked” on July 26 about his suspension — even if most others weren’t. But now that his most famous supporter no longer believes his innocence, it shows how far Braun has fallen.
When Braun first tested positive for PED use in 2012, the debate quickly raged on whether he should forfeit his 2011 MVP award to Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp, especially since it was such a close race. Once the debate resumed this week, Kemp agreed that the MVP “should be” taken away from Braun, although he didn’t make a case for himself to be named the new winner.
Kemp’s teammate went a step further, as Schumaker called for Braun to lose the MVP to Kemp, along with his place in baseball for life. In fact, he also claimed that he took down his son’s autographed jersey of Braun, so that he wouldn’t compare him to his father.
Hunter has been one of the few to express some kind of support towards Braun. The Detroit Tigers’ outfielder even stated he “stepped up” by taking the deal and that “it takes a man to forgive him.”
Braun has had trouble asking for forgiveness, but ESPN analyst Olney stated he has many people to apologize to. Calling him the “Lance Armstrong of baseball” Olney wrote that Braun owes apologizes to the Brewers, their fans, the collector who Braun accused of tainting his last drug test, and to the Arizona Diamondbacks for his work in beating them in the 2011 NLDS.
Greinke was Braun’s teammate in 2011 and for half of 2012. The current Los Angeles Dodgers ace spoke out on July 26 and said Braum “lied to us” while he was in Milwaukee, “forced us to lie for him” and accused him of never issuing a “real apology.”
Girardi is in the middle of baseball’s other great PED scandal, thanks to Alex Rodriguez. As the New York Yankees’ manager waits for the A-Rod soap opera to end one way or the other, he took out some frustration when he was asked about Braun on July 22.
Girardi stated he was “tired of steroids” and the suspension was “another black eye for our game.” Of course, the game may have multiple black eyes when Rodriguez’s suspension finally comes down.