This article is part of a series in celebration of a new, dynamic voice in Black America: the NUBIANO Exchange. Brace yourself for the NUBIANO experience.
There is a certain joy and anguish that sports fans feel whenever a sacred record is broken. Without a doubt, certain records have been untouched so long that they are considered "holy grail" — an accomplishment to be made only by hard-working, dedicated players, as a tribute to the fans, after years of personal struggle and tremendous performance.
As with all things, the stability of such records are completely unpredictable and it is hoped (and expected) that, whenever a "great" of the past is out-shined by a newer talent, the achievement of the new record-holder will serve as a tribute to their predecessor's memory and legacy, have an air of "purity" and also garner widespread, positive attention — all while bringing new fans to the sport.
That was the hope that many expressed, as Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run — a historic feat that smashed a 33-year record by Hank Aaron. Instead of receiving widespread adoration and adulation, sports fans saw, for the first time in modern sports history, a player's legacy bought, slandered, and put on public display, for the ages, at the price of $752,467 — a mere fraction of the $150 million that Bonds made over the course of his career.
While Bonds run to the top may be far from pristine, the fact of the matter is this: he reached the summit and, despite widespread criticism, the league has honored this achievement and has not found it right (or necessary) to publicly condemn him. With that being said, Bonds will always maintain his spot in sports history, as the league's all-time home run hitter, until another, fresher face "takes the cake" and replaces his name.
Understanding that fact, Marc Ecko, a fashion designer with no real love or ties to major league baseball, found it necessary to take Barry Bonds' moment in the sun and reprimand him — using his own personal politics and financial reserves to tinker with historical record underneath the guise of a "public debate" in an online forum. And ultimately, since Barry Bonds left an historic mark that can not be erased, it was determined by Marc Ecko, at all costs, to taint Bonds' record, since steroid tests and the BALCO case could not do the job. (Side note: For the record, Bonds has never failed a steroid test and has never been charged with perjury or indicted for his testimony in the BALCO case.)