I don’t think I need to explain to sports fans from all around Wisconsin what has happened to their baseball hero over the past two seasons.
Simply put, Ryan Braun cheated, lied about it, and then finally agreed to a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball.
He didn’t just lie to his teammates and all of those associated with baseball, he lied to the fans that have supported him during his entire career.
Braun has attempted to start repairing his severely damaged relationship with baseball and its fans by releasing a statement and by, more recently, personally calling fans to apologize.
The Brewers organization has also attempted to ease the pain Braun caused by using Braun’s 3.25 million dollars in salary, that he lost during suspension, to give fans a ten dollar stadium voucher as they enter Miller Park.
Even with these attempts to get back into the good graces of baseball and its fans, Braun still hasn’t done enough to even begin improving his image for the better.
So the question that remains is, what does Ryan Braun need to do to be loved and respected by his fans once again?
I’m a devoted supporter of the St. Louis Cardinals, so you may be asking yourself why I should even care about this issue.
My response is that I’m not simply just a fan of the Cardinals, but a fan of the game of baseball.
I, like many Brewers fans, believed Braun when he initially pleaded his innocence. No fan of baseball would hope that a former MVP was guilty of using performance enhancing drugs, just based on how terrible that would be for baseball’s reputation.
When Braun finally came out about his drug use I, like Brewers fans everywhere, felt betrayed that I trusted Braun throughout the whole ordeal.
Braun now has a chance to make things right, and here is how I believe he can accomplish that monumental feat.
The most important thing Braun needs to do is come out and hold a very public press conference that allows reporters to ask him the questions that we care about, rather than what he addressed in his written statement. Braun has to understand that he needs to personally articulate how sorry he is for his decisions, and, even more importantly, what his thought process was throughout that time period. If Braun comes out and acknowledges, in front of a camera, what exactly he did, then he may start to regain some trust.
By being on camera, we can see how genuinely remorseful and sorry Braun is for his actions, and this will go a long way toward forgiveness.
There is a long road for Braun to travel to reach the level of trust that his fans granted him before this whole scandal, but I sincerely hope he can achieve that comeback.