Friday, March 12, 2010

Redemption Song.

While America is indeed the land of infinite possibilities, it's unfortunately also the land where "labels" stick. Despite her brief but prolific college basketball career, and her record-setting Olympic track and field exploits, ultimately Marion Jones' eulogy will one day be overshadowed by a single word.


Few will forget Jones tearful admission during that outdoor press conference. Many (me included) thought her being sent to jail for 6 months was more posturing by the judge than fair justice. Jones personal actions left her jobless, bankrupt, and saw her lifetime accomplishments expunged from the record books.

Now, at age 34, she's finally getting a chance for redemption.
Former Olympic sprinter Jones signs deal with Tulsa Shock: Marion Jones hasn't lost much of her swagger.

The disgraced sprinter once called the world's fastest woman was introduced Wednesday as the newest member of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock and she offered no apologies for her steroids use or her time in federal prison. She was poised and ready for questions about her troubled past.

"The word redemption is not in my vocabulary," Jones said at a news conference, flanked by team president Steve Swetoha and coach Nolan Richardson. "I'm a competitor, I want to play against the best in the world, and I know that I will be doing that."

Her bid for a new career comes a decade after she starred at the Sydney Olympics, winning gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 1,600-meter relay, and bronze in the long jump and 400-meter relay. She was stripped of all five medals after admitting in 2007 that she was using performance-enhancing drugs — a designer steroid called the "clear" — at the time of the games. Jones also spent about six months in a Texas prison for lying to federal prosecutors about doping and her role in a check-fraud scam.

The 34-year-old Jones joined the team just four days after working out for Richardson, who is also the team's general manager. She was signed to at least a one-year contract but terms were not disclosed.
You can't help but notice the other guy in the photo above. Yep, that's former disgraced and blackballed Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson. Also getting a shot at redemption, years after his own glory day.

I don't particularly care for the WNBA, and I couldn't locate Tulsa with a GPS, but I wish these two the best.

Question: Should Marion Jones (and Nolan Richardson) have gotten second chances?

Marion Jones signs deal with Tulsa Shock [SeattleTimes]

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