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Smart and Dumb Reactions to Ryan Braun Saga

The suspension of the Brewers slugger has prompted some diverse responses

Adam Chandler
July 23, 2013

As we noted yesterday, the disappointing news about the suspension of Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun wasn’t entirely unexpected. Pity the fans who believed and maybe pity Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who earlier this year, bet his entire NFL salary for 2013 on his Braun’s innocence in an exchange on Twitter.

Over at Slate, Josh Levin smartly adds that one person we should not be pitying is Ryan Braun.

Why is Braun such a villain? Because after getting a reprieve last year that it’s now pretty obvious he didn’t deserve, he had the gall to smear the lowest man on the baseball org chart to make himself look a teeny-tiny bit better. In February 2012, after he successfully appealed a 50-game drug suspension, the 2011 MVP smarmed his way through a victory press conference, whining that he’d been wrongfully accused and that the whole process had been so very hard on him. He also attacked the integrity of Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who’d collected his urine sample. “There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened,” he said, citing nothing at all to support his claims. “We spoke to biochemists and scientists, and asked them how difficult it would be for someone to taint the sample. They said, if they were motivated, it would be extremely easy.” At the same time, Braun praised his own moral rectitude, saying, “I will continue to take the high road. We won because the truth was on my side.”

No matter the depth of Braun’s foibles, yesterday’s suspension did not stop some baseball fans from indulging in “the socialism of fools.” If you happened to run Braun’s name through a search on Twitter yesterday, in addition to the outrage, you probably caught your fill of reactions to the Braun suspension that were unflinchingly anti-Semitic. Over at the Huffington Post, a list of the (what else) ten most anti-Semitic tweets about Ryan Braun was compiled, just in case you needed more proof of how ugly the world is.

Great, another famous Jew who lied to get ahead. Ryan Braun, I welcome you to the prestigious company of Bernie Madoff.

— Andrew Gerson (@grrrson_person) July 22, 2013

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.