Michael Schumacher: Weasel?

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2005Michael Schumacher has been nominated for the ‘weaseliest sports person of the year’ award on the website of the popular newspaper cartoon Dilbert.

The annual ‘Weasel of the Year’ awards single out individuals who, “operate in that vast gray area between good ethical behaviour and the sort of activities that might send you to jail.” Other categories include weaseliest company, politician and country.

Does he deserve the nomination?

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 1996Schumacher has probably been nominated as a result of the notorious incident in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, where he stopped his car on track during qualifying in an attempt to prevent rival drivers (including championship rival Fernando Alonso) from setting a faster time.

And of course there are also the celebrated incidents with Damon Hill (1994) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997) when he tried to ram his opponents off the track. His insistence on having a deeply subservient team mate may also qualify as ‘weaselly’.

His rivals for the title of ‘weaseliest sports person of the year’ are:

  • Barry Bonds – Major League baseballer who holds the record for most home runs in a season, who has been alleged to have used steroids and was linked to the BALCO scandal concerning the supply of anabolic steroids to professional athletes.
  • Floyd Landis – Won the 2006 Tour de France (cycle race), the first following the retirement of multiple winner Lance Armstrong, but faces being stripped of the title after failing a drugs test.
  • Justin Gatlin – Olympic gold medallist who faces beign stripped of his titles following a failed drugs test.
  • Lance Armstrong – Multiple Tour de France winner. Although he has never been proven to have taken drugs he seems to have been tainted by association with a sport that has a terrible drugs problem. Allegations have been made, but none have ever stuck.
  • Terrell Owens – American footballer renowned for his flamboyant celebrations.
  • Zinedine Zidane – Footballer who retired following this year’s World Cup. He was sent off in his final game after headbutting a rival, which was not the first time this player of world renowned skill was involved in such an incident.

Follow the link below to place your vote. Is ramming a rival in a motor race ethically worse than taking performance enhancing drugs? Now there’s a moral minefield…

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