Talking With Dick Butkus About Steroids

Here you have one of the best NFL players of all time. One of the hardest hitting players who caused plenty of pain and a guy who, as an NFL linebacker, can identify with those who have lifelong health problems after playing in the often vicious NFL.

Dick Butkus is an ambassador of the EAS brand and their "I Play Clean" campaign is designed at introducing clean and safe sports nutrition products. In short, he wants to help educate those on illegal steroid use, not just in the NFL, but across the country, and he wants to do so by offering a solution.

He's taking an approach that makes sense -- starting at the bottom. Butkus says he partnered with this group in an effort to educate high school athletes of the dangers of steroids and to offer them the safety of knowing that, when they buy a product, they know what substances are included.

Butkus' approach to educating kids on steroids can be effective. The education starts at the bottom, with high school students, and it's helped by the NFL's crackdown on steroids in the NFL. He and his son have gone across the country to promote their affiliation with EAS, which recently announced its new certification program making it the first major sports nutrition brand to certify 100 percent of its products.

He tells a story of receiving a call from a woman and, when she answers the phone, her voice is deep. "I could tell just from her voice on the phone that she used steroids," Butkus said last week. He says some kids today just don't understand the lifelong effects of steroids and that they won't just change your voice -- they can cause irreparable harm to your body, all the way to death.

Butkus understands that things like steroid education means a little bit more when it comes from someone who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He understands that there are pressures out there for high school athletes to take steroids but he also understands that there are people out there who are willing to prey on high school athletes by offering sports nutrition products that contain hidden substances. He understands that there are safe alternatives to finding nutrition products that can help your game.

As the NFL's drug and steroid testing becomes more sophisticated over the next few years, Butkus' emphasis on safe alternatives will become more pertinent.

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