Barry Bonds is a free man, after fighting to prove his innocence for the past 11-and-a-half years.
The baseball legend is legally no longer guilty of obstruction of justice, and now that he's broken his silence on the steroids scandal, one thing's for certain: he's unbothered by anyone's thoughts on his career or credentials.
"I don't even justify that," he said. "There's no need. That's without saying."
His innocence was proven true after a lengthy scandal involving BALCO steroids which led to him being convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011.
He says he feels a huge sense of relief. "It'd be not true if I said there wasn't some weight lifted off my shoulders," he said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I've never been much of a talker. That's never been my game. I don't have time to put people down. I don't have time to do all that stuff. I don't care to. If people want to say negative things, that's their opinion."
His conviction was overturned by an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals following a 10-1 vote. Speaking of the positive outcome, the 51-year-old credited it all to God before mentioning that his sporting abilities are pretty legendary in their own right. "That's why I say God is good," he said. "Every player who's ever played against me knows my ability, and that's something I will never, ever have to explain. I'm not insulted by anything. I don't hold grudges. I'm not going to hold a grudge. I know what I brought to the game. I'm proud of that. That's all, I'm proud of that."
Though he is now legally freed of the criticism, Bonds still faces another argument: Should he or shouldn't he be elected into the baseball Hall of Fame? The all-time home run leader first appeared on the ballot back in 2013, but only received 36.2 percent, 34.7 percent and 36.8 percent of the vote over the last three years. Those elected into Cooperstown must receive 75 percent of the vote, at the very least.
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(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
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