Oct 18, 2011, 12:07 PM EST
Four U.S. Senators and the city health officials from St. Louis and Arlington, Texas sent letters to union head Michael Weiner, urging players to not use smokeless tobacco during the World Series.
Well, that ain’t happening, but it’s worth noting insofar as this is just the latest instance of public pressure on Major League Baseball over players’ use of tobacco. The campaign is pretty orchestrated at this point, and it’s a campaign I support because I do think that a lot of kids start using smokeless tobacco because it’s seen as acceptable in baseball.
Of course, no one appeal is going to be effective in and of itself. But it was exactly these kinds of gestures and overall awareness/shaming campaigns that have led to a big, big reduction in tobacco use overall. Laws and bans have played a big part in that, but stigmatizing tobacco use and getting minds and values to change over time has probably played a way bigger role.
I support a tobacco ban for baseball, but I doubt the league has the stomach to fight the union over tobacco use (and there isn’t a big percentage in it for MLB to begin with). But, at the very least, I bet if this sort of pressure keeps up, tobacco use will decrease among baseball players.
- Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo to a minor league deal 8
- Chris Sale will be sidelined for three weeks with foot fracture 11
- Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year 32
- Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers 9
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended 305
- Pirates open to massive extension for Andrew McCutchen 18
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” 86
- Yankees don’t plan on having to pay A-Rod’s $30 million in home run milestone bonuses 52
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended (305)
- San Francisco — and all of California — will consider a smokeless tobacco ban that includes MLB parks (131)
- Brian Sabean says that California taxes are a hindrance to the Giants signing free agents (102)
- Ichiro is happy to be away from Joe Girardi (88)
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” (86)