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The Braves hazed their rookies after losing 4-0 to the Padres

Sep 15, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Padres starter Burch Smith proved to be too much for the Braves’ offense this afternoon as the right-hander shut them out over seven innings, logging ten strikeouts. Behind Chase Headley‘s two-run home run in the sixth and Tommy Medica‘s solo shot in the seventh, the Padres had more than enough offense to topple the NL East-leading Braves.

After the game, the Braves had their rookies dress up in a “tennis theme” as Kevin Faigle of WRDW Augusta described on Facebook.

Kevin McAlpin posted this photo:

I know the Braves were just doing this to innocently have fun, but these rookie hazing antics need to stop. They are often homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic in nature. In the photo above, the Braves are embarrassing their rookies by making them dress up in women’s clothing. Other forms of hazing involve rookies donning pink backpacks, ones that a six-year-old girl would wear to school.

There’s a way to have fun innocently, and then there’s having fun at the expense of an often-discriminated-against group of people, reinforcing to others that such behavior is acceptable. This looks even worse considering Major League Baseball has been a part of the “It Gets Better” campaign.

We’ve had plenty of incidents at colleges in recent years where students have been hazed, some even killed. Rookie hazing isn’t harmless when it’s seen by millions of people.

I forget who said it, and I’m just paraphrasing, but when it comes to humor, your jokes should always be aiming up at somebody — or at least moving laterally — rather than striking down at disadvantaged people from a position of power.

  1. bosoxfan15 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    @bill, I see nothing wrong with that picture. You need to relax and gain a sense of humor.

    • manifunk - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      Oh, a straight internet male doesn’t find anything wrong with the photo. Better delete this Bill.

    • baseballisboring - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:15 AM

      Agreed. As a man, you can’t pretend that dressing up in pink bathing suits isn’t embarrassing. That’s the point of this. The point isn’t to be homophobic, the point is to make your younger teammates dress up like complete assholes, laugh at them and then put the pictures on the internet. I agree that the joke is hacky, played out and unfunny, but anyone who takes offense to something like this is being an absolute baby.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        As a man, you can’t pretend that dressing up in pink bathing suits isn’t embarrassing. That’s the point of this.

        And why is it embarrassing? Answer that question, and you should realize why Bill posted this column.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        “And why is it embarrassing?”

        Because they look ridiculous. They’re wearing clothes that don’t fit them, and some of those outfits would look stupid on women even.

        Not everything has to be offensive.

      • clydeserra - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        You don’t have to not be offended by the homophobic and sexist nature of the hazing, its a free country.

        But it is homophobic and sexist.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Well, if you’re going to claim discrimination, please remember to use the correct term. If you believe this to be discriminatory, you would want to call it transphobic.

        I don’t see it as discriminatory. Like I said, these are ridiculous outfits simply because of how they look. Those are awful swimsuits that apparently stumbled right out of the 90s, the goggles are ridiculous and wtf are those hats they’re wearing?

  2. magnusmagnolius - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Hazing is dumb. If I were a coach, I wouldn’t allow it.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    It only counts as hazing if something ends up in someone’s rectum.

    No homo, of course. It’s all in good fun.

    I don’t understand it, but I don’t get to make the rules.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    “Haha, look how gay these guys are!”
    “You made us dress up like this.”
    “Shut up, queer!”

    It’s like the Monty Python witch sketch.

  5. miketreedy - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Bill – stop you political correct BS. Just cover the news of baseball and keep everything else to yourself. If we cared about your personal views on hazing we will ask you. This is obviously all in good fun and I bet all those involved had a good time.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      Or you could show some restraint and not read things that don’t interest you.

      It takes less effort both in the reading department and in the whining like a 4 year old girl who just made tinkle in her fresh new frilly underpants department.

  6. okwhitefalcon - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Righteous indignation police alert, sheesh.

  7. bigdaddy44 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Just like their encounter with the Marlins last week, this team again is showing it’s complete lack of class. With the players on this team, they should not be allowed to call themselves the “Braves”.

  8. RickyB - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    I may be in the minority here, but I wholeheartedly agree with Bill. It never ceases to amaze me that the media will portray any hazing as “good fun.” The thing about hazing is what may start off being considered harmless, it ends up escalating further and further until someone takes it too far. NFL players will duct tape a rookie to the goal post, how funny! That guy in turn one ups what happened to him when he gets the opportunity until a guy is getting his ass cheeks taped together and all the hair gets ripped out, taking skin with it. Go ahead, tell me to get a sense of humor. But when hazing is glamorized on TV, the crap that happens at colleges with alcohol poisoning and hospitalizations will keep occurring with more frequency.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      I like the logic in “If you don’t let us put this in your butt, you’re not part of the team”….

      Because that’s really not a team I want to be part of.

      Rites of passage are idiotic.

  9. jjrosato - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    get off your soap box, let the guys have fun and don’t destroy them for it, there’s no harm in hazing

    • manifunk - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      Sure, it only demeans players by slapping them with stereotypes couched in bigotry. But hey, boys will be boys, right?

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Yup. No harm in hazing at all.

      If you don’t want to read it, that’s ok….it says that you’re a dumbass.

      • schlom - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM

        So that’s what the tennis rackets in the picture are for…

  10. cupquest - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Lighten up, Francis.

    • schlom - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      • dad95 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        DAMMNNNN you stole my reply..Lighten up Bill,,,you already did your job and got my reply. :)

  11. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    the lengths that some writers will go to in order to make a story here is annoying. rookie hazing has gone on for far longer than anyone here has walked the earth, and its not going to stop because somebody who writes about it gets butthurt. this is all part of the experience in entering the show, bill. if you don’t care for it than i suppose you can start a protest group aimed at professional ballplayers who like to have fun and blow off some steam at the expense of a young pro who should clearly know that some form of initiation is due unto him. if you want to start making a real effort i would suggest you take your soy-based drama over to the westboro baptist church and their tangible hate speech instead of going after ballplayers who, until the age of the internet, kept these kinds of shenanigans private. but then again that would require effort on your part instead of opening your twitter feed and regurgitating some trivial slop to feed the trough.

  12. e5tolife - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Looks like they were having a terrible time in that picture. Obviously it’s super harmful for not only them but apparently also entire groups of non-involved people!

    Thanks for the preachy story now get off the soapbox and just cover baseball. K thanks.

  13. eagles512 - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Was someone hazed as a kid? Sensitive

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM


      You mean to say “bullied” in that sentence, because it’s actually the same thing.

  14. Marty McKee - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    Yes, discrimination against six-year-old girls needs to stop.

  15. thebigtim2012 - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Making a straight man dress as a woman is funny. It doesn’t mean it’s homophobic since last I checked a large portion of gay men don’t dress up in women’s clothes.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      LGBT….the T stands for “trans” and they are included in the homosexual community.

      And men dressing as women isn’t funny. It was funny 40 years ago. Now it’s dumb.

    • clydeserra - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      what about making a gay man dress up as a woman?

      what about making a woman dress up as a woman?

  16. bravojawja - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Hazing is downright dumb, but at least the pros don’t take it as far as the college kids.

    And to single out the Braves for this is also dumb. It’s a (stupid) tradition for every team in every sport.

  17. jolink653 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    This country is really falling apart at the seams with people’s desperation to be so politically correct…I’m sure whatever people you’re insinuating that this baseball tradition mocks are so offended right now, boohoo

  18. whitdog23 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Tennis theme?? why are they wearing swim goggles then? looks like a swim club theme

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Yep…goggles and swim caps. Yet…it’s a tennis theme?
      Either way…funny stuff. I wish I felt bad for laughing…but I just can’t.

  19. pilonflats - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    im really surprised the author didn’t blame BUSH for this

  20. bills399 - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    why are liberals offended by everything? They are such wimps.

  21. tfbuckfutter - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    For an article with a relatively small number of comments there sure did seem to be a major boom in up and down voting, all going in one direction, between late last night and early this morning.

    How very odd.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Yep…and no Dirty Harry posts. Hmmm…

  22. bankboy2012 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Other forms of hazing involve rookies donning pink backpacks, ones that a six-year-old girl would wear to school.

    If that’s hazing then my daughter hazed me daily for years when she got off the bus since I usually ended up carrying the backpack home

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