“I Dip Because You Do”

May 17, 2011

An all-star lineup of Major League Baseball notables including Brett Butler, a cancer survivor who played in the majors for 17 seasons, and ESPN analyst and former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, discuss the dangerous use of smokeless tobacco in baseball and its negative impact on young fans on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel tonight.

'I dip because you do,' a 10-year-old boy told Butler during his playing days. 


The show debuts at 10 PM ET/PT, and will re-run several times in the coming weeks.

Also featured:  Gruen Von Behrens, a former high school baseball player and smokeless tobacco user who survived oral cancer and now conducts educational campaigns about smokeless.

HBO's coverage comes as medical and public health groups, municipal health officials in Major League cities, members of Congress and fans are urging Major League Baseball and the players union to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco at games, to protect players' health and the well-being of millions of young fans.  Smokeless tobacco use among high school boys is climbing — it's shot up 36 percent since 2003 and 15 percent of high school boys use smokeless tobacco.

On Opening Day, Commissioner Bud Selig said the MLB will propose a tobacco prohibition comparable to the ban now in place in the minors.  The Major League Baseball Players Association has not agreed, but says the issue is being considered in current contract talks. 

You can take action to help Knock Tobacco Out of the Park and convince big league ballplayers to stop making the use of a deadly tobacco product seem cool and athletic.