Bag the Chew, Snuff Out the Problem and Just Play Ball!

October 26, 2011

Newspaper editorials and sports columnists around the country are calling for the Major League Baseball players union to finally end the game's unseemly addiction to tobacco by agreeing to ban the use of smokeless tobacco in the next collective bargaining agreement.

As the 2011 season heads toward a climactic finish, USA Today's Christine Brennan calls out the union for being 'balky' and 'uncooperative,' and compares the players' stubbornness on tobacco to their foot-dragging on steroids:

The players' position likely will be that using tobacco products is legal in this country, so it should be legal in baseball.  That sounds tidy enough, but it completely ignores the lofty role athletes play in our society — whether they should or not — as well as the game's civic and corporate responsibility to our culture, our children and their health care.

At AOL's FanHouse, columnist David Whitley tells the players to 'snuff out the problem,' and demolishes the arguments made against a tobacco prohibition as excuses that don't hold up. 

Example:  Big-league ballplayers aren't really role models:

Are we still having that argument? Whether they like it or not, they impact public opinion. If they didn't, why do they break out pink bats, gloves and wristbands every year to promote breast cancer awareness? This is a cancer they can do more than symbolically fight.

From Minneapolis to Raleigh to Chattanooga, newspaper editorials are calling for prohibiting tobacco use at games and on camera while millions of kids are watching.

'After all,' the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says, 'Baseball should be a game remembered for hitters rather than spitters.'


editorials supporting tobacco-free baseball: