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Tobacco use in sports


nash61

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I was really intrigued by the discussion that we were having in the other thread, so I figured it deserved its own thread.

Chewing tobacco is a big thing in sports, mostly because players can't smoke. Okay, not that they can't smoke, most typically don't. Gone are the days when guys would light up following a game or between periods. (One of my friends is a trainer for the Leafs, and he says you'd be surprised at how many guys on the team smoke.)

It really shocked me, that in a world where athletes pay such attention to their health, that guys would partake in something that is potentially worse for you than smoking. Even more, that teams would allow them to. (The Capitals apparently raised a stink when it was revealed that Ovechkin dips)

What are your guys thoughts on it? Is it up to the athletes? The teams? The leagues? Is it nobody's business but their own? Or should it be banned completely?

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From what I heard from my HS baseball coach, there are still many baseball players and coaches in the professional level that still use chewing tobacco. Thankfully, it is decreasing (I think) with alternatives including gum and of course, good 'ole Dave's Sunflower Seeds.

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Whether to do it or not it really up to the player.

But I always find it funny whenever it's suggested that it should not be allowed on the field. Internet comment schmucks come out of the woodwork talking about how it should be players' choices, etc. Any other job that involves the public actually seeing you would not allow it so regardless of whether it's about "the kids", it is about image. I would love to see what would happen if someone came to the meetings I attend spitting into a cup.

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Cancer of the mouth is horrifying and it's incumbent upon the players' union to protect their membership from such an occupational hazard as being pressured to stick gross crap in your mouth.

One of my friends is a trainer for the Leafs, and he says you'd be surprised at how many guys on the team smoke.

Why would I be surprised that the Toronto Maple Leafs willfully make themselves worse at athletic competitions?
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I thought it was outlawed in MLB after the early 90s, but last I heard it's not outlawed, just frowned upon. Though I haven't looked at the MLB rule book so not sure if it's true or not. As for the other sports I'm sure some smoke and chew, but to me it seems counter productive in pretty much any sport, that athletes so concerned about staying in shape still rely on something that is said to be one of the worst substances for it, but to each their own I suppose.

Maybe not as surprising but there are a quite a few actors that smoke, but try not to do it in the public eye.

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Cancer of the mouth is horrifying and it's incumbent upon the players' union to protect their membership from such an occupational hazard as being pressured to stick gross crap in your mouth.

Ain't that the truth. I tried dip one time at the behest of a teammate during a high school "practice" of sorts (it was more of a get-together well before the season began, really), and even disregarding what I was taught to know, I damn near puked when I put that stuff in my mouth. Maybe it's a psychological thing, I have no clue, but dip, cigs, alcohol, all that stuff just doesn't jive with me at all.

Now, whether athletes do it or not, really, that's up to them. I don't know if it was because of a dip tin or something else (cocaine? hahah), but wasn't there always some joke about why Tim Raines always dove head first into a base? I don't agree with the usage of it, but, well, that's not for me to decide. It does seem hilariously counter-intuitive the amount of time that many of these guys would put in to exercise and time in the gym, only to be destroying their bodies through conscious stupidity at the same time.

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It's outlawed in the minors from AAA on down, but still okay in the bigs. It shouldn't be. It's garbage.

Ah, okay. I remember thinking it was outlawed in the MLB and then a few years ago, the TV camera got a shot of one of the players chewing and spitting. I don't remember who the players, teams or announcers were, but it sparked a pretty big discussion with the announcers. I think it might have been on a ESPN Night game.

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Despite admiral's opinion that grown men shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions and should rely on the almighty union to decide for them, they're adults and it's their choice to use or not. Now using during games is a different thing altogether. Many occupations do not allow tobacco use, or at least only during breaks or designated times, during the work day and so I believe leagues could, and IMO should, enforce this during games. It's unprofessional for such a nationally televised profession.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This thread takes me back to the early 90s at Veterans Stadium where center field was covered in Lenny Dykstra's tobacco. I even remember a game against the Pirates when Andy Van Slyke was complaining about it.

Oh it was gross. There was literally a stain on the turf that surrounded him. Like how Pig Pen from Peanuts had that cloud of dirt that followed him arround, Lenny had his spit stains. In between inings, we (as teenagers) used to throw things and try to hit the stain like a bullseye. Never hit it... never came close.

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