Is Banning Tobacco In MLB The Right Or Wrong Choice?

Selig & Clark Look to Ban Tobacco in Baseball

Commissioner_SeligIt has been exactly one month ago today, June 16, that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn passed away at age 54 after battling salivary gland cancer due to smokeless tobacco chewing.

Players like Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasberg & Arizona Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed have vowed to stop their tobacco chewing in honor of Gwynn.

Tony_ClarkNow that Gwynn’s death has opened more eyes around baseball to the potential harm tobacco can bring to people, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig & Players’ Association Executive Director Tony Clark have agreed to take small steps toward eliminating smokeless tobacco use in the Major Leagues.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN quotes Clark, “With respect to tobacco itself, there are a number of players who made a decision [to quit] as soon as Tony passed. It really smacks you between the eyes. But truth be told, it’s a process, and it takes time for some guys to wean themselves off or make whatever adjustment they need to make.”

Now the big questions arises: Should MLB really ban smokeless tobacco?

According to ESPN’s daily poll, 48 percent of America believes tobacco should become extinct in baseball. Needless to say, this is an issue with both opinions being relatively strong among America’s population.

This is an example of collective bargaining, not something the commissioner can do unilaterally, and Selig understands.

“I understand that individuals have a right to make their own decisions. I hope we’re successful, because the Tony Gwynn story was a heartbreaking, awful story,” Selig said.

There is no telling when this proposition will be finalized but Selig & Clark are both hopeful that there will be a favorable outcome in the minds of the baseball community.