Senators try to bring the nanny state to baseball

The nanny statists are now telling the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) that they should ban members from using tobacco products during games:

The day before game one of the World Series, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other senators are asking Major League Baseball to ban players from using tobacco products at games, especially smokeless or chewing tobacco.

“Tomorrow night, an expected 15 million viewers, including many children, will tune in to watch the first game of the series. Unfortunately, as these young fans root for their favorite team and players, they also will watch their on-field heroes use smokeless tobacco products,” wrote Durbin and other senators to MLB executive director Michael Weiner.

“During the upcoming negotiations over the bargaining agreement, we write to ask that the Major League Baseball Players Association agree to a prohibition on the use of all tobacco products at games and on camera at all Major League ballparks. This would send a strong message to young baseball fans, who look toward the players as role models, that tobacco use is not essential to the sport of baseball.”

While at Dantanna’s last week, I happened to bump into Dan Uggla, who was sitting at the bar drinking with an attractive blonde (he also took a smoke break outside). I doubt some kid that saw him throwing back a few would become a raging alcoholic because they saw some famous baseball player doing it, and if they did, it’s because their parents failed to teach them the dangers of drinking too much. Similarly, I doubt that many kids that see a ballplayer with a wad of tobacco in his mouth is going be influenced by it. And as baseball players have become more health conscious, there just aren’t many ballplayers that use tobacco anymore.

And as an aside, I don’t believe baseball players (or any sports star, for that matter) have societal obligations to carry themselves a certain way. Obviously, if they want to be endeared to ownership and fans they will conduct themselves accordingly; but they have no responsibility to the children of other people who are ultimately responsible for raising them.