Stop glamorizing the role of tobacco in baseball
Just weeks after the early death of beloved baseball star Tony Gwynn from cancer likely caused by chewing tobacco, and just days after World Series-winning pitcher Curt Schilling told the world he attributes his cancer to years of chewing tobacco, The Post irresponsibly leads an article about the Washington Nationals with the portrayal of chewing tobacco use as a rally-inducing, lucky superstition [“Nationals’ luck runs out against Phillies thanks to stellar performance by Burnett,” Sports, Aug. 27].
To all the young baseball fans who look to The Post each morning to see if their heroes won last night: Tobacco causes those heroes to suffer nicotine addiction, disease and death. Stephen Strasburg recently stated publicly that he is trying to quit using chewing tobacco but that it is very hard to quit. It is time for the team owners and the players association to eliminate tobacco from baseball, and it is time for the media to stop characterizing tobacco as a quaint part of baseball culture.
Instead of inducing winning rallies, tobacco in baseball induces life-shortening defeats — and that is the only coverage it deserves on the sports page of The Post.
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