My Opinion

Tony Gwynn,one of the greatest hitters in baseball history,passed away this week after battling cancer.While many players and baseball writers tell of him not only being a great player but more importantly being a great person,I want to touch on what was the likely cause of his death and the issue it brings up.Tony liked to use smokeless chewing tobacco.He told of how it relaxed him before and during a game when he would take a pinch and put it in his mouth.He also told of how addicted he became to it,so much so that when he awoke in the morning he would brush his teeth then take a pinch.This brings up the question should smokeless tobacco be banned in baseball.It is banned in the minor leagues and many think it should be banned in the major leagues as well.The only problem is that it is not illegal.How can you tell a grown person that they cannot use a product,though it is harmful to their health,they can’t use it.Cigarettes are still legal and while people are being told they shouldn’t smoke,no one is telling them they can’t.The people against say it’s a bad role model for the kids who someday aspire to be major league players,the ones for say it’s the parents job to teach their kids,not the players.Charles Barkley once famously said “I am not a role model”and to some extent I agree.Just because a kid may not be exposed to it now doesn’t mean he won’t be exposed to it later when he’s an adult and must make his own decisions.Tony Gwynn made the decision to keep pinching tobacco and it’s the sameway with cigarettes,alcohol and drugs.It’s all a matter of choice.That’s my opinion.


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