MLB & MLBPA ban rookie hazing

soxhop411

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
36,326
NEW YORK (AP) — That baseball hazing ritual of dressing up rookies as Wonder Woman, Hooters Girls and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders is now banned.

Major League Baseball created an Anti-Hazing and Anti-Bullying Policy that covers the practice. As part of the sport's new labor deal, set to be ratified by both sides Tuesday, the players' union agreed not to contest it.

The policy, obtained by The Associated Press, prohibits "requiring, coercing or encouraging" players from "dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic."


MLB Vice President Paul Misfud said Monday the new rules resulted partly "in light of social media, which in our view sort of unfortunately publicized a lot of the dressing up of the players ... those kind of things which in our view were insensitive and potentially offensive to a number of groups."

"There's lots of pictures of baseball players dressed up as Disney princesses," he said.

Or even more outlandish, often for late-season plane trips.

Bryce Harper as a member of the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team, Mike Trout as Lady Gaga. Manny Machado in a ballet tutu, Carlos Correa as Wonder Woman.

All out starting next season.

"Although it hasn't happened, you could sort of see how like someone might even dress up in black face and say, 'Oh, no, we were just dressing up,'" Misfud said. "We've also understood that a number of players have complained about it."

Exactly when the annual dress-up day began around the majors isn't quite clear. Players often considered it a form of bonding, and it's become more and more of a production in recent years.

Chase Headley and San Diego Padres newcomers wore the skimpy, shiny orange shorts and tight, white tops of Hooters servers for a September 2008 flight from Denver to Washington.

"Times have changed. There is certain conduct that we have to be conscious of," union general counsel Dave Prouty said.

"The important thing for us was to recognize there was a policy but to preserve the players' rights to challenge the level of discipline and the imposition of discipline," he said.

Not all outfits are banned — superheroes such as Batman and Spider-Man are OK.

Other past costumes that would be allowed include San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner as a giant ketchup bottle, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the U.S. Olympic men's water polo team and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig as Gumby.
You can read the rest of the article at the link

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6da47dd5e0154b0eb943a2749c7f2e13?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP_Sports
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
Not all outfits are banned — superheroes such as Batman and Spider-Man are OK.

Other past costumes that would be allowed include San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner as a giant ketchup bottle, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the U.S. Olympic men's water polo team and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig as Gumby.
Oh sure, that makes perfect sense. Not.
 

Bosoxen

Bounced back
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 29, 2005
10,135
Yeah, this part has me really conflicted. If someone wants to willingly dress at Wonder Woman, I don't see the issue.
I'm not 100% sure if you're serious or not but just in case you are: the terms "hazing" and "willingly" are pretty much mutually exclusive. That should clear up any confusion.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
Apparently. I'm not seeing the word "willingly" anywhere in the quoted section? ..... Yup, CNTL-F "willingly" .... "phrase not found" ...

I interpreted this policy change as parsing of which costumes are allowed in the hazing ritual, not what they're approved to wear when they go to a Halloween party?

And, given the power of peer pressure to produce "willingness" I think hazing should just be outright banned in any form.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
12,390
I'm not 100% sure if you're serious or not but just in case you are: the terms "hazing" and "willingly" are pretty much mutually exclusive. That should clear up any confusion.
I dunno, the article made it seem like some hazing was ok or that certain costumes were ok. Either make all costumes fair game or none of them. It just seems like they are trying to limit people to hetero-normative costumes or some shit.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
I'm with @Plympton91.

Maybe hazing isn't a problem and doesn't need to be addressed. Or maybe it's a minor problem that the league and the union both prefer to ignore. (I wouldn't be outraged, so long as we're talking about grown men and no one is getting hurt.) Or maybe it's a significant problem, in which case banning it entirely is the proper solution. But acknowledging that hazing exists and attempting to regulate it rather than banning it is flat-out stupid.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
This isn't hard. They are saying that humiliating young players by making them cross-dress is not okay, not because they are worried about the players but because they don't want the players sending the message that a man wearing a woman's clothes is inherently embarrassing.
 

Doc Zero

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2007
9,650
This isn't hard. They are saying that humiliating young players by making them cross-dress is not okay, not because they are worried about the players but because they don't want the players sending the message that a man wearing a woman's clothes is inherently embarrassing.
Bingo.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
This isn't hard. They are saying that humiliating young players by making them cross-dress is not okay, not because they are worried about the players but because they don't want the players sending the message that a man wearing a woman's clothes is inherently embarrassing.
But doesn't that ratify the idea that it should be embarrassing? And hence, itself is an aggression?

Just ban it outright.
 

NoXInNixon

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
4,357
What would have happened if a rookie just refused to be hazed? It's not as if a baseball team is like a fraternity that can refuse to let someone join if he won't humiliate himself.

So let's say Benintendi just refused to dress as a woman. What would the veterans do?
 

Bosoxen

Bounced back
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 29, 2005
10,135
I'm with @Plympton91.

Maybe hazing isn't a problem and doesn't need to be addressed. Or maybe it's a minor problem that the league and the union both prefer to ignore. (I wouldn't be outraged, so long as we're talking about grown men and no one is getting hurt.) Or maybe it's a significant problem, in which case banning it entirely is the proper solution. But acknowledging that hazing exists and attempting to regulate it rather than banning it is flat-out stupid.
It becomes even more stupid on the heels of this little gem. This reeks of misdirection.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
But doesn't that ratify the idea that it should be embarrassing? And hence, itself is an aggression?

Just ban it outright.
You are conflating two separate issues.

1. Hazing is bad.
2. Sending the message that crossdressing is inherently embarrassing is bad.

I don't think many here will disagree that they should probably do away with hazing entirely. But MLB currently, apparently, disagrees that the practice as a whole is an issue. They do however, correctly, recognize that allowing teams to embarrass players by making them dress as women reinforces several negative stereotypes and should not be permitted by a league that sells itself as a family friendly and inclusive product.

Acknowledging that we, as a society at large, still engage in these stereotypes and legislating against the further normalization and acceptance of these stereotypes is the furthest thing from ratifying them. But you know that.
 

Doc Zero

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2007
9,650
What would have happened if a rookie just refused to be hazed? It's not as if a baseball team is like a fraternity that can refuse to let someone join if he won't humiliate himself.

So let's say Benintendi just refused to dress as a woman. What would the veterans do?
They would have no choice but to kill him. Just murder him real, real good. The thought alone disgusts me.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,557
What would have happened if a rookie just refused to be hazed? It's not as if a baseball team is like a fraternity that can refuse to let someone join if he won't humiliate himself.

So let's say Benintendi just refused to dress as a woman. What would the veterans do?
This is an older story, but when Jeff Kent was a rookie with the Mets in 1992 he did the exact thing you're suggesting. Someone hung up something for him to wear in his locker and he threw it on the ground and demanded his clothes back. It got so bad that Jeff Torborg had to come out of his office and tell the team to give Kent back his clothes.

This didn't go over very well with the rest of his team. From the linked article, it sounds like Gregg Jefferies had a similar reaction when he was a rookie too. Despite how good he was, Jeff Kent was one of the least popular teammates in MLB history. He was on the same team as Barry Bonds and he still was seen as the biggest asshole on the team.

So let's say Benintendi flips out and pulls a Jeff Kent, what's really going to happen? Probably nothing. They'll give him his clothes back, he'll put on his headphones and fly to whatever city is next on the schedule. But he's not going to be a popular guy in the clubhouse and he's not going to be well-liked by his teammates. And yeah, that might show up in the stat line, but think of it this way: when you're at work don't you do better when you like your co-workers? I'm sure it's the same thing in a MLB clubhouse.

There's a line between sticking up for one's self and just being a dick.
 

Curt S Loew

SoSH Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
4,860
Shantytown
This is an older story, but when Jeff Kent was a rookie with the Mets in 1992 he did the exact thing you're suggesting. Someone hung up something for him to wear in his locker and he threw it on the ground and demanded his clothes back. It got so bad that Jeff Torborg had to come out of his office and tell the team to give Kent back his clothes.

This didn't go over very well with the rest of his team. From the linked article, it sounds like Gregg Jefferies had a similar reaction when he was a rookie too. Despite how good he was, Jeff Kent was one of the least popular teammates in MLB history. He was on the same team as Barry Bonds and he still was seen as the biggest asshole on the team.

So let's say Benintendi flips out and pulls a Jeff Kent, what's really going to happen? Probably nothing. They'll give him his clothes back, he'll put on his headphones and fly to whatever city is next on the schedule. But he's not going to be a popular guy in the clubhouse and he's not going to be well-liked by his teammates. And yeah, that might show up in the stat line, but think of it this way: when you're at work don't you do better when you like your co-workers? I'm sure it's the same thing in a MLB clubhouse.

There's a line between sticking up for one's self and just being a dick.
Yeah, but Jeff Kent was a dick. He would have been a dick without refusing to wear the stuff. I don't think that one incident shaped the relationship. Some people are just dicks.

It would have gone against his dickishness to wear the stuff.
 

OnWisc

Microcosmic
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2006
3,822
Chicago, IL
I expect a similar announcement from the NFL any day now. With an exception being made for dressing as certain Disney Princesses or Marvel Heroines, depending on which company Goodell finds to buy the hazing rights.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,557
Yeah, but Jeff Kent was a dick. He would have been a dick without refusing to wear the stuff. I don't think that one incident shaped the relationship. Some people are just dicks.

It would have gone against his dickishness to wear the stuff.
That wasn't the question that Nixon asked. He asked what the veterans would do if rookies didn't participate in this tradition. With the Mets vets, they didn't think very highly of Kent.

Chances are they would have come to the same conclusion without the cheerleader outfit, this just quickened it.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
This is an older story, but when Jeff Kent was a rookie with the Mets in 1992 he did the exact thing you're suggesting. Someone hung up something for him to wear in his locker and he threw it on the ground and demanded his clothes back. It got so bad that Jeff Torborg had to come out of his office and tell the team to give Kent back his clothes.

This didn't go over very well with the rest of his team. From the linked article, it sounds like Gregg Jefferies had a similar reaction when he was a rookie too. Despite how good he was, Jeff Kent was one of the least popular teammates in MLB history. He was on the same team as Barry Bonds and he still was seen as the biggest asshole on the team.

So let's say Benintendi flips out and pulls a Jeff Kent, what's really going to happen? Probably nothing. They'll give him his clothes back, he'll put on his headphones and fly to whatever city is next on the schedule. But he's not going to be a popular guy in the clubhouse and he's not going to be well-liked by his teammates. And yeah, that might show up in the stat line, but think of it this way: when you're at work don't you do better when you like your co-workers? I'm sure it's the same thing in a MLB clubhouse.

There's a line between sticking up for one's self and just being a dick.
Which is why any organization with its head removed from its ass would ban hazing outright.

And why criminal penalties for injuries occurring during hazing incidents should be equivalent to those for any other assault.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
17,393
Rogers Park
Which is why any organization with its head removed from its ass would ban hazing outright.

And why criminal penalties for injuries occurring during hazing incidents should be equivalent to those for any other assault.
This is smart. The league and union should just say it's unprofessional and leave it at that. It's not a frat.

For a league that has a bunch of traditions involving senior players looking after younger guys — buying them suits, buying dinner for whole rosters on rehab stints — this sticks out.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,498
ct
This isn't hard. They are saying that humiliating young players by making them cross-dress is not okay, not because they are worried about the players but because they don't want the players sending the message that a man wearing a woman's clothes is inherently embarrassing.
I'm surprised that more people on this board are not on Plympton's side. For once he is making a perfectly reasonable point. Why not ban hazing altogether? For a progressive board, to defend hazing in any form is ridiculous if not shameful.. Hang your heads and grow up is what I think major leaguers should do!
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
13,847
Pittsburgh, PA
completely agree with P91. the right action to take is to ban rookie hazing. There is a well-enough-understood definition of it that mentoring of younger players, or practical jokes, should not be impeded. This is a workplace, not an out-of-control frat.

"of course, you can still dress like Gumby if you want. you know, if your teammates 'encourage' it strongly enough" just sends the totally wrong (mixed) message. Banning dressing in drag gets at, like, 10% of the problem of this messed-up "tradition", at most.

I mean, try and make a case that veterans forcing a rookie to dress up as (say) Mulan and forcing them to dress up as Peter Pan are substantially different in terms of the level of humiliation intended by the organizers or felt by the participants.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,498
ct
You surprisingly seem to be. I just don't get the line you seem to be drawing. Just get rid of it.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
I'm not. I even said as much.

And if you don't see any difference between forcing rookies to cross dress and other kinds of costumes, irrespective of the hazing issue in general, you weren't reading me closely in the first place.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
13,847
Pittsburgh, PA
No one is defending hazing.
Except this policy, which spills much digital ink acting like it's an anti-hazing policy, but then goes right ahead and explicitly says "yeah, costumes that aren't of female characters are cool though". They act like they're solving a real problem, or at least one I can see being a real problem, when in fact they are just worried about is the exact manner in which that problem (hazing) is continued.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
This is a bit like telling people who say black lives matter that they are wrong because all lives matter. The details matter. Sweeping away the specifics with "well all hazing is bad" is effectively diminishing the importance of the individual stereotypes being called out.
 

EvilEmpire

Dope
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Apr 9, 2007
11,505
Washington
This is a bit like telling people who say black lives matter that they are wrong because all lives matter. The details matter. Sweeping away the specifics with "well all hazing is bad" is effectively diminishing the importance of the individual stereotypes being called out.
No. All lives matter is dumb because thosee lives already do matter and talking about in the same way as BLM diminishes the addditonal problems thats AA have to deal with.

Hazing still being in place with some limitations is not like that at all. Bad behavior is still being accepted.
 

timlinin8th

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2009
1,521
Except this policy, which spills much digital ink acting like it's an anti-hazing policy, but then goes right ahead and explicitly says "yeah, costumes that aren't of female characters are cool though". They act like they're solving a real problem, or at least one I can see being a real problem, when in fact they are just worried about is the exact manner in which that problem (hazing) is continued.
The other problem I have with this...

The policy, obtained by The Associated Press, prohibits "requiring, coercing or encouraging" players from "dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic."
...is who is the arbiter of what is or isn't offensive? If they are going to go with the porn "you know it when you see it" rule, then this policy doesn't solve anything. They specifically mention social media, and if social media has taught us anything, its that people are offended by EVERYTHING.

Should have just banned the practice outright. Find another bonding ritual.
 

simplicio

lurker
Apr 11, 2012
1,384
The policy, obtained by The Associated Press, prohibits "requiring, coercing or encouraging" players from "dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic."
So Cleveland and Atlanta are changing their team names, right?
 

nocode51

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 6, 2006
560
Maine
This is actually the perfect opportunity for someone to challenge this. Dress up all the rookies as Chief Wahoo and then dare MLB to do anything about it.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
No. All lives matter is dumb because thosee lives already do matter and talking about in the same way as BLM diminishes the addditonal problems thats AA have to deal with.

Hazing still being in place with some limitations is not like that at all. Bad behavior is still being accepted.
There aren't additional problems that people who aren't cis-gendered have to deal with? There aren't additional issues that women have to deal with?

MLB is drawing a line at race, gender, sex, nationality or sexual orientation. This is an inherently good thing. Calling it nonsensical (as P91 did to kick off this tangent) or doubling down by saying that creating a rule against it entrenches the stereotypes (as P91 also did) is pulling attention away from those issues when they deserve attention all their own. We're basically talking about identity here, and the effort to ignore what MLB is attempting to do here erodes the value of those identities.

It doesn't matter that hazing is also bad. That is a separate, though in this case related, issue. And the amount of people in this thread who are having trouble wrapping their heads around that is, frankly, troubling to me.
 

simplicio

lurker
Apr 11, 2012
1,384
Why is the "Braves" offensive? Would it be offensive to call a team "The Soldiers?" It's the logo and the actions of fans that are offensive.
"Hey, we're going to slaughter you, decimate your cultures and drive you off your lands, but down the road a bit we may decide you actually possessed some ineffable, noble warrior spirit and appropriate that for our sports teams. Cool?"
 

EvilEmpire

Dope
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Apr 9, 2007
11,505
Washington
There aren't additional problems that people who aren't cis-gendered have to deal with? There aren't additional issues that women have to deal with?

MLB is drawing a line at race, gender, sex, nationality or sexual orientation. This is an inherently good thing. Calling it nonsensical (as P91 did to kick off this tangent) or doubling down by saying that creating a rule against it entrenches the stereotypes (as P91 also did) is pulling attention away from those issues when they deserve attention all their own. We're basically talking about identity here, and the effort to ignore what MLB is attempting to do here erodes the value of those identities.

It doesn't matter that hazing is also bad. That is a separate, though in this case related, issue. And the amount of people in this thread who are having trouble wrapping their heads around that is, frankly, troubling to me.
Hazing isn't a separate matter.

Again, All Lives Matter is an issue because white lives already matter, a lot. With this decison, MLB is saying that hazing doesn't matter.

The actions they've taken so far are great. That isn't being disputed. Taking further steps to get rid of hazing altogether would be even better, and I don't see how that erodes anything. Only more goodness there.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
13,847
Pittsburgh, PA
I guess I just see the psychological damage, such as it is, to the actual people being forced to perform these bonding rituals, as being orders of magnitude above that to those who maybe - if they assiduously follow sports tabloids - will be subjected to seeing pictures of those people, some of whom will some of the time be in costumes that are insensitive towards an outgroup.

Focusing on the content of the costumes is kinda the MLB equivalent of bikeshedding.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
I haven't disagreed with that at any point in this thread. The fact that you keep insisting on reframing the discussion this way demonstrates that you have no interest in any perspective but your own, however, so I'm done.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
12,466
Maine
Banni the whole thing satisfies both groups, no? Why do you think they would stop short?
Negotiated compromise?

League wants to do away with it due to image and pressure from outside agencies, players' association doesn't want to give up the "tradition". Middle ground is banning the stuff they're taking heat for and keeping the practice alive otherwise.

It isn't the simplest or ideal solution, but it didn't hold up the CBA either.