Haz­ing rules ban dress­ing as women

The play­ers union says it won’t con­test the league’s de­ci­sion to bar the rit­ual for rook­ies.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Ron­ald Blum

new york» 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, the play­ers union on Tues­day agreed not to con­test it.

The pol­icy 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 Mif­sud 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 black­face and say, ‘Oh, no, we were just dress­ing up,’ ” Mif­sud 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 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, D.C.

“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.” Su­per­hero out­fits 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.

The is­sue of locker room bul­ly­ing erupted a few years ago when an NFL in­ves­ti­ga­tion found Richie Incog­nito and two other Mi­ami Dol­phins en­gaged in per­sis­tent ha­rass­ment to­ward team­mate Jonathan Martin.

MLB looked at sev­eral col­lege an­tihaz­ing poli­cies while de­vel­op­ing these new rules.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.