Hazing in sports makes most people think about junior high and high school antics carried out by immature teenagers as a fun light hearted part of “earning your stripes” in team sports.
Unfortunately that’s just not the case. This accepted form of bullying can’t just be associated with just youthful ignorance. It’s way to common in college and professional sports among people considered to be grown.READ MORE: Sacramento Kings To Require COVID-19 Vaccine For Full And Part-Time Employees
I’ve played sports at every level, going from youth sports through college and all the way up to the pro level. I have never once in my life experienced, witnessed or been a part of any form of hazing.
Is it because I’m a woman? I’m sure that’s what most of you guys who are reading this right now probably think. And maybe you’re right but I don’t think it’s going out on a limb for me to say it’s highly likely females deal with hazing in sports right along with their male counter parts.
Major League Baseball recently legislated a hazing out of their game.
The new CBA includes a policy includes a section that 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 identity or other characteristic.”
Requiring players “to consume alcoholic beverages or any other kind of drug, or requiring the ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance (food, drink, concoction)” is also banned under the newly agreed upon collective bargaining agreement.
We will no longer see professional baseball players parading through a ballpark dressed as a woman from head to toe. And it’s painfully clear now, despite how sad it is that it has to be put in writing, that players cannot force ingestion of anything upon their teammates.
But there are different levels of hazing.
Having a rookie pick up your bagel and coffee on their way to the workout facility in the morning doesn’t even register on the hazing Richter scale when comparing it something like we saw with the Rangers’ under-aged prospects recently while at the team’s Dominican complex.
I won’t get into the details because I hear my mother’s voice telling me, “Kayte, be a lady!” so I’ll just let you check out the details here in case you missed this story.READ MORE: River Fire Grows To 2,400 Acres; Zero Containment Reported
That’s just mind boggling, but at the same time should we be surprised to see hazing taken to extremes?
I’d like to say I have no problem with the menial tasks like picking up breakfast for your vet, but I can’t even bring myself to say that. The problem is hazing usually escalates. First you’re someone’s own personal bellhop, errand boy/girl and eventually it turns in to becoming someone’s whipping boy.
Hazing has no place in sports because some people just don’t know how far is too far.
It’s like the idiotic warnings you see on things like your shampoo bottle telling you it’s not for consumption and will cause illness. We all chuckle at how moronic those silly warning labels are but the reality is they are there because someone didn’t know better.
Hazing is no different. There’s always going to be those people that just have to take things to the extreme.
And it’s not just Major League Baseball that is the culprit here. It’s everywhere and at every level.
Take for example Texans’ rookie safety KJ Dillion who went out to dinner with a group of vets, ordered a chicken Caesar salad and ended up with a $16,255.20 bill – and that doesn’t include the tip!
I can’t even fathom the tool boxes that find joy in this kind of nonsense. This is why the 78% of NFL players go bankrupt within two years of retirement.
And for those of you who want to make the argument rookie hazing which intentionally demeans a teammate is a character building exercise, let me just stop you right there.
Working your way up to the big leagues through the farm system is character building. Making an NFL roster and sustaining a lasting career is character building. Bullying, demeaning and physically assaulting another human being… that simply ranges from juvenile to flat out criminal behavior.MORE NEWS: Search Continues For Driver Who Hit And Killed Caltrans Subcontractor On Highway 99
It’s sad that steps have to be taken to legislate this out of sports, but it’s about damn time it happened.