Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Dayton Moore says the Royals teach players about the risks of . . . pornography?

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Yesterday, following the news breaking of Danny Duffy‘s DUI arrest, Royals general manager Dayton Moore met the press. That was not surprising, obviously, as teams will always issue statements and speak out following such incidents. Also not surprising: Moore saying that the Royals talk to their players about the risks of drugs and alcohol, which all responsible organizations do.

He expanded on the level of outreach the Royals make with respect to players and “the ills of society,” to use Moore’s words. And at one point he went into an area I don’t believe anyone expected he might go:

“(We’re) very transparent about things that happen in our game, not only with drugs and alcohol. We talk about pornography, and the effects of what that does to the minds of players and the distractions, and how that leads to abuse of — domestic abuse — to abuse of women. How it impacts relationships — we talk about a lot of things. And I don’t mind sharing with you.”

I read that last night and was frankly surprised that a team prioritizes such a thing. To be sure, I don’t have a strong opinion on it. I just wonder whether it’s the best use of the club’s time given how unclear that subject happens to be, even among experts.

On the one hand, it’s laudable that Moore is concerned about domestic abuse and abuse of women. On the other hand, the studies regarding the link between pornography and such violence are a hot mess, lacking any sort of consensus. The entire area of study is laden with bias and counter-bias and confirmation bias and confusing meta-analysis and morality and politics from both the left and the right, making it extraordinarily hard to come up with even basic conclusions on the matter. As such, I don’t know how an employer like the Royals could talk to its employees about the porn-violence connection in any effective and actionable way.

Still: interesting!  I wonder who actually gives the players the talk.