The Associated Press reported this evening that Major League Baseball has outlawed “offensive” hazing. Specifically, teams are no longer allowed to dress rookies as women or female characters in those end-of-year hazing rituals that pop up on social media each September.
Good. We’ve been criticizing this practice for some time around these parts. Hazing is, by definition, an act of humiliation. Which, fine, if players want to haze rookies, let them. But the notion that dressing them as women or feminine characters is inherently humiliating is itself inherently degrading to women. And besides, it’s dumb. I mean, how bad a hazer are you if you can’t do better than “hahaha, you’re a girl!”
So bully for MLB for outlawing this juvenile and retrograde practice.
Now, if the league would only extend its ban on “offensive” apparel to the uniforms currently worn by the reigning American League champions . . .
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.