Tribal Chief Posted December 19, 2019 Share Posted December 19, 2019 Not directly TATF but it's football and could possibly impact the Falcons in the future if it were to ever happen. Sorry this isn't a thread complaining about Quinn. https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonywitrado/2019/12/16/mlbs-new-marijuana-policy-could-spark-change-in-nfl-and-nba-policy/?fbclid=IwAR0vgv8P0Y8bVV-GfSInPa_PZl-dS1oGeMKT0czxlfp4pPc4sHGUkAuEThs#71f087a942a1 Major League Baseball and its Players Association just might have made themselves leaders in the latest social progression movement in professional sports. Baseball’s announcement Thursday that it would start testing for opioids and also drop punishments for substances of abuse, like marijuana and cocaine, and opt for treatment instead could be a siren for other leagues like the NBA and NFL. This follows decisions by some states to legalize marijuana, which factored into MLB and the MLBPA agreeing to their new policy. The policy is now on the same level as alcohol-related situations, with players generally referred to mandatory evaluation and voluntary treatment. The policy will also hold for minor leaguers, who until this change were suspended for second and subsequent positive marijuana tests. “It was part of a larger conversation that was reflective of the attitudes changing in many parts of the country,” union leader Tony Clark said. The opioid portion of the policy was spurred by last season’s death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who had a mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. From 2015-2018, the Council of Economic Advisers estimated the cost of opioid abuse in the United States costs more than $2.5 trillion. The marijuana policy change was more likely driven by those changing attitudes Clark referenced. According to a study done by ESPN last spring, of the 123 teams across MLB, the NBA, NHL and NFL, 45 play in states or provinces where recreational marijuana use is legal, and another 56 play in areas where medical marijuana is legal. That’s 82 percent of teams over the four major professional North American sports leagues. The NFL and NBA put players who test positive in a substance abuse program before fines and suspensions for subsequent positives. The NHL, the first leader in this North American pro sports arena, recommends treatment for “abnormally high levels” of THC (marijuana), but they do not punish players. MLB undoubtedly took the NHL’s policy into consideration as they drafted theirs. And it’s come with positive reactions. “Baseball is looking at their players like people and saying we are going to treat you like people,” ESPN’s Bomani Jones said Friday on his show, High Noon. “Why doesn’t everybody else treat their players like people?” There is no question that today’s American societal views have allowed MLB to do this and receive praise. If that were not the case, this policy likely does not change even if MLB officials saw it as the right thing to do. Public relations and public reaction are powerful, and MLB no doubt weighed those reactions as part of its decision. The opioid crisis in the United States also undoubtedly played a part. Since its debut into public consciousness, opioid abuse has never been looked at the same way the crack or cocaine epidemic was, to use Jones’ analogy. Skaggs’ death – Skaggs was white – was not viewed through the same lens as Len Bias’ death from a cocaine overdose more than 33 years ago, though both were seen as tragedies. Jones believes race has played a role in how abuse of these drugs is looked at, and he’s probably correct in that assessment. “I don’t know exactly how this goes if we say that some other player, a Dominican cat or somebody else, in baseball dies,” Jones said. “I don’t know exactly how that plays. But I know the so-called opioid crisis and the way that we discuss it, the way the media has discussed it, has been from a very compassionate point of view, and that’s largely because of who the face of the users are.” However we got here – and that can be debated – MLB and the NHL have landed in the proper space, or as Jones notes, treating offenders like people. That is a huge win for players, and it will hopefully give the NFL and NBA the cover those leagues must feel they need to also change their drug policies. So not only have the NHL and MLB helped their players, maybe they’ll be helping others in other sports going forward. papachaz 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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