What is it about sports and alcohol? Alright, I know. It's the money! But I continue to ask myself, why do sports teams provide beer inside the locker room after games? Is it not enough that organizations allow fans to get over-served on a routine basis? You can't go to a game anymore and run into a stumbling drunk that will in some way, ruin the moment for you or your family.
But after the St. Louis Cardinals lost Josh Hancock to an alcohol related automobile accident, teams have been slow to react. Some organizations, including the Brewers, have said they would review their current policy, but I have yet to see a change.
Yes, some organizations already have a ban on alcohol in the clubhouse and I say good for them. But they're few and far between.
Why must an organization feel compelled to offer alcohol (beer) to its athletes after games? When I get done with my work for the day, I don't walk into the employee lounge and find a tall cold one waiting for me and nor should there be. I would imagine those places that do provide an after-work cocktail are hard to find. Yet many pro sports teams go the other way.
And you know what? Teams that do eventually make a switch, you know it'll be for liability reasons and not because they care about their players and the fact that it's the right thing.
I recently read a column by Murray Chass in the New York Times about baseball ignoring its drinking problem and instead placing more attention on steroids, which to date has killed none of its players.
I'm 43 now, but I know what I was like between the ages of 20 and 30. Let's put it like this. I wasn't the most responsible person in the world when it came to drinking and driving. For that, I'm not proud. But as a person matures and starts a family, priorities change. You start thinking about your actions and the consequences that go along with them.
My point is this. Most athletes are young and with that youth comes a lack of maturity. I know if these players want a beer, they'll go someplace else to get it. Then so be it. Pro sports organizations shouldn't be in the business of promoting alcohol to its players. Josh Hancock killed himself. It could have been worse. He could have taken some innocent bystanders with him.
Pro sports teams need to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.