BOSTON (CBS) – As you may know by now, I am a huge admirer of Red Sox Manager Alex Cora in particular and the Red Sox in general. As an organization, and as individuals, they manifest class and community awareness. And I’ve been celebrating this latest title right along with them and all Red Sox fans.
But, I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Cora when he passes off the beer-can tossing that marred Wednesday’s victory parade as no big deal.
“I know the kid didn’t mean to hurt anybody. Obviously it’s dangerous but it is what it is, y’know?,” Cora told reporters Thursday.
Yes, we know, and that’s a problem.
The fans tossing beers and nips to the players on the duck boats is a natural extension of the way pro sports makes booze and binge drinking the focus of its celebratory rituals. It’s been that way for years, and lately it has extended to players drop-kicking beers into the stands after a clinching win and the spectacle we saw on Wednesday, all on TV in full view of young fans.
Please, hold the hate mail.
I have no problem with players celebrating their accomplishments as they choose, and I don’t expect them to constantly be on role model duty.
But a couple of years ago the Red Sox were among the first MLB teams to ban smokeless tobacco products from the ballpark, for fans and players, due to the health risks they pose.
Binge drinking is a major health risk too. Isn’t it past time for the Sox and other teams to reassess the outdated role of booze in their public celebrations, and set a good example there as well?