Texas A&M's Kyle Field is undergoing major renovations this summer, including the addition of about 20,000 seats and the largest video board in college football.
Adding an Alabama Crimson Tide flag to the side of the stadium wasn't on the list, but it wound up there anyway.
As reported by Fox Sports, a crane operator working on the Kyle Field upgrades hung an Alabama flag from the side of the stadium on Monday and has subsequently been fired. When reached for comment, Texas A&M neither confirmed nor denied the firing, stating, "We are unaware of how the Alabama flag was placed on the Kyle Field jobsite, but it was removed once discovered."
The crane operator was working for a subcontractor hired under Manhattan-Vaughn, the managing contractor of the stadium's renovations. Manhattan Vaughn said that they're "not involved in the Subcontractor’s employment policies and therefore cannot comment as to why he is no longer working on the site."
While placing an SEC rival's flag on the stadium was a careless idea, the punishment seems a little harsh. Like the crane operator, the flag has since been relieved of its duties.
Our weekly recap of news and notes from around the athletic, fitness and recreation industries. This week we've got news on a fantasy-focus in NFL venues, a hot-dog drama in Kansas City, an update on the NBA's inroads in Africa, and plans that would allow you to live at a minor league ballpark.
San Francisco officials are on the verge of spitting out a rule that would ban smokeless tobacco from ball fields throughout the city, including the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.
If the ban is approved, AT&T Park would become the first major league ballpark to ban smokeless tobacco. It’s a move welcomed by Major league Baseball.
“As we have repeatedly and publicly acknowledged, MLB has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level," the league said in a statement, "and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field in all of our ballparks.”
As the Los Angeles Times reports, The ban still needs to pass a second Board of Supervisors vote and be signed by Mayor Ed Lee.
“San Francisco will send a simple and strong message,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance. “Tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, our health.”
According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 1,203 municipalities in the United States have enacted 100% smokefree laws and all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums have rules that limit or completely prohibit smoking. The same cannot be said about smokeless tobacco.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell, told the L.A. Times he chews a can of smokeless tobacco each day. However, he’s still in favor of the San Francisco ban.
"I'm for it,” he said. “It should be enforced. It's common sense. It's a filthy habit. I do it. Maybe it will help me quit," Howell said. "I've tried to quit every off-season. It's mainly more cutting back than quitting.”
But he may not speak for all major leaguers.
Per the L.A. Times:
The Major League Baseball Players Assn. declined to comment on the legislation.
During the last round of collective bargaining, management sought — and the union rejected — a ban on smokeless tobacco. Such a ban is in place in the minor leagues, where management can implement changes unilaterally.
The union argued that it would not be appropriate to ban a product that remains legal and widely available.
However, management and the union agreed to forbid the use of smokeless tobacco in televised interviews and player appearances, to restrict players from carrying tobacco products in their uniforms, to develop and implement educational programs to demonstrate the health risks of tobacco use, and to provide resources to any player wishing to quit.
The Campaign for Tabacco-Free Kids estimates about 535,000 children ages 12 to 17 start using smokeless tobacco each year.
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The Los Angeles area is doing everything it can to lure an NFL team (or three) back to the country’s second-largest media market. On Tuesday, the area took another step toward that goal as Carson City Council approved a new football stadium in a 3-0 vote.