(Reuters) - Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitcher John Lackey have voiced their frustrations after Chicago became the fourth U.S. city to ban to chewing tobacco at sports venues on Wednesday.
The chewing of tobacco has long associations with baseball but players are already banned from indulging in the habit in ball parks in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.
Legislation banning “smokeless tobacco” at all professional and amateur sporting events in Chicago was passed in the City Council on Wednesday.
The law, which will effect the Comiskey Park home of the White Sox as well as the Cubs’ Wrigley Field, will take effect in 90 days and lead to fines for breaches.
“We’re grown men. I don’t know about all that,” Cubs pitcher John Lackey told the Chicago Tribune.
“People in the stands can have a beer, but we can’t do what we want? It’s a little messed up.”
The entire state of California will invoke the law change in 2017 and other states could follow suit to wipe out baseball’s tobacco culture.
“Just eradicate tobacco, period, if you’re going to go that route,” said Maddon.
”If somebody else is going to make up his mind for me, I‘m going to have a hard time with that.
“But I always will defend the rule in a group setting and I’ll attempt to do the right thing, which I don’t really know what that is.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney