The Chicago City Council voted to ban smokeless tobacco use at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday, but the new law has at least one high-profile detractor: Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon.
Maddon said he disagrees with the council’s decision regarding the use of chewing tobacco. While the manager did acknowledge that he will instruct his team to respect the new city ordinance, he thinks that players should be able to make their own decisions regarding the use of the product.
“I’m into personal freedoms, and I don’t understand the point with all that,” he said. “Just ban tobacco period if you’re going to go with that route. I’m into education and letting everyone make their own decisions.”
Maddon used to use smokeless tobacco, but he did quit during his time as a coach with the Los Angeles Angels.
“I stopped chewing tobacco about 15 years ago, and I’m glad that I did,” he said. “(But) to tell me what I can and can’t do as an adult, I’m not into that.”
Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, who uses smokeless tobacco, supports the ban, but believes that players will push back against it.
“It would have an impact,” he said in an interview earlier this month. “I think a lot of people would be unhappy about it. People that have success like to stick to their routine and do things a certain way. Chewing is part of a lot of guys’ routines.”