Major League Baseball bans cross-dressing hazing rituals

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Major League Baseball teams will no longer be able to force recruits to dress in drag for hazing rituals, under new rules introduced this week.

The new policy implemented by Major League Baseball clamps down on bizarre initiation rituals that have become commonplace for professional and amateur sports teams.

The rules prohibit teams from “requiring, coercing or encouraging” new recruits from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic”.

Explaining the new policy,  MLB vice president Paul Misfud told Associated Press that the ban would prohibit teams from dressing up as “hose kind of things which in our view were insensitive and potentially offensive to a number of groups”.

He added that the rise of social media has “unfortunately publicised a lot of the dressing up of the players”, adding: “There’s lots of pictures of baseball players dressed up as Disney princesses.”

The exec continued: “Although it hasn’t happened, you could sort of see how like someone might even dress up in blackface and say, ‘Oh, no, we were just dressing up’.

“We’ve also understood that a number of players have complained about it.”

The news has not gone down well with right-wing outlets, with the website Heat Street fuming about “fears that it might offend the loud minority of special snowflakes, who as with everything else, look for harmless new things to be offended by”.

The policy also bans coercing players “to consume alcoholic beverages or any other kind of drug, or requiring the ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance” during hazing rituals.