A 'relevant' issue

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

The policies are as varied as the types of beer on tap at your local watering hole.

Some pro sports teams ban alcohol from their locker-rooms, with no exceptions. But for many players, a post-game beer remains a twist of the wrist away.

"It certainly has been prevalent across the sports landscape," Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman told Sun Media.

But should it be?

More and more team executives are asking that question in the wake of the drunk-driving death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock three weeks ago.

"It is a very relevant question after what happened in St. Louis," Tillman said. "We'll discuss it as an organization. Drinking and driving is a very serious problem in North America. It has to be discussed on a regular basis."

NO LEAGUE POLICY

The Canadian Football League has no policy covering the issue -- it's left up to individual teams to decide. Most, like the Toronto Argonauts , Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats provide post-game beer to players, either in the locker-room or, as the B.C. Lions do, in a nearby area.

The Calgary Stampeders have no beer supplied, but neither is a ban in place.

However, at least one, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is looking at instituting a ban.

Concerned about liability, Bombers president/CEO Lyle Bauer says the team will get input from players, first. But unless the union is willing to accept legal responsibility, beer is out for the Bombers.

"There would be a revolt amongst offensive linemen, worldwide, if they tried to revoke beer privileges in locker-rooms," current Bombers lineman Matt Sheridan said, half-joking. "I can understand why it's an issue, given what has happened."

In Edmonton, the Eskimos warn their players about the dangers of drinking and driving and provide "a finite amount," after a game.

"But we are talking about 300-pound men," communications director Dave Jamieson said.

"You could argue they've earned a beer after a four-hour game."


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