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March 09, 2018

Anti-Porn Lecture Puts Kansas City Royals To Sleep

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Pretty much no one except dedicated sports fans gives a crap about what the players think about porn, though comments about the subject from some big-name athletes occasionally do make the news. (Think Tim Tebow.) But what did make the news, apparently because it was the first incident of its type, was the fact that Dayton Moore, the general manager for the Kansas City Royals baseball team, actually invited anti-porn proselytizers Fight The New Drug (FTND) to hold a "workshop" for the players, the coaches and the farm team, on why porn is so bad—and they all had to sit through it, though there's no indication that anyone other than Moore was interested in hearing the lecture. But according to religious anti-porn organization Family Research Council, "Like a number of general managers, Moore is a Christian. And, as his players will tell you, his second biggest priority is for players to have victory in every area of their lives. That starts, he told the team, by taking a stand against toxic influences like pornography." And just what might those "toxic influences" be for a baseball player? We can just imagine the scenario: Kyle Zimmer is standing on the pitcher's mound; the catcher signals for him to throw a pitch low and outside, but Zimmer is so engrossed in thinking about the porn movie he watched last night that he mistakenly throws a curve, which the batter hits way out into the outfield, scoring a bases-loaded home run! Surely, no one in their right mind would consider that a possibility, though it's an easy stretch to that from the old saw about athletes not having sex the night before the Big Game—a nostrum that's since been widely discredited. Discredited, that is, except for anyone who's a True Believer. "In FTND’s awareness-raising presentation to the players, we specifically focused on how porn can impact a consumer’s overall well-being, which in turn can affect productivity, work performance, and personal image," FTND wrote on its website. "Seeing as they are all constantly in the spotlight, and setting an example for those who look to them for inspiration, this issue is something that can greatly impact not only their careers, but their lives." "We talk about pornography, and the effects of what that does to the minds of players and the distractions, and how that leads to abuse of—domestic abuse—to abuse of women. How it impacts relationships," Moore said at a press conference in December. In other words, they really think whether Zimmer (or any player) watched porn the night before could affect how he treats his wife/girlfriend, not to mention his play the next day—and CBS Sports columnist Mike Axisa is having none of it. "I have to say, this sounds like something a high school coach would do to his team," Axisa wrote. "All MLB teams should work with their players to prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence, but porn? It's one thing to bring in a motivational speaker. It's another for the team's leadership to push their own personal beliefs on the grown men they employ. I wonder how all those Royals players—look how many are in that room!—felt about this." ("That room" is pictured above, with views from the front and the back.) Deadspin.com's Lindsey Adler had a similar take. "Dayton Moore’s personal distaste for porn is fine, but the Royals discussing it with players is a little strange and probably fairly awkward, and linking porn to domestic violence to the extent that Moore did during the presser seems out of place," she wrote. AVN did a Google search for "Kansas City Royals domestic abuse," and that revealed exactly two articles: One from 2014 regarding retired player Chuck Knoblaugh, who last played for the Royals in 2002—no mention of porn—and an undated one about Jason Kendall, whose wife attributed his beatings to overuse of Adderall. One article, titled "Royals Players Endure Presentation About the Dangers of Porn," noted porn star/director Kendra Lust's reaction to Moore's personal war on porn: "In all honesty, I think that porn helps keep people’s relationships healthy. It helps keep [people] safe from maybe going out and being unfaithful to their spouse … it helped my life a lot." Similarly, Lisa Ann told TMZ she thought that the workshop was "completely misguided and wrong." "Not only does Lisa think the Royals are overstepping into what players do in their personal lives," TMZ wrote, "but says enjoying adult films is definitely SAFER than other activities like skiing or dirt biking and should be ENCOURAGED!" And it's not as if the Royals needed FTND to pique their interest in/awareness of domestic violence. Last Thanksgiving, several members of the team volunteered to serve food and collect donations for SAFEHOME, a Kansas City domestic violence shelter. Finally, we thought we'd offer a few of the comments readers posted in response to the Deadspin article: "Well, the Royals can say what they want but if Yordano Ventura had stayed at home and watched porn he’d still be alive today. And, possibly, with a better grip on his slider." “Could you guys, uh, show us an example of something, umm, that, you know, we shouldn’t be looking at? Or a few examples, just so we know, you know ...” "You know what’s not 'normal, healthy, or cool?' This shit." "Is there nothing that morons won’t blame on some vice they don’t like in order to rationalize the vices they do?" "'Porn kills love'? Not in my house, sicko." "But... what if you love porn? At least it won’t cheat on you and take your stuff and fight with you for custody of the computer that you need because you know that is where the porn is. I forget where I was going with this but yay porn!" Yeah; we forget too.

 
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