Dress codes in professional sports are nothing new. The NBA implemented fashion-related regulations back in 2005, creating specific guidelines for players’ off-court attire. Coaches have also fallen victim to the sports style police. MLB manager Joe Maddon was banned for a period of time from wearing his famous hoodie at gametime. Chicago Bears WR, Earl Bennett, was recently fined twice for wearing orange cleats, a violation of the NFL’s uniform policy. And now the latest style crackdown relates to baseball reporters. MLB has become the first major sport to establish a dress code for members of the media.
Ripped jeans, muscle tees, flip flops and dresses or shorts cut too far above the knee are among the newly banned press box fashions. According to the MLB rules, “The media should dress ‘in an appropriate and professional manner’ with clothing proper for a “business casual work environment” when in locker rooms, dugouts, press boxes and on the field.”
The new rules did not stem from a specific occurrence but the controversial incident with Ines Saintz and the New York Jets was cited as an example of media fashion that garnered unwanted attention. Following that event, a committee of executives and media representatives joined together to work on guidelines. Included on this panel were female and Latin reporters, with there was input from team trainers who had health concerns about flip-flops in clubhouses and bare feet possibly spreading infections.
Former Marlins manager, Jack McKeon, admitted that has seen dress codes change a lot during more than a half-century in the game. He told The Associated Press, “I remember the old days, when even the people in Triple-A would wear a coat and tie,” he said. “Now, it’s casual. Less than casual, really.”