This weekend, former MLB player Gregg Zaun spoke about violent hazing that he experienced as a first-year player on the Baltimore Orioles from Cal Ripken Jr. According to Zaun, Ripken and others repeatedly physically assaulted him, wrote “rookie” on his forehead, shoved ice down his pants, and forced him to miss batting practice. Zaun reports Ripken to be the leader of these hazing behaviors, a notable detail since Ripken released an anti-bullying book in 2013.

Following these statements, Zaun took to twitter to offer a “sorry if anyone was offended” non-apology for his remarks which glorified and advocated for hazing in “any industry”. Fortunately, numerous MLB fans have been quick to speak up and counter Zaun’s “boys will be boys” minimization and justification of hazing, as shown below. With numerous, high profile examples of hazing in sport occurring recently, it is our hope that if Cal Ripken Jr was indeed involved in theย hazing incidents that Zaun described that he will come forward, directly address his past mistakes, and use his considerable influence in youth sport to advocate for anti-hazing programming and awareness. We also hope that this controversy will provide an opportunity for Zaun to reflect and realize that his experience with hazing is not universal. Hazing can cause serious emotional, psychological, and physical harm and therefore has no place in sport or society.