Cleveland Indians Jason Kipnis leads National Play Day at Progressive Field
LEVELAND – Jason Kipnis wasn’t wearing his Cleveland Indians jersey today.
As he took a group of Cleveland Little Leaguers through some drills on the grass at Progressive Field, his shirt helped to drive home an important message: “All Me – PED Free.” At the 2014 National Play Day here, the message was all about getting outside, playing sports, and gaining skills the healthy way by shunning performance enhancing drugs.
The event, sponsored by the Taylor Hooton Foundation, began in 2004. Created by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, the Play Program is intended to raise awareness of children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. But what many parents will find truly shocking is that a million and a half U.S. kids, from middle school through high school, admit to using PEDs.
The Taylor Hooton Foundation
is a non-profit, dedicated to raising awareness of the widespread abuse of PEDs by children. The organization’s president and founder Don Hooton said his youngest son Taylor, a promising high school baseball player, started using anabolic steroids and seven months later, took his life. That was in 2003.
“As parents, we were shocked to find out how dangerous these drugs can be, but more shocked to find out how many kids around the country are playing with these drugs.” So many, they would fill all 30 major league ballparks.
Kipnis said, “You can do it healthy, the right way, you don’t need help, you can get all the skills you need from getting outside and playing sports. There’s the fun way, the right way to do things. That’s what we’re preaching here.”