Zimmer may hear from NFL for chewing tobacco on sideline [ESPN]


After the Minnesota Vikings’ 28-19 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, running back Adrian Peterson refuted a Fox report that his pregame illness was caused by him swallowing chewing tobacco on the team’s turbulent flight to Detroit. It was a TV shot in the final seconds of the game, however, that could earn Peterson’s coach a phone call from the league.

As the clock ticked down to zero in the final seconds of the Vikings’ win, Mike Zimmer apparently was seen on camera putting chewing tobacco in his mouth on the sidelines, as first pointed out by The Big Lead. NFL rules prohibit players from using tobacco in TV interviews or on the playing field, and league spokesperson Brian McCarthy said after the game that the rule also applies to coaches.

The NFL rule on tobacco reads:

“NFL players, coaches, and other employees must not that endorse or appear in advertisements for alcoholic beverages (including beer) or tobacco products.

“While fully recognizing that the use of alcohol and tobacco is legal, the NFL nevertheless has long been of the view that participation in ads for such substances by its employees may have a detrimental effect on the great number of young fans who follow our game. In particular, endorsements or other close identification of NFL players with alcohol or tobacco could convey the erroneous impression that the use of such products is conducive to the development of athletic prowess, has contributed to their success, or at least has not hindered them in their performance.

“For the above reasons, players and other club and League employees (including game officials) must not use alcohol or tobacco products while in the playing field area or while being interviewed on television.

“Further, NFL policy prohibits the use or presence of alcoholic beverages, including beer, in club locker rooms at any time during the preseason, regular season, or postseason, including during the practice week and on game day.”

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