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Apparently, that stance hasn’t changed.

The MLBPA “long has and continues to discourage the use of smokeless tobacco products by its members or by anyone else,” spokesman Greg Bouris said Tuesday in an email. “These products carry serious health risks and remain legally and widely available.”

Cigarettes and alcohol remain legal and widely available, too, but those products are banned on the field.

This has nothing to do with legalities or free choice. If adults want to kill themselves through smoking or drinking, they have every right.

However, employers establish what’s acceptable in the workplace. Beards are perfectly legal but they’re not allowed if you play for the New York Yankees. Many teams institute dress codes for traveling.

I don’t see the union objecting to those measures. Just this one, which could be a life-saver.

Will Gwynn’s death be a turning point? Not for Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, who says he has been dipping since he was 17.

“I could sit here and lie to you and tell you, ‘Yes,’” Beckett told The Los Angeles Times. “But unfortunately, it would be just a straight lie. I’m addicted to it.”

Shame on the union for aiding and abetting its membership’s addiction. Opposing a ban makes it that much easier for players to become and remain hooked.

Maybe Gwynn’s final plea in an education film produced by MLB and the Pro Baseball Athletic Trainers Society will help when it’s released to all major and minor leaguers this year.

According to a statement by PBATS president Mark O’Neal, Gwynn says: “My advice to anyone would be if you aren’t using spit tobacco, please don’t start. And if you are using, try to quit. If not for yourself, then do it for the people you love.”

Alicia, Tony Jr., Anisha, the rest of his family and the entire baseball community wish Gwynn had heeded his own advice.

Here’s hoping the players’ union supports a ban in the next labor agreement, to assist the loved ones of current and future ballplayers.