The two-year anniversary of Tony Gwynn's death is coming up on June 16 -- some three and a half weeks away. On Monday, Gwynn's family took another step in coming to terms with that reality by filing a lawsuit against Altria Group Inc. and other parties in the tobacco industry.
Here's Tyler Kepner of the New York Times with more details:
Essentially, the complaint says that Gwynn, while in college, was the victim of a scheme to get him, a rising star athlete, addicted to smokeless tobacco, while knowing the dangers it posed to him. The suit said the industry was undergoing a determined effort at the time to market its products to African-Americans, and that Gwynn was a "marketing dream come true" for the defendants.
As Kepner noted, Gwynn died due to salivary gland cancer -- a condition caused in large part by his 31 years of dipping.
Following Gwynn's passing, there was a renewed urge to ban smokeless tobacco within the sport. Past efforts have failed, but more recent ones have gained traction. Earlier this year, for instance, MLB announced that players who broke smokeless tobacco laws in applicable cities would face penalties. Expect the league and the union to reengage on the issue during the coming round of CBA talks.
In the meantime, expect the Gwynn family to make their case off the field.