Attacking peanut-free baseball games? Dumb idea? Heretical? Worst decision Yankees ever made? Really?!?
Yesterday afternoon, FOX News hosted a PR consultant, Fraser Seitel, President of Emerald Partners, to talk about peanut-free seating areas at baseball stadiums. As the 3-1/2 minute clip started, I of course assumed it would be a “feel good piece” about how baseball is slowing accommodating those afflicted with peanut allergies to a greater extent each year. So how do I describe the shock that hit me when this guest used the phrases in the title of this blog – and so much more – in attacking baseball for catering to our community? I won’t. Watch for yourself:
I originally posted this on the AllergyEats Facebook page (www.facebook.com/allergyeats) and Twitter feed early this morning and, not surprisingly, our community is incensed. I haven’t seen much coverage elsewhere in the food allergy blogosphere, so I decided to share the story here on the AllergyEats Blog as well. (Please consider passing this along via the “Like” and “Tweet” links at the bottom of the post, on food allergy message boards, through email, etc.)
Here are a few selected comments from the Facebook page so far:
- I’m an anti-peanut radical because I want my daughter to be able to safely go to a baseball game???
- They talked about having wheel chair ramps for people with wheel chairs because ‘we just do that’. Opening up a small area for peanut allergic people should be a no brainer as well.
- It makes me sad as a mom of 2 allergic children that someone could be so ‘radical’ in his argument against nut free games/sections.
- Did he seriously say peanut allergies are a “trend”?!?! Wow!!
- How cool is it to wake up in the morning and discover that the very act of advocating to keep your kid safe, healthy & alive makes me part of a Mysterious Lobby?
There are many, many more comments and quite a few (to say the least) make personal references about Mr. Seitel that I won’t share here. Further, the counter-arguments to Mr. Seitel’s views are so obvious and numerous that I won’t take the time to address them in this post.
The moral of the story is that we need to keep advocating for ourselves! The Mr. Seitel’s are everywhere – they’re on the news, they’re school parents, they’re restaurant servers, they’re flight attendants, etc. Now please don’t take this to mean that I believe every restaurant server or flight attendent is as ignorant as Mr. Seitel – I don’t. In fact, the very large majority are actually quite understanding and accommodating, even if they have not been well educated about food allergies. But we as a community have to be aware that there are still many, many people who don’t believe peanut allergies are real or serious.
Fortunately, the public is slowly learning; unfortunately, they are learning because of the growing prevalence and as more of their children, grandchildren, children’s friends, and even they themselves develop food allergies. In the meantime, we need to keep educating, educating, educating.
As an aside, I am offering my services to FOX News and to Mr. Seitel (yes, it has bothered me to refer to him as “Mr.” this whole post) for a live, televised one-on-one food allergy debate anytime they wish. I will try to reach out to them directly, but if anyone out there has a contact, feel free to help pass on my offer.
So, I’m sure there are many comments. Please share them here by clicking on Comments or Reply.
And while I strayed from my usual focus on food allergies and restaurants, please remember to rate any recent restaurant experiences you’ve had on our core AllergyEats site at www.allergyeats.com or on our smartphone app for iPhone and Droid. (Disney World experiences can be shared at www.allergyeats.com/disney) Every new restaurant rating you add makes AllergyEats more valuable for our entire food allergy and intolerance community. And even better – it takes just a minute to answer the 3 questions necessary for your rating.