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Reds players protest club's dress code

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CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds players have filed a grievance with the Major League Baseball Players Association challenging the club's requirement that team members be clean-shaven and wear short hairstyles.

Reds player representative Frank Pastore said the grievance also protests the Reds' insistence on black playing shoes and regulation of road trip attire.

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'All we're asking is that we not be discriminated against,' said Pastore, a pitcher. 'We're the only club in baseball that has these requirements.'

An arbitrator will determine whether the club has power to enforce its regulations after a hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The Reds players contend that the club's policy requiring blacked out playing shoes has cost them thousands of dollars in endorsement money.

Club rules prohibiting beards or mustaches and limiting hair length abridge their personal freedom, some Cincinnati players allege.

Pastore said although most players usually don't oppose the club's requirement requiring sportcoats to be worn while traveling with the team, more flexibility is needed.

'The majority feels that we should fly with sportcoats because we want to look good,' Pastore said, 'but what do you do when you're in Houston and it's 95 degrees?'

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Last month, relief pitcher Jim Kern grew a beard in defiance of the Reds' dress code, and was traded to the Chicago White Sox less than two weeks later.

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