League of Fans

Founded by Ralph Nader, League of Fans is a sports reform project working to improve sports by increasing awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, exposing irresponsible business practices, ensuring accountability to fans, and encouraging the industry to contribute to societal well-being.

Email Alerts

Alerts is League of Fans' email announcements list. Alerts provides news, information, the actions of League of Fans and/or Ralph Nader regarding sports issues, and calls-to-action for subscribers. All email updates are either selected or written by League of Fans.

Actions!

League of Fans is motivated by people, just like you, who are upset with what has become of our sports and would like to make a difference. We work with concerned citizens, sports fans, civic groups and communities to increase awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, influence a broad range of issues in sports at all levels and encourage the cooperative capacities that make the "sports powers-that-be" capable of helping, not just dominating, our society and culture.

News / Resources

We often think of sports as outside the realm of everyday citizen concern. But the many benefits to society that sports can provide are sometimes undermined by a different set of values, often based on the quest for higher and higher profits at the expense of fans, taxpayers, communities, culture and social justice.

Your Role

Get Involved! Your involvement will improve sports for communities and fans, and encourage the sports industry to better contribute to societal well-being.

League of Fans asks friends to support the Educating for Justice "Stop Nike Sweatshops" campaign by writing to LeBron James

April 30, 2004

League of Fans is currently requesting that our friends support the Educating for Justice "Stop Nike Sweatshops" campaign by writing to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star, LeBron James and asking him to meet with EFJ representatives to discuss his current $90 million endorsement deal with Nike and how he might use his leverage with Nike to improve conditions for workers.

You can send, fax or email letters to:

LeBron James
C/o Alexandria Johnson Boone
GAP Communications Group
5000 Euclid Avenue, Ste. 400
Cleveland, OH 44103
Fax: (216) 391-4224
email: [email protected]
-----

Read Frequently Asked Questions about Nike’s labor practices in contracted factories overseas. -----

Educating for Justice, Inc. (EFJ) is a US-based non-profit organization that develops, produces and distributes justice-oriented programming and content to the educational marketplace. Through research, online resources, digital film making, grassroots educational events, and educational publishing, EFJ seeks to raise awareness about issues of justice and spark social change. The EFJ website is www.educatingforjustice.org.
-----

* EFJ Background *

While doing research for a term paper in Theology, Jim Keady, a graduate assistant soccer coach with the top-ranked St. John’s University Red Storm, discovers that the Nike Corporation is abusing its overseas workforce in sweatshops. At the same time Keady is exploring this issue, the SJU athletic department is negotiating a $3.5 million dollar endorsement deal that would require all coaches and athletes to wear and promote Nike products. Feeling that coaches and athletes would be walking billboards for a company that exploits its labor force in poor countries, Keady publicly challenges the SJU administration. They respond with an ultimatum, “Wear Nike and drop this issue … or resign.” Keady is ultimately forced to resign, and the story hits the major media... ESPN, HBO Real Sports, the New York Times, the front page of the Village Voice, etc..

In an attempt to silence critics at St. John’s and uncover the story behind the statistics about Nike factory workers, Keady assembles a team and travels halfway around the world to Tangerang, Indonesia to learn and document first-hand Nike's overseas’ operations. To gain a more human perspective on the lives of Nike’s factory workers, Keady and college friend, Leslie Kretzu live for one month in an Indonesian slum on the wages that workers are paid: $1.25 / day. In the process, they encounter the local mafia, intimidation, starvation, football-sized rats, fist-sized cockroaches, raw sewage in the streets, massive burning of toxic shoe rubber, corporate complicity and cover-up.

Through their time in Indonesia, Keady and Kretzu (now co-founders and directors of Educating for Justice) discover the reality of U.S. multinational corporations' labor practices in the developing world and how Nike's cutthroat, bottom-line economic decisions have a profound effect on human lives.
-----

In addition to the LeBron James letter writing campaign, Educating for Justice is currently promoting the following educational projects:

* EFJ Traveling Classroom *

This academic year brought EFJ's Traveling Classroom coast to coast, with EFJ directors Leslie Kretzu and Jim Keady speaking at over 30 venues, including high schools, colleges and community groups.

Remaining Spring/Summer Dates:
May 7, 2004 Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
May 14, 2004 IBEW 3rd District Conference, Atlantic City, NJ
July 28, 2004 Exploration Summer Programs, Yale Univ., New Haven, CT
July 31, 2004 Sisters of the IHM Conference, Philadelphia, PA

EFJ is now booking for the 2004-2005 academic year and has expanded its slate of Traveling Classroom topics to meet the growing needs of our constituency. Please visit www.educatingforjustice.org/classroom.htm for detailed descriptions of our events as well as information on booking.

* EFJ Films *

SWEAT
EFJ Films continues to move forward with its production of SWEAT, our feature length independent documentary film that will tell the human story behind the Nike sweatshop issue. Our distribution plan calls for a January 2005 release including festivals, college campus screenings, theatrical and television releases, and finally a home video and DVD release.

"Through the impassioned journey of a soccer coach -- hell bent on finding the truth about Nike's overseas operations -- SWEAT explores the lived reality of Indonesian factory workers and shares a perspective on globalization and sweatshops that has yet to be seen by mainstream America."

For the latest on SWEAT, please visit www.sweatthefilm.org.

Nike in Indonesia: A Case Study
EFJ Films, "Nike in Indonesia: A Case Study" is currently our most popular short film. Screened at hundreds of venues over the past three years as part of EFJ's Traveling Classroom event “Sweatshops and Social Justice,” this short film continues to enthrall audiences with its hard-hitting, fast-paced "virtual immersion" into the life of Nike's Indonesian factory workers. This 18-minute piece is perfect for classroom use as a primer for the sweatshop issue.

Our next duplication run will be early May. If you would like to reserve a copy, please e-mail [email protected] The suggested donation for this film is $14.95.

A Message to Phil Knight
This 7-minute short film is a powerful example of what students can do to let their voices be heard. Shot on location in collaboration with students at Mt. St. Joseph's Academy in Flourtown, PA, it is an expose of the "Cut Out Your Tag and Cover Your Logo Day" that MSJA students organized in response to learning about Nike's exploitative labor practices via an EFJ Traveling Classroom event.

The film includes passionate and articulate young women sharing their empathy with the workers that produce the clothes they wear and their outrage with a corporate CEO that oversees the exploitation of these workers.

This title is currently in stock and available. To receive a copy, please e-mail [email protected] The suggested donation for this film is $9.95.
-----

To see what League of Fans has done on the topic of sweatshops, including our two as yet unanswered letters written with Ralph Nader to LeBron James, please visit www.leagueoffans.org/sweatshopsaction.html

------------------------- ### -------------------------

Help spread the word! Send copies of this message to your friends and join the growing movement of people who are fed up with what the sports industry has become and want to do something about it. If you would like to add yourself to the "Alerts" list, sign up at alerts_signup.html

Founded by Ralph Nader, League of Fans is a sports reform project working to improve sports by increasing awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, exposing irresponsible business practices, ensuring accountability to fans, and encouraging the industry to contribute to societal well-being.

To find out more about League of Fans, visit www.leagueoffans.org or write to [email protected]