The data are very disturbing. It appears that the sports desks of many of the newspapers across the country have yet to discover the value of diversity in their organizations. Perhaps most troubling is the lack of diversity (especially regarding African-Americans) in the Sports Editor and other leadership positions in the newspaper sports departments. Take a look at some of the following numbers as given by the report’s author, Richard Lapchick:
“It is important to have voices from different backgrounds in the media. When 94.7 percent of the sports editors, 86.7 percent of the assistant sports editors, 89.9 percent of our columnists, 87.4 percent of our reporters and 89.7 percent of our copy editors/designers are white, and those same positions are 95, 87, 93, 90 and 87 percent male, we clearly do not have a group that reflects America’s workforce. And in the world of sports, they are covering a disproportionate number of athletes in basketball, football and baseball who are African-American or Latino. On the high school and college levels, more than 40 percent of the student-athletes are girls and women.”
Elsewhere, Scoop Jackson, national sports columnist for ESPN’s Page 2, provides excellent observations on the findings of the report, focusing on the positions filled by African-Americans. Most especially, that out of 305 sports editors at APSE newspapers, only four are black. Writes Jackson, “Four out of 305. Enough to make a white journalist turn white. Or write about.” He continues:
“Even though the 1.3 percent top management rate reflects almost any other Fortune 5000 business in America, sports, you see, is different. Along with music and entertainment, it has been one of the only places we’ve been able to find equality.
To us, sports is not a game … it represents freedom. Always has, always will. But most of America doesn’t understand that. Never has, never will.
But because of the makeup of sports, because of the ‘skewed’ number of us who play, because of its history in connection to our emancipation, the fact that only four of us have been given the opportunity to run the pages in which a major part of our history is being told gives an insight into what we black sportswriters have been saying since Pulitzer became a prize.”
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon