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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon