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 #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, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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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.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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