The first of these spectacles, a July 27 “Faith Day with the Braves” at Turner Field in Atlanta, included Braves ace pitcher John Smoltz sharing how his life changed by believing in Christ. It also featured Christian Rock, led by Aaron Shust, who, according to promotional materials, is the voice behind the “hit single ‘My Savior My God.'”
In a piece for The Nation, Dave Zirin argues that “Faith Days” represent “the ugliest edge of right-wing evangelism and its advancing influence.” One of the organizations behind Faith Days and Nights is Focus on the Family. Zirin writes:
“According to People for the American Way, [Focus on the Family] is ‘anti-choice, anti-gay, and against sex education curricula that are not strictly abstinence-only…. FOF also focuses on religion in public schools, encouraging Christian teachers to establish prayer groups in schools. FOF supports student-led prayer in public schools, although it points out that it doesn’t support teacher-led prayer for fear that a teacher would encourage Christian students “to pray to Allah, Buddha or the goddess Sophia against the wishes of the parents and/or students.”‘ It is also perhaps the leading proponent of ‘reparative therapy’ for homosexuality, and its leaders agitate against the adoption of children by gay couples. Their obsession with what they call ‘the homosexual agenda’ is shared by Smoltz, who in 2004 likened gay marriage to ‘marrying an animal.'”
In addition to the preaching of intolerance, let’s not forget that there’s also a taxpayer and consumer issue here. In stadiums and arenas with the expenses of team owners payed for by taxpayers (publicly funded stadiums & arenas, free land, tax breaks) as well as by fans (tickets, concessions, parking), do people have the right — or at least the expectation — not to see their home team advance a specific form of religion at games?
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