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 #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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More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
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