While we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy, we do have the benefit of reviews (excerpts below), from trusted writers, which only heighten the interest. But first, an excerpt from Chapter 7, The Conveyor Belt:
“The Belt carries young black athletes out of black America and introduces them to a world with very few African-Americans, a world of white agents, real estate brokers, bank presidents, trustees, and lawyers. The fact that so many of the athletes’ closest advisers are not African-American means that they’re never around black models of leadership, a situation that undermines their own ability to become leaders, rather than pampered, passive followers.”
Syndicated writer Kam Williams writes in his review of Forty Million Dollar Slaves:
“Once upon a time, prominent African-American athletes were inclined to leverage their fame as a means of confronting racism…. But judging by today’s socially-unenlightened crop of sports icons, one might suspect that rich history of activism and advocating for the underclass to be more fairy tale than fact….
[Rhoden] concedes that most pros now make more money in one season than his childhood heroes could accumulate over the course of their entire careers. But he also argues that these financial rewards ought to translate into an even more effective advocacy bloc for African-American advancement. Yet instead, we have entered the age of the apolitical mega-star, carefully packaged products such as Michael Jordan who Rhoden says went to great lengths to cultivate a non-threatening, ever-neutral public image.”
In his review for the New York Times, William Goldstein — an American history professor at the University of Hartford and co-author of A Brief History of American Sports — writes of Forty Million Dollar Slaves:
“To Rhoden, this tale bursts with significance, illustrating, in turn: white people’s denial of black business ability while they continue to profit from black athletic skill; black athletes’ training in high school, college and the pros (what he calls the ‘Conveyor Belt’) to think only about individual success, never about a system that distributes power unequally; and how even today, professional basketball — controlled by whites, dependent on blacks (for the present) — resembles a plantation, albeit one on which the ‘slaves’ earn millions, as long as they don’t notice who’s running the show.”
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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