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 #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