“UGA is a Nike school. [Nike] gives the university about $900,000 worth of gear a year for the right to be the official outfitter of the Bulldogs, under a 10-year, $13 million contract signed in 1999…. In addition, this month Richt will get his first check for apparel-related compensation as outlined in his new contract, signed in July. The contract gives him $530,000 a year … for ‘equipment endorsement efforts,’ including Nike…. Such compensation has become a standard provision in high-profile coaches’ contracts during the past 10 years.
… Nike expects its famous ‘swoosh’ to be worn by players and coaches during ‘practices, games, exhibitions, clinics, sports camps and other official or university-sanctioned intercollegiate athletic program activities … including but not limited to photo sessions and interviews,’ according to the 28-page, detail-laden contract….
The product placement, on the front of every jersey and the side of every shoe — the swoosh displayed prominently in countless video replays and newspaper and magazine photographs — more than pays for Nike’s nominal investment ….”
League of Fans believes this and countless other university apparel deals across the country are unethical. The deals effectively:
1) commercialize universities and brand athletes, making them into walking billboards advertisements for Nike and others.
2) pressure campus athletics departments to operate like for-profit teams.
3) pressure coaches to put their relationships with the companies over the well-being of their athletes.
4) tie universities into relationships with companies — like Nike, Adidas and Reebok — which are synonymous with sweatshops in the Third-World. They have become symbols of labor rights violations, paltry wages, forced overtime and abuse for hundreds of thousands of workers. Despite pressure from around the world, these companies still chooses to maximize profits by undermining human rights standards.
Find out the apparel manufacturer affiliation of your favorite college sports teams and/or alma maters, and write to the college or university presidents, athletic directors and coaches expressing your concerns.
For more information on the sweatshop issue, visit:
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS): an international student movement of campuses and individual students fighting for sweatshop free labor conditions and workers’ rights. University standards should be brought in line with those of its students who demand that their school’s logo is emblazoned on clothing made in decent working conditions. USAS demands that our universities adopt ethically and legally strong codes of conduct, full public disclosure of company information and truly independent verification systems to ensure that sweatshop conditions are not happening.
Worker Rights Consortium (WRC): a non-profit organization created by students, labor rights experts, and workers from across the globe with participation from college and university administrators. The WRC’s purpose is to enforce manufacturing codes of conduct adopted by colleges, universities, high schools, and school districts; these codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing school logos respect the basic rights of workers, such as the freedom of association and overtime pay.
National Labor Committee (NLC): helps defend the human rights of workers in the global economy. The NLC investigates and exposes human and labor rights abuses committed by U.S. companies producing goods in the developing world. NLC undertakes public education, research and popular campaigns that empower U.S. citizens to support the efforts of workers to learn and defend their rights.
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
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. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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