Killebrew: A Hall of Fame Advocate for a Level Playing Field in Sports
Former Minnesota Twins great Harmon Killebrew died May 17th. Killebrew was one of the best power hitters in the history of baseball. His exploits on the playing field earned him induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame. But the people that knew him adamantly say he was a better man than a baseball player. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was also a great humanitarian, donating time and money to a variety of causes to help people less fortunate than he was.
One of his top priorities in his later years was to support and promote the Miracle League, a non-profit association created to give children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball, regardless of ability. Miracle League chapters around the country (and in several foreign countries) work to build baseball fields with a smooth rubberized surface to accommodate children with a variety of mental and physical challenges. The Miracle League mission is “Every child deserves a chance to play baseball.”
Throughout his life, Killebrew fought for level playing fields for everyone in all walks of life, especially in sports. The League of Fans honors Killebrew’s life work in that regard and is pushing to give all Americans with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in sports — including in physical education classes, as well as in club, recreational, school varsity and intramural sports programs.
To that end, pertinent federal and state laws need to be enforced and new laws and policies enacted that require schools (K-12) and colleges to provide equal participation opportunities for individuals — with and without disabilities — and specify how such opportunities will be measured.
— Ken Reed, Director & Senior Analyst, League of Fans
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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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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