When Derek Jeter went 5-for-5, including a dramatic home run for his 3000th hit, we were all Derek Jeter fans (yes, even the Yankee haters). It was one of those amazing sports feats that keep us all fans of the unscripted beauty that sport can be on the field, court and ice.
After his 3000th hit and big day, it was easy to admire Jeter’s talent and character. But then Jeter made the worst decision of his career: He basically told Major League Baseball and the game’s fans, “Thanks but no thanks. I’m not going to no All-Star Game. I don’t care if fans across America voted me in. I’m tired and sore and I want to just hang loose for a few days.”
Now, I understand that Jeter’s 37 years-old, that his body doesn’t heal and recover as quickly as it did a decade ago. I understand the public and media scrutiny during his recent pursuit of his 3000th hit was draining. But I also know that he was healthy enough to go 5-for-5 a couple days ago.
Look, I don’t care if Jeter doesn’t even play. Just show up, Derek. Put on your uniform for an hour or so, line up on the foul line and wave to the baseball fans watching in the stadium and at home when you’re introduced. Let the baseball world celebrate a great accomplishment for a few minutes and then you can go and relax with friends and family in the desert for a couple days. Is that asking too much?
Do these modern-day All-Stars know how blessed they are?
The old-time All-Stars certainly did as this quote from nine-time All-Star Rocky Colavito shows: “If you are really injured, it’s one thing,” says Colavito. “But if I could walk, I wanted to be there. It was an honor. It was prestige. It was being with great players. It’s part of why you play the game.”
You owed it to us to show up Mr. Jeter. Instead you stiffed us. Shame on you.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, 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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon