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 #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.
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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