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 #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.
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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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