Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson injured his right ankle on the first defensive play of last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Rather than come out of the game to receive treatment and avoid injuring the ankle further, he decided to “man up” and keep playing. He finished the game but when the Broncos medical staff evaluated him it was determined that he had seriously injured the ankle and would be facing an 8-to-10-week recovery. He was placed on the injured reserve list and is out for the season.
His coach, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, had this reaction: “I was proud of the way he gutted it out. Obviously, he had a significant injury. The fact he was able to battle through and be able to be on the field says a lot about his character.”
Allen didn’t say anything about the possibility that playing the entire game on an ankle that was injured on the first play might have made the injury worse and cost him the rest of the season. Who knows, Vickerson might have caused long-term damage that could negatively impact the rest of his career. All because the macho culture of the NFL — and make no mistake about it this same culture exists all the way down to the youth level — encouraged him to “suck it up” and “tough it out.”
It’s that same macho mindset that has resulted in long-term brain damage to football players who get their “bell rung” (read: concussion) and then are pushed back into the game prematurely by coaches, fellow teammates, and even trainers.
It’s that mindset that needs to change.
— 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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