I don’t see the attraction of sitting in a steel box going around a track at 200 mph with 30 or so other drivers in steel boxes. But that’s not the issue. I’m never going to be an Indy Car racer. There are plenty of people that like to race and even more fans who like to watch. So, high-risk auto racing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But as a society we do have a responsibility to try and make the sport as safe as possible. See New York Daily News, “After Dan Wheldon’s tragic death, NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson, others, want to rid sport of oval tracks.” Those with a vested interest say that auto racing in general and Indy Car racing in particular has gotten significantly safer the past decade. Maybe so, but I’m wondering just how safe Indy Car racing can be when the cars have open wheels and open cockpits.
Then of course, there’s the question of whether or not greed played a role in creating a relatively unsafe situation at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Wheldon died. The track was reconfigured in 2006 with progressive banking turns to increase fan-enticing excitement with side-by-side racing. In comparison, the Indy 500 track is fairly flat and a mile longer than the one in Las Vegas. Las Vegas also had the largest field of the season and included several inexperienced drivers. See Denver Post, “Speeds, inexperienced drivers converged at track in accident that killed Dan Wheldon.”
Safety can’t be trumped by profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) decisions — even in a sport that everyone acknowledges is inherently risky.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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