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 #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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
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.
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.
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon