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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon