Dear Mr. Stern:
Later this month, NBA play will resume after a lengthy lockout and intense labor negotiations between the players and management. But why are you starting this abbreviated season with a tripleheader on Christmas Day, December 25—a religious day revered by a majority of the American people and a special time for remembrance, reflection and family get-togethers.
Obviously, most NBA players and coaches would rather be with their families on this historic, revered day for Christendom.
Just as obviously, in tune with the over-commercialization of Christmas by businesses that seems to intensify with each passing decade, there are those who see dollar signs and promotional extravaganzas for the Knicks-Celtics, Heat-Mavericks, Bulls-Lakers in order to rev up the dimmed enthusiasm of many fans caused by the prolonged NBA dispute. But you run the NBA and made the final decision which is why this letter is addressed to you.
I urge you to reconsider the Christmas day NBA overload in a spirit of decency, regard and recognition as to how this will disrupt family gatherings throughout the day with predictable arguments between children and parents about watching the games instead of spending quality time with siblings, parents, relatives and friends.
There is an NFL football game that evening which is bad enough. But at least it is in the evening after most Christmas Day traditions have been completed. Three NBA games belatedly on top of that NFL game is overload and piling on.
Take a poll and see how many people would agree that it is proper and respectful not to have this triple-header. Consider the article by Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal (November 28, 2011) titled “Can the NBA Steal Christmas?”:
“Isn’t it a little presumptuous for the NBA to skulk back on Christmas? December 25 is a cherished day for family…. It’s a day for people you love, for stuff kids want. It’s not for a basketball league that spent five months dickering around in a labor dispute—and wants to waddle in through the front door like a sketchy ex-husband and plant itself under the mistletoe….
“The NBA has long tried to claim Christmas, but not all of its membership is convinced. ‘I actually feel sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game,’ Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy grinched a couple of years ago. Last season, Van Gundy snarkily suggested the league should run 24 hours of Christmas games back-to-back. ‘We need to start them at midnight on Christmas Eve and play them all through the day so there’s not a minute of Christmas Day where there’s not an NBA game on TV. The NBA is Christmas.”
The public deserves an explanation from you about this three-game basketball massing on the birthday of Jesus Christ. They need you to explain just why commercialism and monied interests should elbow into the many daytime hours of this major religious day. Why not reschedule?
I hope people who object to your tripleheader scheduling on December 25 express their displeasure with their sentiments directly to your office via this contact form: http://www.nba.com/email_us/contact_us.html
Your response is invited.
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
Listen on Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor and others.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon