A couple of professional snowboarders, Bryan Fox and Austin Smith, have started a “Drink Water” campaign to combat what they see as a troublesome trend: the heavy marketing of energy drinks like Red Bull and Rockstar at sporting events in general and snowboarding competitions in particular. As part of their campaign for water in favor of energy drinks, Fox and Smith sell stickers, jackets, T-shirts and sweatshirts with the Drink Water logo design.
Fox and Smith’s opposition is based on the drinks’ ingredients, which include sugar, caffeine, guarana (a plant that contains caffeine), taurine and ginseng, along with the size of doses found in servings. Unlike sodas, energy drinks are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“[T]here’s many physiological effects large quantities of caffeine can have. Increasing blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate,” says Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine who has studied the effects of energy drinks for a decade. “In some, it can lead to cardiac arrhythmias, and hyperactivity and anxiety in young people.”
Other snowboarders have started wearing the Drink Water sweatshirts at competitions and in videos. But the feedback isn’t all positive. According to Smith, a television crew member at a New Zealand snowboarding event was asked to remove his Drink Water sweatshirt. But negative incidents have been minimal so far.
Fox and Smith are donating 10 percent of their profits to Water.org, a nonprofit that provides clean water and sanitation in Africa, southern Asia and Central America.
“We’re saying, ‘Do whatever you want,” according to Smith, “but you can drink water and be just as cool.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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.
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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
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon