Jason Reid recently wrote a provocative column for the Washington Post. He kicks off his column with a very strong statement:
“With each bone-breaking, head-injuring hit, NFL players are killing themselves slowly,” wrote Reid. “It’s not a possibility. It’s a fact, no less certain than the league’s immense profitability.”
Knowing what we now know regarding the long-term impact of concussions and repetitive sub-concussive brain trauma (which, as an example, can result from offensive and defensive linemen pounding heads on every play), does it make it harder, as fans of the game, to cheer wildly and passionately over football plays — especially those big hits that always seem to get the most energetic reactions in the stands or in our living rooms?
I’ve studied sports concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the progressive degenerative disease found in the brains of some deceased NFL and NHL players, enough to know that we’re talking about very scary stuff. I believe that brain trauma will be the number one sports issue of the coming decade.
Brain trauma — and what becomes of a lot of former players — is always in the back of my mind now when I watch NFL and NHL games.
It makes the games a little less enjoyable when you feel a bit guilty for deriving entertainment from an activity that has such profoundly negative consequences for a significant group of former players.
As Reid concludes, “I’ll continue to watch as well. But that doesn’t mean I’ll feel good about it. Or that I should.”
— 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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