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 #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.
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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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