By Ken Reed
It was their team. It should still be their team. But it’s not.
A couple carpetbagging owners who bought the local team, the Seattle Supersonics, in 2008 while promising to keep the team in town, instead moved the franchise to Oklahoma City in a move that reeked of greed and a lack of ethics.
“It’s a complete travesty that there’s no team here, because Seattle is a basketball city first and foremost,” says Adam Brown, producer of the award-winning documentary “Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team,” which chronicles Seattle’s efforts to keep the Sonics in Seattle, along with the bitter relocation of the franchise to Okie City. “The Sonics were more closely woven into the Seattle and Washington state community than any of the other pro sports teams.”
Bottom line, a couple greedy owners methodically screwed a community’s diehard fans, ruining the basketball tradition in an entire community. It’s certainly not the first time. Cases like this are a big reason why the community ownership model needs to become more prevalent in pro sports.
“I was a huge Sonics fan,” says Anders Miller, a long-time Seattle resident. “I personally was so devastated by them leaving that I don’t even watch the NBA anymore.”
No matter if you prefer Kevin Durant or LeBron James, it’s hard to watch this year’s NBA Finals and not feel sorry for the thousands of Supersonic fans stuck without a team in Seattle.
— 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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