By Ken Reed
Roger Goodell and the NFL owners lost. NFL fans and social media won.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL owners chose to make a mockery of their “product,” and tarnish their “shield” by locking out the league’s officials before the start of the season. It was a bonehead move based not on money (the couple million dollars it cost the owners to settle with the regular officials amounts to little more than valet service expenses for the owners) but on pure ego and an amazingly inflated sense of power.
The NFL owners thought their league was so popular with the fans, media and sponsors that they could do anything, at anytime.
But in this case the fans rose up and called them on it. “No mas” was the primal scream heard loud and clear at NFL headquarters in the first 24 hours after the sad joke that was the Monday Night Football game between Seattle and Green Bay ended. Fans had simply had enough of the consumer fraud Goodell and the owners were putting on display every weekend.
The fans turned to social media to express their disgust. Goodell’s cell phone number was circulated via Twitter and thousands of fans left him, let’s say, strong messages. Thousands of other fans posted blogs on websites and posted angry opinions on Facebook. This thing went viral fast. Social media sites were buzzing. Fans were upset with the replacement officials and incensed that Goodell and his billionaire owners continued to allow them on the field. Call it a democracy uprising.
Goodell and the fat cat owners surrendered late Wednesday night.
In the aftermath, the owners, Goodell, the players’ association, the media, the regular officials, and probably others, will all claim credit for settling this labor dispute. But make no mistake the heroes in this NFL drama were the fans who demanded to be heard.
A tip of the fedora to all the fans who rose up and said enough is enough.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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