By Ken Reed
Dave Zirin recently had an enlightening column in the Nation about the current NHL lockout, and the similarities with recent lockouts in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. He highlighted what appears to be a coordinated industry-wide effort by the owners in each league to abandon the annoying collective bargaining process and break the unions.
“On four occasions since August 2011, pro sports owners have locked their publicly subsidized stadium doors, sent stadium workers home and stopped play as usual,” wrote Zirin. “This is not coincidence or happenstance. It’s a coordinated management offensive that has reverberations far beyond the playing field.”
The law firm Proskauer Rose represents ownership in all four major men’s sports leagues. This unified front across the pro sports industry hurts every sports stakeholder group — except owners, of course.
“It’s been great for owners and awful for players, fans, stadium workers and tax payers,” wrote Zirin.
The commissioners of each league can’t help us. Since Fay Vincent got pushed out by MLB owners in 1992, we haven’t had a pro sports league commissioner who gives a whit about protecting the best interests of the game. Today’s commissioners are interested in protecting the best interests of the owners. And that’s it.
Need additional proof regarding the intentions of the league commissioners? As Zirin pointed out, NBA commissioner David Stern and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman both used to be partners at Proskauer Rose.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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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.
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.
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.
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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