By Ken Reed
We at the League of Fans spend a majority of our time addressing the inequities and injustices in sports. Our goal is to push our sports organizations to be more socially responsible in their policymaking, decisionmaking and actions. In short, we want to get the destructive win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) mentalities out of our sports.
In order to keep fighting the good fight in SportsWorld, it’s important to occasionally reflect on why we care so much about sports to begin with.
The following “sports enjoyment scorecard” can help all of us put sports in their proper perspective. It also has the side benefit of providing sports reformers and activists motivation to continue the fight for a more fair sports landscape.
When it comes to sports, we all need to occasionally reset our priorities. Do this: Sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself, “Why do I like sports? What makes me happy when I’m involved in sports?” (If you have kids in sports, ask them to do it as well. Their answers could be enlightening.)
List everything (including winning and playing well). Consider things like: being with people I like who share my passion; enjoying the sporting venue (whether a beautiful golf course, youth soccer field, bike trail, or classic stadium); the competitive nature of sports (win or lose); the exercise, recreation and entertainment aspects of sport; the excitement and spectacle of sporting events, learning about myself and others, developing skills, etc. Whatever rings true for you.
When you’re done, give each item on your list a % with your total adding up to 100. It should help you keep winning in perspective, and be happier the next time you participate in sports, or even watch a sporting event.
And hopefully, it gives you — even if just a little — more incentive to get out in your community and fight for justice in sports.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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