By Ken Reed
Robert Griffin III was a brave, courageous athlete last Sunday. Mike Shanahan was just another win-at-all-costs (WAAC) coach, more concerned about his legacy (a desperate quest to end up in the Hall of Fame) than the future of a bright young star. Basically, Shanahan’s ego led him to go all WAACY when he decided to leave RG III in the playoff game much longer than virtually everyone watching the game thought was appropriate.
It wasn’t surprising, given Shanahan’s history of being much more concerned with wins than his player’s health while in Denver as head coach of the Broncos. He also works for a profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) owner in Dan Snyder. When you mix a WAAC mindset with a PAAC mindset you get ugly results, which is what we got in the Washington – Seattle playoff game.
RG III wanted to play in his first NFL playoff game. He thought he could help his team win. That’s understandable. What’s not understandable is why the NFL doesn’t do more to protect its players. We’ll learn more about that as the giant concussion lawsuit brought by former NFL players against the league draws nearer.
After NFL owners and executives started receiving heat for their handling of concussions, they decided to put in a more player-friendly system for dealing with concussion-like symptoms on the playing field. Griffin, and his NFL peers, need a similar system for dealing with all football-related injuries. Decisions like this can’t be left to the coach and/or the player — or even to team doctors, who tend to favor the interests of the owner and coach they work for.
“An independent voice is necessary,” wrote Troy Renck in an analysis in the Denver Post. “Griffin was never going to remove himself from the game … In a league that is built around violence, the players need more than helmets and pads for armor. The league must protect the players from themselves.”
And their coaches.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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 in the year 2022.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon