By Ken Reed
Once again, we witnessed a tense, dramatic Sunday at the Masters. What a great shootout over the last couple holes and sudden death. Adam Scott has to be one of the classiest athletes in all of sport. And Angel Cabrera was a gracious runner-up.
As Scott was celebrating his last putt, I couldn’t help but flashback to last year’s British Open and reflect on how classy Scott was in handling his collapse over the final four holes, and how genuinely gracious he was afterwards while interacting with the winner, Ernie Els, and the media.
Scott’s story is such a heartwarming contrast to the sad spectacle that is Tiger Woods. Considering the two cases, Woods and Scott, it made me think of one of my favorite quotes from John Wooden (a legendary coach and man): “Sport doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” The character of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott has been revealed in recent years, on and off the course, and, of course, during the last few days at Augusta.
Woods took an illegal drop during Saturday’s round and ended up signing an incorrect scorecard, traditionally an offense resulting in disqualification from the tournament. Due to a relatively new loophole in golf’s rules, Tiger avoided being disqualified. Instead, he was given a two-stroke penalty at the discretion of the Masters rules committee (I’m sure it had nothing to do with television ratings or sponsor dollars …).
Legally, Woods was within his rights to continue in the tournament. However, golf is by tradition a game of honor in which players call penalties on themselves, to protect the field and the integrity of the game.
In his post-round interview, Woods admitted breaking the rule, if unknowingly (ignorance of a rule isn’t an allowable defense). Tiger, who recently approved a Nike ad that claimed, “Winning takes care of anything,” had a choice: he could continue playing in the tournament, or take the ethical path, the path of sportsmanship, and disqualify himself. Disqualifying himself would have raised his status in the golfing and sporting worlds more than winning a 15th major tournament. It also would’ve done a ton of good for the game of golf.
Saturday was about Woods, his dilemma, and his choice.
Sunday was about amazing golf and outstanding character.
It doesn’t always happen in sports — or life — but Sunday the good guy won.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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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
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