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
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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