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 #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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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