By Ken Reed
Soon after the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy, we had media individuals and organizations (not to mention bloggers and tweeters across the country) lining up to jump to the conclusion that the case was a clear act of terrorism backed by a terrorist organization. In particular, all Muslims were stigmatized as potential terrorists in the case.
The New York Post was one of the worst offenders, quickly running a headline saying, “Authorities ID Suspect as Saudi National in Marathon Bombings ….” The story was completely erroneous, but the person in question had his name and picture placed in the paper. The Post also wrongly identified two other people as suspects in the case.
Other “journalists” surmised all kinds of political reasons for the actions of the Tsarnaev brothers, who are allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings. In many cases, it appeared the top concern of these people was to push their own political agendas. The fact is, we don’t know what the motivation was in this case. We do know that, at this point, Boston officials believe the Tsarnaev brothers were acting alone.
“All of the information I have is they acted alone, these two individuals, the brothers,” said Mayor Thomas Menino on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.
Whether or not you agree with President Obama’s politics or not, here’s hoping we can all agree with the cautious approach he asked for in his remarks following the capture of the youngest Tsarnaev brother.
The President criticized some of the news coverage surrounding the attack and the investigation and asked Americans not to rush to judgment on the case, including possible motives. Obama said nobody should be judged solely on their background. He noted that “in this age of instant reporting, tweets and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to many bits of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions.”
Whether this case turns out to be an extensively planned plot, orchestrated by a sophisticated terrorist group, or not, there are still many lessons to be learned by the media — and all of us really — about the dangers of rushing to judgment. The Boston Marathon case has left individuals unfairly accused, and Muslims as a whole smeared with collective blame.
That’s a shame and a sizable portion of the media and blogosphere need to take responsibility. They also need to begin exhibiting more self-discipline in their work.
— 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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