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 #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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