By Ken Reed
California Assembly Bill 1309 is designed to prevent NFL players and other professional athletes from suing in California courts to get workers’ compensation for injuries occurring on the job.
Where did such a bill come from? One needs to look only as far as NFL owners and executives for an answer.
As Dave Zirin writes in a recent column on this issue:
“For years, the NFL has lobbied to close what they call a ‘loophole’ because they don’t want players pursuing workers’ compensation benefits in California’s historically labor-friendly courts. Especially now, as thousands of former players are suing the league for the injuries they suffered while playing, they don’t want California courts deciding precedents that can be used in other courts.”
Professional athletes, in particular NFL players, are being singled out by this legislation and star quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady have jointly written an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle outlining their reasons for opposing the bill.
“There is no good reason for professional athletes to be singled out,” concluded Brees and Brady in the op-ed. “We pay our share to the state, we negotiated the costs of the insurance that covers the claims.”
This is clearly a social justice issue. As Brees and Brady point out, AB1309 unfairly focuses on pro athletes by “attempting to classify them differently than other interstate workers, such as pilots, migrant workers, construction workers or actors.”
The bill needs to be shot down; not just in the interest of protecting pro athletes but to prevent possible future legislation that could target other workers.
You can contact members of California’s Senate Labor Committee here to let them know what you think of this bill.
— 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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