By Ken Reed
At halftime of the Sunday Night Football game last night between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, NBC announcer Bob Costas delivered an essay in which he said the Redskins name is “an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.”
The statement from one of the country’s premier sportscasters on one of the most watched shows in America is definitely a welcomed development in the quest to get the racist Redskins nickname changed. It will definitely draw more attention to the issue. As sports activist Dave Zirin said, “Most people just, in the words of former coach Joe Gibbs, ‘haven’t really thought about it.’ Bob Costas now has more people thinking about it, and that is the first step toward a long overdue change.”
Costas has come a long ways in his career when it comes to addressing contemporary sports issues. For a long time, he steered clear of any controversy. As he’s matured, he’s increasingly — albeit slowly — used his pulpit to address social justice issues in sports. Some credit in Costas’ transformation should go to long-time New York Times columnist Robert Lipsyte, who has long challenged Costas to take tougher journalistic stands on the sports issues of the day. Basically, Lipsyte has always felt Costas was a shill for the sports establishment, and wasn’t afraid to say so publicly, including face-to-face with Costas, although they’ve come to a point in recent years where they better understand each other.
Whatever the reason for Costas’ more frequent moments in the role of “sports reformer journalist,” those moments are definitely a positive for the sports reform movement as a whole.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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