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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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