By Ken Reed
When one reads about boxer Magomed Abdusalamov remaining in a coma at Roosevelt Hospital in New York after his Nov. 2nd fight with Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden, one has to ask, “What kind of society sanctions assault and battery for the public entertainment of others?”
The answer, I guess, is a country that matures and progresses very slowly. We’ve moved on from public executions and dog fighting. Things like that are now dubbed “barbaric” by society. But what’s more barbaric than allowing two people to pummel each other’s brains until one of the combatants falls unconscious?
Meanwhile, while Abdusalamov fights for his life in a hospital, the promoters that staged the fight are busy counting their obscene profits. Is there not something wrong with this picture?
Football and hockey have rightly been getting a lot of scrutiny for the brain trauma issues in their sports. But at least those sports are games that have purposes that go beyond pure violence. Boxing’s one and only purpose is to match two combatants until one of them drops to the ground unable to get up. If some fighters die (nearly 2,000 have since the 1890’s) or end up in a coma like Abdusalamov (the father of three kids, ages 8, 4 and 11 months) so be it. It’s part of the game.
Look, boxing clearly should be banned immediately. It’s gratuitous violence that feeds the worst parts of our collective character. It’s depraved and unethical and should be illegal.
Progress as a species is slow. One can only hope that we evolve more quickly to higher standards and stop taking sordid pleasure from watching two fellow human beings inflict pain on each other in a boxing ring.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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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.
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.
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.
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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