By Ken Reed
Dave Zirin is an activist sportswriter. In other words, he looks beyond the playing fields to economic and social justice issues in the world of sports. I don’t always agree with his takes (although the vast majority of the time I do), but I couldn’t agree more with his selection for 2013 Sportsperson of the Year.
In considering his Sportsperson of the Year, Zirin asked himself “who best represents what I believe to be the most important narrative in the sports world from 2013?”
His answer was right on the money.
“The story of the year in sports is, for me, a no-brainer. This has been the year when the ‘last closet’ has been breeched with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes, as well as their allies, finally being heard. The story that best demonstrates the distance traveled in 2013 is the story of Robbie Rogers, and he is my Sportsperson of the Year.”
Rogers is a pro soccer player who came out of the closet and then abruptly retired at age 25. He didn’t want to deal with the “circus.” Then, inspired by the courage of basketball’s Jason Collins, Rogers signed a contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy and became the first active openly gay male athlete in a professional team sport in North America.
Today, Rogers doesn’t know why he was so afraid to continue his playing career, but he’s glad he came back to the game.
Rogers said, “It’s awesome to be part of a movement that is changing society.”
And it’s awesome that 2013 saw so much progress for LGBT athletes.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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