By Ken Reed
I wrote a blog entry a couple days ago about mental health issues in sports.
Today Huffington Post has a column on mental health issues in sports by Alicia Romeo, M.D., a faculty member of the psychiatry department at the University of North Carolina’s Medical Center.
She raises a compelling question: “In an ‘all or nothing’ culture where weakness is anything short of the extraordinary, how does an athlete handle mental illness?”
We live in a society in which openly discussing mental health issues is still taboo. Now imagine how taboo the subject is in the sub-culture that is the male sports world … Macho men in team sports settings simply don’t talk about emotional or mental issues. It’s an unwritten rule, part of the code of sports manhood. The issue, while not as pronounced, is significant in the world of female sports as well.
That needs to change. Too many athletes are suffering in silence unnecessarily. Some of them end up killing themselves.
“Just like a torn ACL, an untreated mental illness can prematurely end athletic careers,” writes Romeo.
“And, unlike a ligamentous injury, an untreated mental illness can be fatal. At every level, from high school to elite athletics, a better understanding of the psychological stress on athletes is worth a closer look. In particular, recreational drug use, changes in athletic performance, energy, mood and sleep can be warning signs to coaches, trainers and teammates. Understanding and recognizing warning signs of depression and other mood disorders can lead to appropriate treatment that may save a career and a life.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
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
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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