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 #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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