By Ken Reed
“The whole event [Olympics] long ago became a corporate spectacle that has more to do with selling TV ads than promoting international friendship.”
— Charles Lane
Middle School Athletes Being Recruited
In the Washington D.C. area, the best 8th grade football players are being recruited by local private schools in a manner similar to the way the country’s best high school players are recruited by big-time college football programs.
DeJuan Ellis, Jr. has been watched by numerous high school coaches while playing junior high football games the past three years. They send him texts and messages on Facebook. Some give him tours of their school and host him at their high school games.
“It’s bigger than ever,” says one high school coach. “We’re getting highlight tapes every day from parents and coaches. It’s just the college [scene], just four years earlier.”
Young Teens Still Not Exercising
Only one in four U.S. teens between ages 12 to 15 meet the recommended hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day, based on a sample of 800 kids as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey. The actual number of active teens might even be less than stated since the results were self-reported.
“It’s definitely very concerning to see that our kids are engaging in such a limited amount of physical activity each day when we are still battling” an obesity epidemic, said Stephen Pont, an Austin pediatrician.
Another Reason to Protect Hockey Players: Finances
There has been a ton of data pointing to the fact that the NHL does a terrible job protecting its players from brain trauma. The league still allows fighting for Pete’s sake.
Nevertheless, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his owner cronies have done very little to make the game safer.
Perhaps they might take action upon hearing this fact: NHL teams and their insurers paid approximately $653 million in salary to players sidelined by concussions and other injuries over three recent seasons, according to a study published in the medical journal Injury Prevention.
“NHL owners need to do a better job of protecting their athletes — if not for their players, then for their own pocketbooks,” said study author Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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