By Ken Reed
I have to be honest, I never knew much about Los Angeles Clippers’ suspended owner Donald Sterling. Oh sure, I knew he was one of the worst owners in professional sports and that he oversaw one of the most inept teams in sports history. But I never knew he was also an all-time low-life as a human being.
Then the racist tapes came out, followed by articles about his ugly history as a slumlord and racist. I didn’t know he had a history of flaunting his infidelity. In short, I knew very little about Donald Sterling the man.
But even with all the negative stories about Sterling that have come out the past couple weeks, I didn’t know how bad a guy he was until I listened to his interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN yesterday.
In what may go down as the worst apology of all-time, Sterling left little doubt that not only was he a racist but also that he was extremely arrogant and ignorant.
After his CNN interview debacle, my first takeaway was that the NBA can’t get rid of him soon enough.
But my second takeaway was a question: How did former commissioner David Stern and the NBA owners keep Sterling in the club for three decades?
Sterling’s racist and boorish attitudes and behaviors have been a matter of public record for years. Moreover, NBA owners had to deal with this guy at owners’ meetings, etc., for years. They knew — firsthand — what kind of person he was. Yet, until the PR avalanche took place a couple weeks ago, and sponsors started to pull away (there’s the biggie), NBA owners considered him one of the gang.
At this point, my view of Sterling can’t get any lower, but my view of every owner in the NBA ownership club has plummeted as well. Their recent anti-Sterling statements, filled with righteous indignation, fall on deaf ears.
It would be nice if we could clean out the entire NBA ownership club and start over.
This time we could do it right and allow every NBA franchise to be owned by the local community, the Green Bay Packers model if you will.
We’d all be better off.
— 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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