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 #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 long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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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.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
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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