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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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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
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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