By Ken Reed
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has named Michele Roberts its executive director. Roberts, called the finest pure trial lawyer in Washington DC by Washingtonian Magazine, is the first woman to lead a major North American sports league union.
She’s also known for having impeccable character, an important factor for the NBPA’s executive committee.
“Roberts won over the players with a strong background as a civil criminal litigator and an unblemished character,” wrote long-time NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. “She’ll be replacing the deposed Billy Hunter, whose tenure was marked with labor negotiation failures, corruption, and ethical entanglements.”
In a sense, Roberts was hired because she appears to be the anti-Billy Hunter. Roberts will need to rally the players, get them on the same page, and prepare for negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement after the current one expires after the 2016-17 season.
Chris Paul was proud his union was open-minded during the process and willing to hire a woman.
“On behalf of our players, it shows how open minded our players are,” said Paul.
“With any of the candidates, it wasn’t about race, gender, anything, it was who is going to be the best person in that position. Like she said from Day 1 of interviews she tackled that question head first and she did it in front of our executive committee, the search committee and the same thing with our player audience.”
— 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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