By Ken Reed
“Imagine this: a pharmaceutical company invents a new drug. A drug with many benefits. It increases cardiovascular fitness, facilitates friendship, creates feelings of excitement, euphoria and community pride. As a side effect, however, the drug also produces varying degrees of acute and chronic brain damage in an indeterminate number of users, for reasons that are only crudely understood.”
— Patrick Hruby, from “The Choice: A Parent’s Dilemma: Should Your Child Play Football?”
As we approach mid-August, parents across the country are wondering if they should allow their children to play tackle football in youth leagues or at the high school level this year.
With all the news reports about concussions, brain trauma, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), concussion-related lawsuits, new research studies, etc., the decision is getting harder and harder every year for many parents.
Patrick Hruby has written an extensive piece about this important decision. In his article, he references numerous recent studies related to football and brain trauma. He also talks to medical experts and parents about the pros and cons of football. Some express pro-football views and some express anti-football views.
Basically, the piece provides a plethora of information for the parent (or athlete) weighing the advantages and disadvantages of playing youth or high school football.
Not everyone will reach the same conclusion but everyone should at least have the information needed to make a well-informed decision. Hruby’s award-winning article (selected for “The Best American Sports Writing 2014”) provides that.
The Choice. When you’re talking about America’s favorite sport, a national obsession, it’s hard to make an unemotional decision. Hruby’s article, and the sources he cites, can help parents do just that.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
Listen on Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor and others.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
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.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
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
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon