By Ken Reed
I see my overarching mission as trying to enhance the positives and mitigate the negatives in sports. That said, I tend to address the problems and issues in sports more than talking about what’s working when sports are at their best.
The negatives in sports are driven by ego and greed and lead to win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) thinking, policies and actions. When WAAC or PAAC is driving the bus, sports can be ugly and unjust.
On the other hand, at their best, sports are one of the purest aspects of life, and often a window into the human spirit. When sports are driven by the soul and not the ego, you get beautiful displays of sportsmanship and fair play, along with amazing efforts that test the limits of athletes physically, mentally and emotionally.
And you get stories like Lauren Hill’s.
Lauren was a high school student preparing for her first year of college when she got the news that she had an inoperable brain tumor. That’s when her soul took over. She dropped all the petty and shallow ego-based concerns that take too much time from our lives and focused on living in the present, living life to its fullest, and helping other people.
Sadly, Lauren Hill died Friday morning. But what a life she led her last year and a half on this planet. She acknowledged her tumor but didn’t let it determine how she’d spend her final months. She started a non-profit foundation that’s raised $1.5 million for cancer research. She continued with her plans to play basketball at Mt. Saint Joseph University and set a goal of scoring one basket in a college game. Last Nov. 2nd, she scored two buckets in front of 10,000 people who squeezed into a basketball arena to cheer for Lauren Hill and the beautiful spirit they saw in her.
“She’s made an impact on the world, more so than me — more than I will ever do,” said her coach Dan Benjamin. “I’ve gotten so many emails and phone calls from all over the world. People are contacting me because they want to share her story.”
What an amazing example of how to live and die. Lauren Hill lived life to the fullest and helped people along the way. A heroic legacy to be sure.
“I’m spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment because the next moment’s not promised,” Hill told the Associated Press after one of her team’s practices. “Anything can happen at any given moment. What matters is right now.”
To honor Lauren Hill’s memory, we should all try to do our best — one day at a time — to heed this powerful lesson she taught, not only with her words but especially through her actions.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
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
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon