By Ken Reed
South Carolina remains in the Stone Age as evidenced by the fact the Confederate flag continues to fly on the Statehouse grounds. This disturbing reality was brought to light again following the despicable killings of nine African Americans at a Charleston, S.C. church. The murder suspect is Dylann Roof, a white supremacist.
The Confederate flag, even if it has redeeming qualities to some people, is tied to a racist past. Fortunately, Republican South Carolina governor Nikki Haley acknowledged that fact on Monday in calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse.
“It’s time to move the flag from the Capital grounds,” said Haley. “On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history. We don’t need reminders.”
Haley made the right call but the issue is far from over. South Carolina lawmakers have to take action to make it happen. Haley threatened to call state legislators back for a special session on the topic this summer. Removing the Confederate flag won’t come easy. Flying the flag on Capital grounds retains plenty of political support in South Carolina.
At the very least, the Confederate flag is an extremely divisive symbol that feeds racial tension. It shouldn’t be formally supported by the state of South Carolina.
Due to the power of sport in our culture and the visibility and impact of sports teams on the conscience of society, big-time sports organizations can be a powerful influence on this issue if they come out for the removal of the Confederate flag.
University of South Carolina athletics director made a step in that direction when he tweeted, “It’s time to remove the flag. We are ONE!!” referring to the Confederate flag flown at the state capital in Columbia, South Carolina.
The rest of Sportsworld should follow his lead.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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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.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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