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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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