By Ken Reed
Is there any logical reason why a female can’t coach male basketball players?
Are females incapable of grasping the intricacies of the pick-and-roll? Are they genetically unable to be passionate about basketball and highly competitive? Is it simply that women basketball coaches can’t communicate or motivate men?
All absurd concepts, right? Yet, the powers that be in pro and college sports continue to be biased toward the idea that men must coach men. The opposite isn’t the case. Tons of men coach women and girls in multiple sports, from youth leagues through the pro ranks. Does that symbolically communicate our true belief as a society, that men inherently are superior to women as sports coaches and strategists?
Well, Becky Hammon isn’t buying in, and thankfully for all progressive-thinking sports lovers, neither is Gregg Popovich and the rest of the San Antonio Spurs’ ownership and management team.
Hammon, the former Colorado State great and long-time WNBA star, is the head coach of the Spurs summer league team, the first woman ever to hold such a title. Hammon was also the first paid female assistant coach in the NBA this past season.
“I’m glad Pop didn’t really care if I was a boy or a girl,” said Hammon recently. “He just said, ‘OK, this mind knows basketball and let’s bring that mind aboard.’ All that anatomy didn’t matter.”
Hammon is aware that she’s charting new territory for female basketball coaches. She’s not running from that but she also wants to just be seen as a basketball coach.
“I don’t want to downplay it,” she said. “At the same time, I just want to coach. It is a big deal, but then it’s not a big deal, kind of in the same breath.”
It is a big deal today. But hopefully, it won’t be for long.
— 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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