By Ken Reed
It’s been a great summer when measured by the socio-cultural progress the United States has made.
The Supreme Court finally determined that gay and lesbian Americans deserve the same rights under the law as other Americans by ruling that same-sex marriages are constitutionally legal.
In South Carolina, we witnessed political leaders finally taking down the Confederate flag — a symbol for white supremacist and racist ideologies — from the state capitol grounds.
In the sports world, we’ve seen progressive males in the traditionally conservative NBA and NFL take the bold step of hiring females Becky Hammon, Jen Welter, and Nancy Lieberman as assistant coaches.
Meanwhile, back in our nation’s capitol, Dan Snyder continues to resist calls to change the team’s racist nickname.
Ironically, Snyder and his minions sound just like the folks who fiercely defended the flying of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina capitol grounds.
Yes indeed, the pro-Redskins nickname people are spewing the same rhetoric as the pro-Confederate flag folks. In a well-done piece for the Washington Post, Paul Farhi placed the arguments of the Confederate flag supporters next to the arguments of the Washington Redskins nickname supporters. Guess what? It’s almost impossible to tell one from the other.
Here’s but one example:
It’s about history
“It’s history. They’re trying to take this flag away. They’re basically trying to change the history and abolish it and get rid of it.” (Flag supporter Brian Nielsen of Minnesota)
“What I would encourage you to do and everyone else to do is just look at the history, understand where the name came from, understand what it means.” (Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins owner)
It would sure be nice if all the NFL executive, media and fan energy being spent on Tom Brady and “Deflategate” was instead directed toward the removal of the racist nickname of the Washington franchise.
That would certainly be a positive statement about our society in general, and the NFL in particular.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
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.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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