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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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