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 #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.
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon