By Ken Reed
University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe has resigned amid protests on the Missouri campus regarding his handling of racially-charged incidents. The protests included a hunger strike by a Missouri student, boycott of all football activities by Missouri football players, and a call for a class walkout by Missouri professors.
Dan Wetzel, in my opinion the best sports columnist in the United States, had a great take on the situation at Mizzou in his Sunday column.
While admitting he didn’t know all the particulars of the situation at the University of Missouri, he praised the football players for being engaged college students and getting involved in campus issues, rather than choosing isolation and seclusion in the school’s football facility.
“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,'” the football players said in a statement.
“We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”
Missouri football coach, Gary Pinkel, supported his players and canceled all football activities on Sunday.
“The Mizzou Family stands as one,” Pinkel wrote. “We are united. We are behind our players.”
Without praising their actions directly, Wetzel praised the players’ and Pinkel’s involvement and courage to stand up for what they believe is right.
“Good that the (Missouri) players feel they can act like college students should – free to participate in campus protest if they choose,” wrote Wetzel. “And it’s a good thing their coach is willing to support them, that they aren’t just hired guns, and winning games isn’t their sole purpose for being in school.
“The Missouri players are part of the fray, part of the place. They may be right. They may be wrong. They may be imprecise. They may one day look back with pride. They may one day look back with embarrassment. It doesn’t matter because that’s college. That’s exactly what college is supposed to be, even if you’re a big-shot football player. Maybe even especially.”
Right on Dan Wetzel. And right on Missouri football players and Coach Gary Pinkel.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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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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