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
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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