By Ken Reed
Too often ego dominates the sports landscape in the form of win-at-all-costs (WAAC), profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) and entertainment-at-all-costs (EAAC) ethos.
Things like justice, fair play, and sportsmanship fall way down the list from those big three — despite a lot of lip service given to them.
Former New York Times columnist Robert Lipsyte elaborated on this phenomenon from a historical perspective recently in a USA Today op-ed.
After giving several examples of WAAC, PAAC and EAAC thinking trumping justice and fair play in sports, he provided what he sees as the cause: money from the TV and sneaker gods.
“Once television and the sneaker companies became the true governing bodies of sports, the corruption of athletics became almost total,” writes Lipsyte.
Well, I don’t know about “total” but WAAC, PAAC, and EAAC-fueled corruption certainly increased along with TV and sneaker revenue.
Lipsyte contends that if our values and priorities don’t change, the corruption will continue unabated.
“The corruption of TV and sneaker money, as pervasive as it might be on campus, is even more influential in the wider world of sports,” writes Lipsyte.
“As the stakes get higher, so does the drive to win, drugs and all. Unless we decide that justice and fair play are more important than our entertainment, it’s going to be a never ending story.”
— 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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