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 #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.
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