By Ken Reed
In the May 23 issue of Sports Illustrated, Steve Rushin takes on all the junk that sports fans have to deal with in order to support their favorite teams — including, having to pay for the stadiums and arenas their teams play in.
“Just because Holder paid for this ticket, a handling surcharge, a PSL and, indirectly, the stadium itself, that does not give Holder the right to act like he owns the damn place,” writes Rushin.
Great line. That sentence is one of Rushin’s best but he has others that humorously, but powerfully, point out what fans have to deal with in the profit-at-all-costs world of pro sports owners and Power Five conference college administrators.
“By attending Sports, Holder accepts that he will be the primary target of a three-hour barrage of ads and sponsored segments so unrelentingly remorseless that Holder will be better off just buying a Kia Sorento already,” jabs Rushin.
Rushin does note that there are some positives to Sports fandom.
“… Holder may present this ticket at participating Carnival Cruise ports of call for $1 off a Caribbean vacation whenever Holder’s team scores 100. (In baseball only.)”
The headline on Rushin’s column is “The Fine Print.” That’s apt. There are a lot of strings attached when a person heads down the path of being a fan of a pro sports franchise or big-time college sports program.
At the pro and Power Five college levels, sport isn’t a cherished cultural practice governed by caretakers looking to do what’s best for the game, its athletes and fans. Pro sports and big-time college sports are run by greedy entertainment barons looking to yank every last dime out of your pocket.
All other considerations be damned.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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