SI’s Rushin Has Powerful — and Funny — Take on Plight of Sports Fans
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 #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, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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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.
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.
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.
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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