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 #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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