By Ken Reed
NBA star Kevin Durant is getting blistered in both the press and Twitterverse for choosing to switch employers while a free agent. Durant said his decision was based on what he thought was a better work environment and a city that he feels will help him grow as a player and as a person.
Durant never demanded a trade while under contract. He simply explored his options when he became a free agent. Nevertheless, a lot of people are mad at him for his decision.
“We live in this superhero comic book world where either you’re a villain or you’re a superhero if you’re in this position, and I know that,” said Durant.
“And I know I haven’t changed as a person. I don’t treat people any differently because I made the decision to play basketball in another city. I try to look at this as a game. It’s not life or death. We play basketball for a living. We get to take care of our families. I want to enjoy every day. That’s all it is.”
Durant didn’t switch employers for more money. In fact, he turned down more money from the Oklahoma City Thunder to play for the Golden State Warriors because he loved the camaraderie and chemistry he saw within the Warriors locker room and front office. As Sam Amick wrote in USA Today, Durant was attracted to Golden State because the Warriors “played with joy. They played with a genuine love for one another. On most nights, they had fun. And he wanted that.”
Perhaps some of the reason fans and reporters are angry with Durant is that they don’t like today’s players having so much power to direct their futures.
“They want players to be seen and not heard: chess pieces in a game of live-action fantasy sports, moved by powerful men in board rooms who are armed only with their superior intellect and self-serving blather about “the process,” wrote sports and culture writer Dave Zirin.
“They can’t stand that maybe the best general managers are now the young black stars taking full ownership of their own legacies. They can’t stand that this is a player’s league … Going to the best possible workplace to achieve the greatest success would be a no-brainer in any other profession.”
It should be in professional sports as well.
— 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.
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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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