By Ken Reed
Ever since 9/11, Major League Baseball teams have been playing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch. Most teams play it during Sunday and holiday games. The Baltimore Orioles play it on Saturdays. The New York Yankees play the song during the 7th inning of every home game.
The Orioles also play Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” at Friday home games. The song is filled with populist themes. The Orioles are the only team to play the song during the seventh inning stretch.
“‘God Bless America’ speaks to a lot of people,” said John Angelos, the Orioles’ chief operating officer and the son of the team’s owner, Peter Angelos. But, he added, “there is a strain of progressivism in American life, and if we can reflect it, I think that’s a good thing.”
Angelos said the Orioles intent is to include all citizens, all types of heroes and all kinds of thinking. The Orioles’ primary intent was to diversify and honor everyday heroes and not just members of the military. For example, last Friday the Orioles honored community hero Reneita Smith, a bus driver who saved a group of elementary students from a burning bus.
“People forget a lot of these stadiums are publicly funded buildings and, by law, they have to welcome people from all different walks of life,” Angelos said.
“Sometimes sports can be narrowcast in the causes and groups focused on. Our idea is that everyone should be included; let’s not leave anyone out.
“We can honor a veteran, but we can also honor a veteran who is against a particular war. That diversity is what the song represents.”
— 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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