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 #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – The guest is Gary McCoy, a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations. Our focus is the injury pandemic in baseball, what’s causing it and how it can be fixed.
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Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
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.
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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