By Ken Reed
Former Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers has been diagnosed with dementia, according to his family. Sayers’ wife, Ardythe Sayers, said the 73-year-old former running back was actually diagnosed four years ago but the condition wasn’t made public at that time.
“Like the doctor at the Mayo Clinic said, ‘Yes, a part of this has to be on football,’” said Ardie Sayers at the couple’s home in Wakarusa, Indiana.
Mrs. Sayers said her husband physically is very healthy but his mental condition has deteriorated.
“That brain controls everything, doesn’t it?” added Ardie Sayers.
Gale Sayers’ brother Roger talked about how tough it is to watch his brother’s mental capacity decline. It’s “tough” to “build memories all your life, and the next thing you know you don’t remember anything,” said Roger Sayers.
The Sayers’ revelation follows closely the news that another former pro football star, Dwight Clark, is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and that Clark believes playing football might be the cause.
“I don’t know for sure,” said Clark. “But I certainly suspect it did.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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