By Ken Reed
Some real character All-Americans (wink, wink) were drafted by NFL teams this past weekend.
Numerous players, with a variety of off-field legal problems, were drafted. But, for now, let’s just focus on the area of domestic violence, an issue that NFL public relations execs say is VERY concerning to the league.
The Cincinnati Bengals took running back Joe Mixon, who was caught on tape punching a woman in the face. The Cleveland Browns selected defensive lineman Caleb Brantley, even though he’s been charged with punching a woman in the face. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars, took wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who was arrested for throwing the mother of his two children to the ground and biting her. The Oakland Raiders didn’t want to be left out on the “low character” front, so they drafted defensive back Gareon Conley, despite the fact he’s currently being investigated for rape.
Yes, the NFL says it’s very concerned about domestic violence. Nevertheless, as your mom told you, actions speak louder than words.
“NFL and team execs can say whatever they want but the real gauge of the league’s view is how its teams spend their precious draft capital,” wrote Mike Vorkunov, curator for SportsREDEF. “When GMs try to explain their picks, they only make it worse.”
What NFL GMs are really trying to say when they uncomfortably try to justify picks like these is if a guy can play, we’ll take him, no matter what issues he might have.
Meanwhile, NFL GMs won’t touch former Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had the gall to kneel for the national anthem in the name of social justice.
In addition, Commissioner Clueless, Roger Goodell, continues to come down hard on the use of medical marijuana by his players for pain treatment. Apparently, he views marijuana as a bigger social concern than domestic violence.
The NFL is a mess on many fronts (for one, see the league’s history with brain trauma, concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy), but its actions when it comes to domestic violence might be the most despicable.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon