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 #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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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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.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
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.
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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