By Ken Reed
When the New York Yankees wanted a new stadium in the Bronx, they took 25 acres of public parkland from the South Bronx community for the project. As a good faith gesture, they created a charity called the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund.
The supposed intent was to distribute nearly $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, as well as 600,000 baseball tickets, to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. However, after 10 years, an analysis revealed that the Yankees community fund has largely neglected their poor neighbors living near the stadium. Money from the fund often goes to wealthier parts of the Bronx. The analysis by The New York Times also revealed there is very little oversight or public accountability for the fund.
“The funding and energy only goes to a select few,” says Agnes Johnson, a member of the South Bronx Community Congress, a group of neighborhood activists who have tried to monitor the Yankee Stadium community fund.
The fund is “like a deep, dark secret,” says Joyce Hogi, a board member of the Bronx Museum and someone who has been involved in local nonprofits for decades. The fund’s annual report has never been publicly released.
Oh, and what about those donated tickets to Yankees games? No public records exist showing where the 15,000 tickets that are supposed to be distributed every year are going.
The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund should be renamed “The New Yankee Stadium Slush Fund” because that’s largely how it operates.
The Yankees should be ashamed.
— 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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