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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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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.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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