By Ken Reed
Fox News’s Laura Ingraham is the latest talking head to tell athletes, coaches and sports journalists to “stick to sports.”
Ingraham was upset with NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant for speaking out against Donald Trump and his “leadership” style.
“Must they run their mouths like that?” asked Ingraham on her Fox News show.
“Unfortunately, a lot of kids — and some adults — take these ignorant comments seriously … Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So, keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”
What is wrong with people like Ingraham? Do they think only talk-show hosts have the right to criticize elected officials or speak out on the issues of the day?
Do these “stick to sports” people not understand the rights and civic duties of American citizens? Is this not supposed to be a free country, home to the First Amendment, the greatest piece of government work the world has ever seen? Have these “stick to sports” folks not heard of the marketplace of ideas?
I guess not. Either Ingraham doesn’t understand any of these concepts or she doesn’t believe in them.
We need more citizens speaking out about the state of the country, and the issues and challenges of the day, not fewer.
Maybe Ingraham is just against athletes or celebrities publicly sharing viewpoints that differ from hers. Maybe she thinks all non-conservative athletes and entertainers should just go away and be quiet.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Chris Long fired back at Ingraham by pointing out all the athletes and celebrities that have been on Fox News spouting their far right views, e.g., Bobby Knight, Curt Schilling, Chuck Norris, Jon Voight, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock.
“So, Fox News folks who agree with Laura … you okay with these segments?” asked Long.
“And if you reply, ‘stick to sports,’ you should probably tune out of Fox News because they’ve got karate guys talking climate change on there. (Which I’m cool with … it’s his right.)”
Ingraham alluded to James and Durant by saying, “You’re great players but no one voted for you.”
Well, dear Laura, nobody voted for you either. It might be a blow to your ego but LeBron James and Kevin Durant have a lot more clout and influence in this country than you do.
Most importantly, they are contributing to the marketplace of ideas, just like you do every day.
The more Americans that do that and get involved as active citizens, the better this country will be.
So, keep spewing your opinions Laura. But maybe, just maybe, the millions of Americans who value the First Amendment and civic involvement will drown you out with their opinions.
A guy can hope, can’t he?
— 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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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