By Ken Reed
For anyone in their 30’s or 40’s, Bob Costas has been the one and only host of the Olympic Games’ television coverage in the United States. His 30-year run ended at this Olympics. Costas is nowhere near Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In fact, he’s at his home in Newport Beach, California, watching his NBC replacement, Mike Tirico, host the Winter Olympics. Costas says he’s not unhappy with his bosses at NBC, and is fine not playing a starring role — or any role for that matter — at the Pyeongchang Games.
“My attitude is I have had a wonderful ride and so many wonderful things to look back on and so many great things have happened and great friendships and collaborations, so when things take another turn in another direction, that’s just the way it goes,” Costas, 65, said.
Costas is probably being a little diplomatic when discussing his diminished role at NBC. It’s quite possible his strong opinions have contributed to his reduced presence on major NBC sports broadcasts.
Late in his career, Costas has increasingly spoken out on contemporary sports issues. His most recent rant has been against football. More specifically, he’s spoken strongly about the dangers football presents to the human brain.
While speaking at the University of Maryland, Costas said football “destroys people’s brains.”
“To not acknowledge that and to just be some houseman for the NFL was something I could not do,” said Costas.
His honesty likely cost him his role at this year’s Super Bowl. Costas was scheduled to host the Super Bowl with Dan Patrick. However, in a late decision, NBC honchos replaced him with Liam McHugh.
Costas is comfortable with his reduced broadcasting role with NBC. And, at this point in his career, he also seems quite comfortable delivering strong opinions on hot sports topics.
“The cracks in the foundation are there,” says Costas about America’s football structure — from the youth level to the pros.
“The day-to-day issues, as serious as they may be, they may come and go. But you cannot change the nature of the game. I certainly would not let, if I had an athletically gifted 12- or 13-year-old son, I would not let him play football.”
— 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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