By Ken Reed
Early in his NBA career, LeBron James stayed away from any political-socio-cultural issues, despite urgings from League of Fans and others. In 2008, James was quoted as saying he wanted to “keep athletics and politics separate.”
But in recent years, James has spoken out on a wide-variety of political-socio-cultural issues. In fact, he has become one of the foremost progressive voices in the country. In doing so, he’s gotten under the skin of many conservatives, including conservative talking head Laura Ingraham, who told James to “shut up and dribble” earlier this year.
This week, James came out and said he was completely open to the possibility of a female coach in the NBA.
“I mean, if she knows what she’s doing, we’ll love it,” said James.
“I mean, listen, at the end of the day, basketball… it’s not about male or female. You know the game, you know the game.”
James was responding to a question about Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, a college All-American at Colorado State and a long-time WNBA star. She led the Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League championship in 2015 and has been the object of a lot of praise from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“If you know the game, then everybody is accepting of that,” said James.
“It’s the same thing with players. You have different walks and shapes and lives of players, but if you can play, you can play. You always accept it. … If you know the game, you’re always accepted. … It shouldn’t matter if you’re a male or a female.”
Now there’s a refreshing take from a superstar in the macho, too often sexist, world of the NBA.
— 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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