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 #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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