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 #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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