By Ken Reed
Once upon a time, sport was one of the few institutions that brought people from diverse backgrounds together. Whatever your demographic, employment or political profile, you could count on a sense of unity when you went to the stadium or arena to cheer for the local team.
Those days are gone as the political divisiveness in this country has deeply infiltrated the world of sports. This is particularly the case in the NFL, with the national anthem controversy being Exhibit 1.
At the root of the problem in sports — and society in general — is a lack of respect and civility when it comes to human relations.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and his league’s owners seem to understand that to a much larger degree than NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his owners. Silver, in particular, really seems to get it.
“Adam and his leadership, I do feel like we’re partners,” said Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Players, coaches, management, the league’s management — I do feel like we’re all partners.”
Since Silver became commissioner a little more than four years ago, he’s worked hard to create a sense of inclusion and understanding with NBA players and their union regarding issues dealing with basketball-related matters, as well as off-court topics.
The result is a palpable sense of trust between players, owners and management in the NBA that you don’t get when listening to anyone associated with the NFL.
Trust and an open-mindedness to consider and appreciate the perspectives of others. That’s what separates the NBA from the NFL these days.
— 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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