By Ken Reed
“Wins and losses matter, but true acts of sportsmanship define participants. A moment this genuine should be required viewing for all athletes.”
—Chip Scoggins, Minneapolis Star Tribune
I love this story.
Ty Koehn, a high school pitcher for Mounds View High School in Minnesota, strikes out a childhood friend, Jack Kocon of Totino-Grace High School, to send his team to the state tournament. But instead of immediately celebrating with his teammates, Koehn sprints to home plate to hug and console Kocon. It’s truly heartwarming to watch.
“It was just instincts to go up to him and let him know that the outcome of the game isn’t as important as our friendship,” said Koehn after the game.
Kocon appreciated the gesture.
“When I realized what happened, I hung my head and he gave me a hug,” Kocon said. “That was huge for me, because I needed someone and he was there for me.”
Koehn and Kocon played on Little League and travel baseball teams together when they were kids. They remained friends despite going to different high schools.
While hugging his buddy, Koehn told Kocon the loss wasn’t his fault and that he loved him.
“It was an amazing gesture, a show of sportsmanship that puts a lump in your throat,” wrote Scoggins this week.
“A young man experiencing one of the greatest moments of his sports career offering support to a young man experiencing one of his lowest moments.”
It’s something Kocon will never forget.
“Obviously it stinks to see yourself striking out on every major news [outlet], but it means so much more than that,” said Kocon upon reflection.
“In 20 years, I’m not going to remember the score. I’ll just remember what he did and that’s all that matters to me.”
That is sport at its best. It isn’t the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship. It isn’t the Washington Capitals winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup.
It’s heart-driven acts of sportsmanship like Ty Koehn’s.
— 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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