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 #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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