By Ken Reed
Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown is suing the city of Milwaukee, its police chief and eight police officers involved in a parking ticket altercation back in January. Brown, who’s African-American, was tased and arrested in the incident. He was issued a parking citation but wasn’t charged with a crime.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales has apologized for the officers’ behavior, saying they acted “inappropriately.” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said, “No citizen should be treated this way.”
Brown’s lawsuit alleges unlawful arrest, excessive use of force and violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. It also claims the officers involved collaborated to conceal their alleged inappropriate actions. Brown also claims the officers involved inappropriately treated a parking violation as a criminal offense.
“For too long, African-American men have been arrested and abused and killed as a result of bad police work,” said Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen. “That work is a stain on this city and an insult to good police officers in this city and county.”
Milwaukee police were slow in releasing video of the incident, taken from officers’ body cams. Ultimately, there were two sets of footage released. The second set shows an officer stepping on the subdued Brown’s ankle during his arrest, despite his legs lying motionless on the ground after he was tased. It also shows other officers mocking the NBA player, according to a CNN report.
Following an internal affairs investigation, two sergeants were suspended without pay for “failing to be a role model for professional police service.” Another officer was suspended for “failing to treat a member of the public with courtesy and professionalism.” Eight other officers are scheduled to receive remedial training in professional communications.
“It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment,” according to a statement released by the Milwaukee Bucks.
That’s a key takeaway from this unfortunate incident. If a professional athlete is treated this way, with body cams rolling, one can imagine how an average African-American — who isn’t a public figure — might be treated by police, especially if no body cams are involved.
— 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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