By Ken Reed
Earlier this year, Fox News personality Laura Ingraham infamously told LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” for having the audacity to criticize President Trump.
Well, not only is LeBron not shutting up, his production company is creating a three-part documentary series for Showtime highlighting the influence of NBA players on social issues, politics and pop culture.
The docu-series is being produced by James’ and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment company. Gotham Chopra (“Kobe Bryant’s Muse”) will be the director.
“LeBron James is one of many competitors whose place in the spotlight has led not to silence but perspective, and he, Maverick Carter and Gotham Chopra have given us an important, insightful docuseries that should bring their fans and fellow citizens to a higher level of discourse, rather than the dismissal satirized in the title,” said Showtime CEO and president David Nevins.
“We will not shut up and dribble,” said James in response to Ingraham.
“I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don’t have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they’re in.”
At the start of James’ pro career, he was hesitant to take a stand on the socio-political issues of the day. It appeared he was following the lead of Michael Jordan, who once said “Republicans buy sneakers too” when asked why he didn’t speak out on issues.
In a 2015 documentary about his life, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had this to say about Jordan’s stance:
“You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights. He took commerce over conscience. It’s unfortunate for him, but he’s gotta live with it.”
Thankfully, in recent years, James has evolved more toward Abdul-Jabbar’s level of social consciousness rather than Jordan’s.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon