By Ken Reed
While speaking at an event in Washington DC, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he’d like to see half of all new referees be women. He also said he’d like to see more women hired as coaches in the NBA.
“It’s an area, frankly, where I’ve acknowledged that I’m not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long,” Silver said of officiating.
“Because it’s an area of the game where physically, certainly, there’s no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing.
“Same for coaches by the way. … There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”
Silver is the most progressive and enlightened commissioner of any major American professional sports league.
What he said in DC makes perfect sense. Do men have any physical or mental advantage that would prevent women from being referees or coaches? Of course not. Women have already proven that they can officiate the NBA game effectively. San Antonio’s assistant coach, Becky Hammon, has drawn heaps of praise for her basketball acumen and coaching abilities from Gregg Popovich, one of the best coaches in league history.
Does anyone think that Tennessee’s legendary women’s basketball coach, Pat Summitt, couldn’t have been successful coaching men?
Players respect coaches — male or female — that can help make them better — and who can make their teams better.
Bottom line: Gender shouldn’t be a prerequisite for these jobs.
Adam Silver is trying to lead the NBA out of the Stone Age. Other pro sports commissioners (as well as NCAA executives) should follow suit.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
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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.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
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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