By Ken Reed
The latest episode of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel on HBO looks at the shocking number of high school football players who have died as a result of heat stoke resulting from intense football practices, often conducted during periods of intense heat.
The sad part is that all of the deaths were preventable, if only a few simple and inexpensive steps had been taken.
However, football coaches, high school athletic directors and state high school athletics associations have, for whatever reason, ignored these simple and inexpensive steps.
“It is imperative that medical personnel and coaching staffs quickly recognize [the signs of heat stroke] and initiate appropriate care,” says Dr. Douglas J. Casa, PhD, CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) and Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut.
Research has shown that once the symptoms are recognized, if an athlete is put into a cheap portable tub (about $150) filled with ice water, they will quickly recover from the heat stroke.
“All the evidence indicates that if someone can go into one of those tubs within 10 minutes they are going to survive the heat stroke,” says Casa.
It is shameful that adults (coaches, athletic directors and high school athletic administrators) entrusted with the care of young athletes are ignoring this simple remedy that can prevent the ultimate tragedy.
These unnecessary deaths have been occurring for far too long at all levels of football. There is absolutely no legitimate reason that having a plastic tub filled with ice water at all football practices and games conducted in high heat isn’t a nationwide policy across all high school and youth football organizations.
Here’s hoping this HBO report finally spurs that action.
— 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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