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 #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.
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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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