By Ken Reed
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred handed the Houston Astros severe penalties for cheating on Monday. Manfred suspended Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year for their role in using electronic equipment to steal the signs of opponents. He also fined the organization $5 million and stripped the Astros of their first and second round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021.
Following the announcement of the penalties, Astros owner JIm Crane then fired Luhnow and Hinch.
I didn’t expect that the penalties for the Astros actions would be that severe, but I’m certainly good with them. As a society, we have to have ethics and integrity in sports or their value is greatly diminished.
Manfred made a big statement yesterday about the importance of the integrity of the game. And he showed a lot of courage in doing so. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could learn a thing or two from Manfred. Unlike Manfred, Goodell simply gave the New England Patriots a slap on the wrist for their cheating escapades.
The actions taken by Manfred will send a positive message throughout the baseball world, from the professional level down to the little leagues.
I like it. It’s good for the game. And a good statement to young players.
Vince Lombardi reportedly once said that “winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” That’s the etho that those involved with the Astros cheating scandal apparently live by.
That’s a sad approach to sports. A “win-at-all-costs” (WAAC) mentality is an ego-based approach to sports and represents sport at its worst. On the other hand, a soul-based approach to sports is driven by the ethos of fair play and sportsmanship. That’s sport at its best.
There’s no place for WAAC competitors in sports — at any level. Hopefully, the penalties Manfred gave the Astros will reinforce that.
— 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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