By Ken Reed
LeBron James got off to a slow start as an activist. He seemed to be following the Michael Jordan model of not getting involved in political and socio-cultural issues. When asked to get involved, he declined. He basically self-imposed a “shut-up and dribble” edict on himself.
But in recent years, he’s not only begun to regularly speak out on issues but to take specific actions to positively impact society.
His most recent initiative is a group called More Than a Vote. It is much more than a typical “Get Out the Vote” effort. James and other athletes, including Draymond Green, Trae Young, Jalen Rose and Skylar Diggins-Smith will work to combat voter suppression through More Than a Vote.
The recent primary election snafu in Georgia, in which huge, hours-long, lines were seen at some polling places, while other polling places never opened (supposedly due to the coronavirus), along with the inability to easily get an absentee ballot, revealed how badly an effort to combat voter suppression, like More Than a Vote, is needed in this country.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” said James in a New York Times interview.
“We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
James has a huge social media presence, with more than 136 million followers combined on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds. Given the social climate in this country, James’ efforts to pressure lawmakers to stop suppressing the voting rights of minorities will undoubtedly be widely broadcast.
More Than a Vote has already attracted the attention of a lot of notables, including Hillary Clinton who tweeted, “Good news in the fight against voter suppression: @KingJames is coming onto the court.”
— 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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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