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 #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon