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 #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 in the year 2022.
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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.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
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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