By Ken Reed
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is the beast of college football, which means it’s the beast of college athletics.
For decades, the SEC has wielded a ton of power in SportsWorld. The SEC has also long been a bastion of conservative, old-school ideology.
So, when SEC commissioner Greg Sankey announced that the state of Mississippi could lose all SEC championship events unless it changes the state flag, which currently includes a Confederate symbol, it becomes increasingly clear that the country as a whole might be serious about making bold, progressive changes when it comes to racism and social justice.
“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” said Stankey in a statement. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”
SEC members Mississippi and Mississippi State both support the effort.
“Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us,” said University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce and athletics Vice Chancellor Keith Carter in a joint statement.
That’s a good, strong statement.
But while they are at it, both Boyce and Carter should think about changing their university’s nickname: Rebels. Rebels is a term that originally described Confederates and the Rebel Yell was a battle cry used by Confederate soldiers.
I would suggest to Boyce and Carter that as long as your school is known as the Ole Miss Rebels, the University of Mississippi will remain a divisive institution, not one that unites all Mississippians — and Americans in general — by providing an inclusive and welcoming environment to all.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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