By Ken Reed
During a recent NFL game telecast, announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman didn’t realize their mics were still hot.
What viewers heard were comments that made people recall the NFL’s paid patriotism scam.
Buck and Aikman commented on a military flyover during pregame activities for the Green Bay Packers – Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.
Aikman: That’s a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover.
Buck: That’s your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work!
Aikman: That stuff ain’t happening with [a] Kamala-Biden ticket. I’ll tell you that right now, partner.
The off-the-cuff conversation — whether serious or sarcastic — reminded folks how the NFL has tried to wrap themselves in the flag for a long time.
It’s hypocritical. The real reason the NFL takes any patriotic stance at all is for love of money, not love of country.
From 2011 to 2014, the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million for promotional salutes to military personnel. In effect, it was simply a paid patriotism deal. The typical promotion went something like this: During timeouts, the Jumbotron camera would zoom in on a U.S. soldier. The soldier would stand, smile and wave to the crowd. Fans would stand and cheer, bursting with pride and patriotism, and happy that their favorite football team was honoring true American heroes. In reality, the whole thing was contrived; a revenue-at-all-cost marketing scam; just another income stream for NFL owners, not a feel-good gesture at all.
Using taxpayer money to create phony patriotic salutes is wrong on many counts, but mostly it’s just plain sad.
And as Buck’s quote alludes to, it’s certainly an unethical way to spend our tax dollars.
— 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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