By Ken Reed
I think almost everyone is ready to turn the page on 2020, including sports fans who saw their favorite games cancelled, postponed or modified beyond recognition.
SportsWorld did its best to keep the games going during a global pandemic (even at times when public health experts said they shouldn’t), but beginning in March sports as we had come to know them ceased to exist. Even when games were played, the stands were usually empty, taking away the energetic environment that adds to the excitement of sporting events. And throughout the year, thousands of players, from the pros down to the high school and youth levels, had to sit out because they had contracted Covid-19 or had been exposed and were forced to quarantine.
It certainly wasn’t a great year for sports, but that said, there were still plenty of examples of “sport at its best.” Analis Bailey had a nice piece in USA Today recently highlighting some inspiring and heartwarming moments from the world of sports this year.
They included well-publicized moments like Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller becoming the first female to play in a Power Five college football game and the Miami Marlins’ Kim Ng becoming the first female general manager in our country’s biggest professional sports leagues in November.
“I thought it would be a big deal, but it’s beyond my expectation,” said Ng. “But it’s also a testament to where we are. People are looking for hope. People are looking for inspiration. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
There were also plenty of less well known moments like when Chris Nikic became the first person with Down Syndrome to finish a full-distance Ironman triathlon.
Covid might have killed numerous sporting events this year but it didn’t touch the human spirit. Sport still gave us plenty of stories to stir the soul in 2020.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
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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