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 #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. He is an expert on K-12 education and believes in the power of physical education to improve academic performance and enhance physical, emotional and behavioral health.
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Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
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.
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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