By Ken Reed
Holding a prominent spot in the “Sports Doing Good” category is Bohemian Football Club, a Dublin team that plays in the highest tier of soccer in Ireland.
Bohemian FC has a well-deserved reputation of using its high profile platform to champion social causes. Their most recent effort is to attack homelessness in Ireland. The club has teamed with Grammy-nominated band Fontaines D.C. and Focus Ireland to help solve the homelessness crisis in Ireland.
Bohemian FC has an away jersey that features both Fontaines D.C. and Focus Ireland, a national organization that targets homelessness. Focus Ireland will receive 15% of jersey sales profits.
“We know that football and music both have enormous power to reach people and engage people,” said Bohemians’ chief operating officer, Daniel Lambert.
“Homelessness is not something that must exist, it can, and it should be solved, and we need to ensure as a society that it is not normalized and accepted.”
According to Pat Dennigan, CEO of Focus Ireland, there are 8,500 people homeless in Ireland and 2,500 of them are children. “This is wrong and unacceptable,” said Dennigan.
Homelessness isn’t the only issue Bohemian FC is tackling. They run various activities for older people, have programs for prisoners at Mountjoy prison, campaign for marriage equality and advocate for refugees. Recently, the club appointed a climate justice officer to help understand and reduce its negative environmental impact.
The Bohemians, as a top tier sports organization, are committed to having a net positive impact on society and using football as a force for good whenever possible.
Imagine the possibilities in the United States if franchises like the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers felt a similar sense of obligation. Yes, franchises like these, and others, do some positive things in their communities, but a lot of those efforts are simply PR-driven. These iconic American sports franchises are primarily fueled by win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) ethos.
But there’s nothing saying elite sports organizations can’t also positively impact society by aggressively addressing social and environmental problems.
Bohemian FC is showing the way.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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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.
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.
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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