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 #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
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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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