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 #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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