By Ken Reed
Anyone who’s played a team sport — basketball, baseball, football, hockey, soccer, etc. — knows that teamwork and putting the needs of the group above individual wants and desires, is a primary key to the ultimate success of the team.
The fact is, it’s a primary key to the success of a society too.
Historically, the United States has achieved its greatest advancements and achievements when a high percentage of citizens — and its leaders — are committed to work together for the common good. To say the least, that’s not the case today in our divided country.
I was doing some reading recently and came across a terrific quote from Bill Bradley, a Rhodes scholar, NBA champion and long-time U.S. senator. It was from his book “Life on the Run.” Bradley was well-known as the consummate teammate on the championship New York Knick teams of the ’70’s. He was also well-known as a senator who held bipartisanship as an important value during his time in Congress.
Here’s what he wrote. All sports teams — and the country as a whole — should heed this wisdom.
I believe that basketball, when a certain level of unselfish team play is realized, can serve as kind of a metaphor for ultimate cooperation. It is a sport where success, as symbolized by the championship, requires that the dictates of community prevail over selfish personal impulses.
A team championship exposes the limits of self-reliance, selfishness, and irresponsibility. One man alone can’t make it happen; in fact, the contrary is true: a single man can prevent it from happening.
The success of the group assures the success of the individual, but not the other way around.
—Bill Bradley, starter on two NBA champion New York Knick teams and three-term U.S. Senator, 1979-1997
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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. He previously covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for The Athletic. His new book is titled “How to Beat a Broken Game: The Rise of the Dodgers in a League on the Brink.” 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.
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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.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
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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