By Ken Reed
Last summer I wrote about a cool, progressive sports organization called Bohemian FC, a Dublin-based football team that plays in the highest tier in Ireland.
The Bohemians are a member-owned club that makes addressing various social causes a high priority. They even have a climate justice officer on board in an effort to help tackle the climate crisis.
The club recently announced they’ve created a jersey in honor of reggae legend Bob Marley to commemorate the Rastafarian icon’s last ever outdoor concert, which was held in the Bohemians’ stadium, Dalymont Park, on July 6, 1980.
Club officers say 10% of all profits from the shirt will go to purchasing sporting and musical equipment for people currently in asylum centers in Ireland. Past club initiatives have included attacking homelessness in Ireland, providing activities for seniors, programming for prisoners, and campaigns for marriage equality.
Marley died on May 11, 1981, but his family and representatives were totally on board with the idea.
The club said some of Marley’s most famous lyrics are a good fit for a cause of this type: “Live for yourself and you will live in vein, live for others, you will live again.”
The Bohemians focus on positive social change has resulted in a big boost in club membership, from between 450 and 500 people in 2017 to more than 2,000 today.
Chief Operating Officer Dan Lambert says the public’s desire for community in an increasingly commercialized society is a big reason for the club’s growth.
“We can’t guarantee what will happen on the pitch but we can guarantee how we act off it,” said Lambert.
— 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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