By Ken Reed
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has received a near universal pushback. The SportsWorld is no exception.
In the days following Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack Russia’s neighbor Ukraine, the SportsWorld has condemned Russia in a variety of ways.
The International Olympic Committee strongly urged all sports bodies under the Olympic umbrella to exclude Russian athletes and officials from all international events. The IOC also withdrew the Olympic Order it gave Putin in 2001.
Soccer’s governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA, have come down strong against Russia, banning Russian teams from the 2022 World Cup and European tournaments. The action followed individual statements from Poland’s, Sweden’s and Czech Republic’s soccer bodies saying they would refuse to play Russia in World Cup qualifying events. Russia has also been stripped of hosting the Champions League final.
In tennis, Ukraine’s highly-ranked Elina Svitolina said she would refuse to play an opponent from Russia or Belarus moving forward. Russia’s star men’s tennis player, Andrey Rublev signed a camera lens after a semifinal win with the message: “No war please.”
In auto racing, the Russian Grand Prix, scheduled for September was cancelled. The decision came after defending world champion Max Verstappen said he wouldn’t race in the event. “When a country is at war, it’s not right to run there.”
In hockey, the International Ice Hockey Federation pulled back the 2023 junior world championships from Russia and suspended all Russian and Belarusian teams from its competitions.
Boxing’s four major sanctioning bodies all banned bouts in Russia.
Basketball’s governing body suspended Russian teams from all competitions and the EuroLeague suspended Russian basketball teams from the EuroCup.
The men’s volleyball world championship scheduled for Russia in August has been relocated.
And on and on it goes. The suspensions and cancellations handed to Russia stretch across virtually all sports.
Moreover, multiple sports entities have dropped Russian sponsors.
While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and resultant horrific impact on human lives, has been depressing, the strong response from the world of sports has certainly been gratifying.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families. Linda writes extensively about how youth sports can hijack families, and family outings, non-sports activities and bonding time are lost in the pursuit of the next club team game or travel tournament.
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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.”
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.
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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