By Ken Reed
It turns out the Rose Bowl does more than host a famous college football bowl game.
In August of 2020, the Rose Bowl created the Rose Bowl Institute (RBI) to promote sportsmanship, citizenship and leadership through a variety of educational programs, dialogues and awards.
The Rose Bowl Sportsmanship Initiative champions the value of sportsmanship in all aspects of sports, and in society more broadly. The Institute also hosts a series of dialogues to address issues of race and sports. RBI also regularly hosts 20-25 leaders for moderated dialogues which identify critical sports issues and recommend creative yet practical solutions. In addition, the Institute has women in sports initiatives and sports innovation projects, which seek technological solutions to make sports safer and enhance performance.
The Rose Bowl Institute recently paired with the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program to host a dialogue focused on the pros and cons of competition.
“Participants offered a variety of experiences showing the value of competition in sports and business,” said Charlie Firestone, Rose Bowl Institute President. “At the same time, they saw a need for more focus on fairness, transparency and empathy in both domains.”
The Rose Bowl Institute also recently launched a “Sportsmanship as Citizenship” civic literacy program. The purpose of the program is to interest American youth in becoming good citizens on the field and in their communities. The project sends accomplished athletes to high schools to promote the value of sportsmanship and show students the parallels between good sportsmanship and good citizenship.
Sports organizations can do a lot of good in society — on the playing field and beyond — when win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) mentalities aren’t the primary drivers.
The Rose Bowl and its Rose Bowl Institute are proof of that.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
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.
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon