By Ken Reed
Sandra Klatt was hit in the face at a Peoria Chiefs minor league baseball game several years ago. At the time, Dozer Park, home of the Chiefs, only had protective netting directly behind home plate. While team management has long promised to add protective netting down the foul lines past the dugouts they have yet to do so. The only protective netting remains behind home plate. According to a class action lawsuit filed by Klatt against the Peoria Chiefs, owners of Dozer Park, the stadium is one of the approximately 1% of minor league stadiums in the country without netting even above dugouts to protect fans from hard-hit foul balls and bats that fly out of hitters’ hands.
Klatt wants to attend more Chiefs games but until there’s protective netting she’s afraid to do so.
“The risk of serious injury to fans, including children, is not remote or speculative,” states the lawsuit. “It is certainty. Numerous videos document these tragic events elsewhere and the Peoria Chiefs have admitted as much in press interviews.”
Klatt is seeking “damages, declaratory relief, and an injunction requiring the installation of protective netting so that Dozer Park can join the overwhelming majority of major and minor league ballparks in this country that have netting to protect fans from the continuing injuries they will experience without it.” Klatt brings the action on behalf of “a class of fans and seeks class-wide injunctive or equitable relief in the form of installation of protective netting in Dozer Park along the first and third base lines to the foul poles.”
Peoria fans have been pushing for protective netting for several years.
League of Fans has long been advocating for protective netting at all baseball stadiums, from colleges to the minor leagues to Major League Baseball.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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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.
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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