33 episodes

Sports Forum is an ongoing discussion about current sports issues. The host is League of Fans' sports policy director Ken Reed. The goal of the podcast is to find ways we can improve the sports experience for all stakeholders by enhancing the positives and mitigating the negatives in today's sports environment.

League of Fans' Sports Forum Ken Reed

    • Sports
    • 4.8 • 6 Ratings

Sports Forum is an ongoing discussion about current sports issues. The host is League of Fans' sports policy director Ken Reed. The goal of the podcast is to find ways we can improve the sports experience for all stakeholders by enhancing the positives and mitigating the negatives in today's sports environment.

    Ken Reed Announces His Retirement and Chats With League of Fans Founder Ralph Nader

    Ken Reed Announces His Retirement and Chats With League of Fans Founder Ralph Nader

    Ken Reed starts off this episode by announcing that he is retiring from League of Fans after 13 and 1/2 years serving as Sports Policy Director.

    In this episode, Ken is joined by League of Fans Founder Ralph Nader. They talk about the history of League of Fans and the reason it was created. They then move into a discussion of a variety of contemporary sports issues that League of Fans has been working on in recent years. Ken and Ralph end by talking about the need for sports fans and athletes to get involved in the sports reform movement and be activists and change agents on issues important to them, whether that be at the local, state or national level.

    As athletes, fans, and other sports stakeholders who see the value in sports, and what they can be at their best, we need to continually fight for justice, fair play, equal opportunity, safety, and civil rights in sports; and against win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) mentalities and policies.

    • 56 min
    Joe Posnanski, Prolific Sportswriter and Author

    Joe Posnanski, Prolific Sportswriter and Author

    One of America's best sportswriters, Joe Posnanski, joins us for this episode. Posnanski has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He's also written for The Athletic and Sports Illustrated.

    In this episode, we chat about his new book, "Why We Love Baseball," as well as a couple of his other books and his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs.

    Topics covered include how baseball treats its fans, MLB's numerous rule changes this past season, whether or not a robo ump will soon be part of MLB games, is baseball losing popularity, and if so, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the debacle that is the Oakland A's situation, the annoying number of ads on radio game broadcasts, and the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O'Neil.

    • 37 min
    Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Our Ballparks

    Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Our Ballparks

    It is estimated that more than 5,000 fans have been injured, some seriously, by foul balls in Major League Baseball (MLB) and minor league baseball stadiums since 2012.

    While significant improvements have been made at the Major League level in recent years (in terms of protective netting being installed to the end of the dugouts or down to the foul poles) fans in some minor league and college baseball parks are still unprotected, except directly behind home plate.

    Our guests for this podcast are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. Wilkowski has filed a class action lawsuit against the Peoria Chiefs, a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in Peoria, Illinois. Chiefs management has refused to put up protective netting at their field beyond the netting directly beyond home plate. The result has been numerous fan injuries.

    We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans, the "Baseball Rule" that teams have used to avoid liability, the specific case in Peoria, why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting, and the fact the vast majority of players are for more protective netting in stadiums.

    • 34 min
    The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions

    The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions

    This episode was recorded a couple days after the 108-year-old Pac-12 conference imploded, sending the world of big-time college sports into greed-based chaos.

    Dr. David Ridpath, sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank, joins us on this podcast episode.

    Topics include: 1) Why the Pac-12 fell apart; 2) The toothless NCAA and the lack of a sheriff with clout, which has resulted in a Wild, Wild West college sports landscape; 3) The hypocrisy of college sports administrators testifying before Congress that name, image and likeness (NIL) benefits for athletes are ruining college sports while simultaneously selling their souls in the quest for the almighty dollar in the conference realignment game; 4) The negative impact long cross country trips will have on athletes' mental health; 5) The unethical cross-subsidization of college athletic departments at universities, as well as the growing percentage of student fees directed to the athletic department; and 6) The seemingly inevitable trend towards two super conferences at the highest level of college football.

    Throughout the episode, Dr. Ridpath shares several ways college sports can be fixed. While today's college sports landscape certainly can be pretty depressing, Dr. Ridpath believes there is definitely hope for better days.

    • 36 min
    The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans' Sports Forum

    The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans' Sports Forum

    Former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and United States Congressman Tom McMillen chats with League of Fans' sports policy director Ken Reed in this episode.

    The two talk about Tom's decision to delay his NBA career by accepting a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University. The discussion then turns to the state of college athletics today, given the pressures of NIL, the transfer portal, sports gambling and huge media contracts. Reed switches the topic to the poor state of physical fitness our young people are experiencing today. McMillen provides great perspective on this issue given his long involvement with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (now called the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition).

    Other topics include the "Jungle of Youth Sports," as McMillen has called them, the profit-at-all-costs nature of sports in this country; why we use taxpayer money to fund new sports palaces for wealthy owners, instead of funding programs that create broad-based sports participation in this country; the lack of a national sports commission or sports ministry in the United States; and why our National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for sports don't -- or can't -- fulfill their mandate to promote "sports for all" in America.

    • 35 min
    A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator

    A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator

    In this episode we talk with Mano Watsa, President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada.  Mano leads a unique organization dedicated to the holistic development of young people as both players and human beings.  In addition, Mano is a sought-after speaker who has inspired over 250,000 students, athletes, coaches and business leaders around the world.

    Our discussion moves from why Mano decided to make basketball education his life's work, to some of the problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the "haves" and "have-nots," the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.  Mano describes his organization's emphasis on "attitudinal fitness" and how it creates resilience when adversity hits.

    We close with a look at what makes PGC basketball camps and clinics so powerful, and how they create young leaders and team players while developing important basketball skills.  

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

GoldenCO-T ,

Wow! That’s important!!!

Thank you Ken Reed… What an important discussion, I’ve only just listened to the first of your podcasts, but I definitely wanna hear more!

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