The sports media is dropping the ball on key issues

The sports media is dropping the ball on key issuesStop acting as PR agents for the sports leagues The mainstream sports media continues to avoid any serious examination of important social, cultural and economic issues in SportsWorld. Any reporting on sports policy issues is typically done at a very superficial level. At best, reporters identify the symptoms and then move on to lighter fare.…

Pickleball is taking over the world

Pickleball is taking over the worldMay even be destined to become an Olympic sport one day Pickleball, kind of a combination of tennis and ping pong, is the fastest-growing sport in the United States. The state of Washington, in fact, has declared it the state sport. Based on different reports, there are somewhere between five million and eight million pickleball…

Brain injury focus needs to move from NFL to high schools

High schools need to find the money to fund a full-time athletic trainer who is nearby for practices and games

Brain injury focus needs to move from NFL to high schoolsThe fact Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was allowed to return to a game against the Buffalo Bills after clearly suffering a concussion is terrible. The fact he was allowed to play four days later in a Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which he sustained a second concussion, is worse. And it…

Beware the psychological risks for kids in youth sports

Here are a few psychological risks parents should look for

Beware the psychological risks for kids in youth sportsWhen people ask me what I think about youth sports today, I often say there’s “too much adult in youth sports.” When adults are heavily involved in youth sports, ego-and-greed-based decisions and activities are sure to be part of the environment. Win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) mentalities and policies are increasingly part of the youth…

Making a strong case for more phys-ed in Canadian schools

Students with daily activity requirements are physically and emotionally healthier and perform better academically

Making a strong case for more phys-ed in Canadian schoolsJosh Fullan is the executive director of Maximum City, a national education and engagement organization based in Toronto. He recently wrote a compelling opinion piece on the need for more physical education in schools for The Globe and Mail. Fullan outlines the physical, mental and academic benefits of regular exercise. He emphasizes the academic and…

Greed drives pro golfers to align with Saudi sportswashers

LIV Tour is a PR tool for a reprehensible government seeking to wash away its human rights abuse

Greed drives pro golfers to align with Saudi sportswashersThe things people will do for money … The way Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and other professional golfers tap dance while trying to come up with reasons to justify their move to the new LIV Tour is embarrassing. The LIV Tour has nothing to do with growing the game of golf,…

The willingness to fail is key to success in sports

Accepting that you can fail leads you to handling failure during a competition

The willingness to fail is key to success in sportsAs an athlete, coach and sports fan, I’ve long been enamoured with the subject of confidence in sports, more specifically, how you get it and maintain it. I’ve been equally enamoured with the phenomenon of choking in the sports arena. Why do our minds sometimes sabotage our efforts to perform well by feeding us self-doubt…

College sports faces a growing mental health crisis

Perfectionism has been shown to be a leading cause of depression and, thus, suicide

College sports faces a growing mental health crisisAs Shalise Manza Young pointed out in a recent column for Yahoo! Sports, at least five National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes in the United States have died by suicide in the last couple of months. One young person committing suicide is a tragedy. Five young student-athletes with bright futures taking their lives in such…

Analytics destroying baseball’s entertainment value

Fans left with an increasingly boring game

Analytics destroying baseball’s entertainment valueI don’t hate baseball analytics or their use by crafty baseball operations folks. I look at analytics gurus like Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman as smart guys who figured out how to exploit market inefficiencies in the game. But they’ve also inadvertently damaged the game as a fan experience and entertainment product. There’s…

Spending public money on stadiums simply robs taxpayers

It takes from the poor and middle class and gives to the rich

Spending public money on stadiums simply robs taxpayers“The NFL is the richest sports franchise, full of billionaire capitalists demanding socialist handouts so they can make even more profits.”         – Ralph Nader The billionaire owners of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, Terry and Kim Pegula, have landed US$850 million in taxpayer dollars for the construction of a new…

Lockout should be the final straw for baseball’s antitrust exemption

Time to end the government-sanctioned cartel

Lockout should be the final straw for baseball’s antitrust exemption“Every other sport – like virtually every sort of business – is governed by the antitrust laws.”         – Stuart Banner, author of The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States gave Major League Baseball an antitrust exemption in 1922 was…

Greed is killing Major League Baseball

Lack of action and decreasing entertainment value impacting attendance

Greed is killing Major League BaseballAs a game and entertainment product, Major League Baseball has plenty of problems. For starters: the pace of play is dreadful; strikeouts and walks are up and action is down; stolen base attempts are becoming extinct; a ball is only put in play every four minutes; just 20 per cent of generation Z members consider…

How did Norway come to dominate the Winter Olympics?

It focuses on making sports fun for their young people

How did Norway come to dominate the Winter Olympics?As I write this, Norway is tied for second in total medals and gold medals at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Norwegians are projected to take home 45 medals by the end of these Games, surpassing the 39 they won at the 2018 Winter Olympics. That total was way above those for the United States,…

Professionalization of youth sports hurts our kids and society

Kids become performers in a spectacle, under the authoritarian oversight of the head coach

Professionalization of youth sports hurts our kids and societyEducational, physical, emotional and spiritual developmental goals for youth and high school sports programs are increasingly being brushed aside by win-at-all-costs and profit-at-all-costs ethos. The professionalization of youth sports organizations, our ‘little leagues,’ is appalling. Adults – parents and coaches – treat youth sports like the big-time pro and college versions. Kids quickly learn from…

A year after U.S. citizens stormed the Capitol, America remains upside down

If a huge majority of Americans can't denounce what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. has big problems

A year after U.S. citizens stormed the Capitol, America remains upside downImagine a country where football players kneeling on the sideline peacefully protesting inequalities in their country are labelled “unpatriotic,” “treasonous” and “sons of bitches” by the president of the country, while citizens who violently storm the nation’s Capitol and break into the House Chamber in an attempt to stop the certification of a presidential election…

Why can’t football make brain health a priority?

American society loves football so much it avoids hard discussions about the sport’s safety

Why can’t football make brain health a priority?We found out recently that a bright young man with a big heart and promising future died because of football. Twelve-year National Football League veteran and three-time pro bowler Vincent Jackson, who died at age 38 in February, had stage 2 CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) his family announced on Thursday. CTE is a degenerative brain…

The ‘woke mob’ didn’t get Aaron Rodgers. He got himself

The unvaccinated don’t seem to get that life is a team sport, not a me sport

The ‘woke mob’ didn’t get Aaron Rodgers. He got himselfAaron Rodgers has every right to hold whatever thoughts and beliefs he might have about COVID-19 and vaccines. But that freedom ends when his actions have a negative – or potentially negative – health impact on others. What the unvaccinated don’t seem to get is that this game called life we’re all playing is a…

Atlanta baseball team’s offensive name must go

Indigenous nicknames, logos, mascots and rituals are inappropriate and insensitive

Atlanta baseball team’s offensive name must goWhy is this so hard? In the year 2021, why do some sports organizations still insist on using Indigenous American names, mascots, caricatures, rituals, etc., to promote their team? And in the case of Atlanta’s Major League Baseball team, why do they continue to encourage fans to do the tomahawk chop by turning the lights…

Kyrie Irving hasn’t learned a thing from playing a team sport

Unvaccinated NBA star won’t be welcomed back to the Nets until he’s fully able to participate in all team activities

Kyrie Irving hasn’t learned a thing from playing a team sportThe Brooklyn Nets have said thanks but no thanks to Kyrie Irving’s offer to be a part-time player for their National Basketball Association team. Due to public safety concerns regarding the pandemic, the unvaccinated Irving won’t be allowed to play games in New York. According to the city mandate, anyone entering an indoor gym/arena –…

NBA’s anti-vaxxers put far too many people at risk

We need a lot more ‘we’ people than ‘me’ people – in professional sports and everywhere else

NBA’s anti-vaxxers put far too many people at riskNational Basketball Association training camps are in full swing and 50 or so players (of about 530 total) have yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine dose. That’s an issue NBA executives and coaches were hoping to avoid. This summer, league officials proposed a mandate requiring all players to be vaccinated against COVID in order…

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age children

Active students have better grades, enhanced memory, lower absenteeism and better behaviour

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age childrenThe physical activity levels of our young people were already trending downward when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic made things worse. Kids around were stuck at home, forced to try to learn virtually. An online math class is one thing. A physical education class at home is nearly impossible. During the pandemic, physical education has been…

How racially-charged sports team names marginalize your neighbours

Cleveland MLB franchise sees the light and adopts a new name

How racially-charged sports team names marginalize your neighboursCleveland Guardians. Sure it sounds weird. Cleveland’s baseball team has been called the Indians for more than a century. But everyone will get used to it. Most importantly, it was the right thing to do. Yes, the name Indians is less egregious than the blatantly racist name Redskins that Washington’s National Football League team used…

Big-time U.S. college sports have nothing to do with education

Show me the money!

Big-time U.S. college sports have nothing to do with educationHere we go again. The University of Texas and University of Oklahoma are reportedly exploring the possibility of leaving the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in search of more money and exposure for their athletic programs. The American college sports landscape has changed rapidly in the last several months. The United States…

How one athlete’s courage has given the LGBTQ community new strength

National Football League player Carl Nassib has given the battle against homophobia in sports and society in general a huge boost

How one athlete’s courage has given the LGBTQ community new strengthLas Vegas Raiders’ defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced he was gay last week. He’s the first active National Football League player to do so. It was a landmark announcement that will help thousands of young LGBTQ athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s a milestone that has – and will continue to – garner a lot of…

Coaches at all levels treat fun as a negative. It’s not

Humanistic coaches focus on encouragement and positive motivation. They believe humans seek out fun and want to actualize themselves

Coaches at all levels treat fun as a negative. It’s not“Fun is good.” – Mike Veeck, creator of a variety of innovative and fun baseball promotions Unfortunately, the vast majority of coaches, from the youth level to the professional level, adopt a militaristic coaching style. They believe a taskmaster mentality is how you get the best from athletes. It’s not. “Nothing, according to the research,…

More of the smartest things ever said about sports – and life

Sport at its best is a co-operative activity. We compete with our opponents, not against them

More of the smartest things ever said about sports – and lifeI love to collect quotes on a wide variety of subjects but especially sports. I’ve shared some of my favourites in the past. However, there are so many great ones, I’ve decided to share a few more. We celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, so I’ll start with a quote from the man who…

Baseball all-star shift puts spotlight on Colorado’s exceptional voting laws

A win for the U.S. and its democracy?

Baseball all-star shift puts spotlight on Colorado’s exceptional voting lawsMajor League Baseball’s decision to move the all-star game out of Georgia and to Colorado will guarantee that state voting laws will be a big story in the days surrounding the game. Colorado’s voting system will undoubtedly get a lot of attention, especially as the July 13 game gets closer. That’s good news, whatever your…

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?

The general approach should be to have experts in each sport come together and decide on the specific rules for allowing fair competition

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?Most of the sports issues I write about are pretty straightforward – at least in my mind. The solutions seem pretty clear. Do big-time college athletes deserve a bigger slice of the billions being made from their efforts? Undoubtedly. In an era in which childhood obesity is at epidemic levels, and teenage anxiety, depression and…

Major League Baseball has a sexual harassment problem

What constitutes manhood in sports culture is archaic. As if the sports world has been frozen in time – Neanderthal time

Major League Baseball has a sexual harassment problemWhat former New York Mets general manager Jared Porter did to a female reporter is despicable. He certainly deserved to be fired after admitting to sending dozens of explicit text messages and photos to the reporter in 2016. The sad part is almost everyone inside baseball – most notably women in baseball – know this…
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