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…

Weighing the risks of youth sports in a pandemic

Weighing the risks of youth sports in a pandemicWe’re in the midst of both a COVID-19 pandemic and a childhood physical inactivity epidemic. That creates a dilemma for young athletes and their parents: Is the risk of playing organized sports during the pandemic greater than the risk of the negative physical and mental impacts of not playing? Young people need to move their…

If a team name is offensive, change it without delay

Why is the Cleveland baseball team waiting until 2022 to make the change? Let the healing begin now

If a team name is offensive, change it without delayFinally, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball (MLB) team says it plans to replace its racist Indians nickname. That’s great news. The Indigenous shouldn’t be used as nicknames and mascots for sports teams in the same way lions, bears and other animals are. Period. But why is the Cleveland organization waiting until 2022 to make the change?…

The grand hypocrisy of big-time U.S. college sports

The policy appears to be ‘the show must go on,’ no matter what the health consequences are

The grand hypocrisy of big-time U.S. college sportsU.S. college basketball’s March Madness is one of my favourite sporting events of the year. The upsets are fun. The one-loss-and-you’re-gone format of the national championship tournament is much more exciting than the long playoff season the National Basketball Association gives us. The bands. The crazy student sections. Switching back and forth between tournament games…

Tackling mental health issues in athletes

Mental health challenges also negatively impact sports performance

Tackling mental health issues in athletesAnxiety and depression are common mental health issues among college students. According to Daniel Eisenberg, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, one in three American college students experience significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. College athletes certainly aren’t immune to these mental health challenges. In…

Head injuries and football go hand in hand

Head injuries and football go hand in handAccording to a study from researchers at the Boston University CTE Center, each year a person endures repetitive head collisions from playing football the risk of developing degenerative brain disease increases by 30 per cent. In addition, for every 2.6 years of play, the risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) doubles. This study quantifies…

The smartest things ever said about sports

Despite what Vince Lombardi said, if winning’s the only thing in sports, you’re going to be miserable a lot of the time

The smartest things ever said about sportsFrom time to time while flipping through a magazine or surfing the Internet, you’ll run across a list of Best Sports Quotes. These lists can be somewhat entertaining, as the quotes run the gamut from inspiring to funny. While glancing at one of these lists recently, I saw the Vince Lombardi quote that always seems…

Sports world can lead the way to equality, fairness, justice

This athlete-led movement needs a face – or two. Ideally, we have one Black sports figure and one white sports figure taking the lead

Sports world can lead the way to equality, fairness, justiceI was driving home recently and listening to a talk show about the social unrest in my country, the United States. The host was white and the guest was Black. After a couple minutes of discussion, the guest asked the host a powerful question. “Have you ever woken in the morning and started to worry…

Youth sports opportunity gap widens during pandemic

Norway has a successful youth sports system, accessible to all. The national lottery earmarks millions for youth sports every year

Youth sports opportunity gap widens during pandemicI’ve been a youth sports coach for 17 years. For the most part, it’s been very rewarding. However, one of the hardest aspects has been watching kids drop out of sports because they no longer can afford to pay to play. It’s heartbreaking. Social injustice is a hot topic these days. However, there’s one area…

Pandemic further reveals exploitation of U.S. college athletes

There simply is no ethical justification for colleges calling athletes back to campus while telling other students to stay home

Pandemic further reveals exploitation of U.S. college athletesA group of U.S. college football players (#WeAreUnited) have presented a set of demands to Pac-12 athletic conference administrators. The demands vary from COVID-19-based health and safety concerns to economic and racial justice issues. Big Ten football players, through a group called College Athlete Unity, followed with a similar list of demands. It’s clear to…

Justice for all, whether you kneel or stand

Americans need to start acting like they’re mature enough to responsibly handle the freedoms they’ve been blessed with

Justice for all, whether you kneel or standAcross the United States, from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to Major League Baseball (MLB), sports fans have looked on as athletes have chosen to stand, kneel or raise a fist during the playing of the American national anthem. Both the kneelers and standers have been attacked on social media in recent days. Some…

Social change hampered by Neanderthals

Culture change is a messy process. We need to stand up to the ignorant in this fight for social justice

Social change hampered by NeanderthalsI truly think this time is different. I think as a society, we’re fed up with lingering racial injustice. It’s been heartening to see white leaders in government, corporate America and the sports world step up in a strong way toward social justice in the days since George Floyd died. But this movement toward real…

NFL all talk no action until Kaepernick signed

NFL all talk no action until Kaepernick signedAll of a sudden, the National Football League tells us it’s seen the light. The league’s leaders tell us their draconian reaction to players kneeling during the U.S. national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice was all wrong. That they’re very sorry. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even appears to be trying to…

Sports world needs to help lead the way to equality

Anger and deep frustration over racism are appropriate responses. Setting fires, breaking windows and looting aren’t

Sports world needs to help lead the way to equalityAmerica is clearly broken. We Americans have struggled from the beginning of the nation to live up to our ideals. From our Pledge of Allegiance: “… with liberty and justice for all. …” From our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. …” From our Constitution:…

Teamwork will allow us to win the game of life

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how connected and interdependent we truly are as a global community

Teamwork will allow us to win the game of lifeI’ve been blessed with many great sports experiences in my life. Since I was seven years old, I’ve loved playing and watching sports. I enjoy many aspects of sports but what I love the most is the camaraderie. More specifically, it’s the sense of fulfilment that comes from being part of something bigger than myself,…

Sonny Vaccaro deserves more from The Last Dance

The man who is trying to give college athletes their due inexplicably doesn't appear in Chicago Bulls documentary

Sonny Vaccaro deserves more from The Last DanceSonny Vaccaro is to basketball what Marvin Miller was to baseball. They both have had a profound impact on their games; they both fought valiantly for athletes’ rights; and each of them had to deal with a power establishment that tried to rub them out. The latest example is ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary about…

Minor league baseball faces uncertain future

Major League owners need to climb up from behind their wallets and take a hard look at what’s best for the game

Minor league baseball faces uncertain futureMinor league baseball teams, like millions of other small businesses in North America, are in trouble. Big trouble. Unlike their Major League Baseball colleagues who typically get about half their revenue from media rights deals, minor league teams are almost exclusively reliant on ticket sales and in-stadium concession and merchandise revenues. MLB teams could play…

Finding pandemic guidance in the sports world

Finding pandemic guidance in the sports worldThe coronavirus is certainly testing us all. In times like this, it’s natural to look for guidance in dealing with challenges. Wise guidance can come from all areas of life, including the world of sports. I recently came across some wisdom from two sports figures that I think is applicable to the situation we’re in.…

Open letter to MLB commissioner regarding the Astros scandal

Fans, players and the game deserve a stronger punishment for this blatant disregard of basic fair play and sportsmanship

Open letter to MLB commissioner regarding the Astros scandalTo Robert D. Manfred Jr. Major League Baseball Commissioner Dear Mr. Manfred: With Major League Baseball on hiatus due to the coronavirus, you have time to revisit the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Houston organization – and the team’s players in particular – are getting off easy when it comes to punishment for a long-standing…

David Ayres story is why we love sports

The emergency NHL goalie did what every sports fan wishes they could do every time they watch the best of the best play

David Ayres story is why we love sportsI can’t get enough of the highly improbable David Ayres story. A 42-year-old kidney transplant recipient – and until recently a Zamboni driver for a minor league hockey team – who hadn’t played in a hockey game, at any level, for five years, enters a National Hockey League game in the second period, stops eight…

What we can learn from the baseball cheating scandal

Sport, at its best, is a co-operative activity in which competitors on both sides play with honour in a mutual quest for excellence

What we can learn from the baseball cheating scandalThe Houston Astros have a strange way of saying they’re sorry for cheating and tainting the game of baseball, including the World Series. Last week, the Astros staged what was supposed to be an apology press conference for using an elaborate high-tech scheme (well, except the banging on the trash cans part) to illegally steal…

Big-time U.S. college athletes deserve real compensation

Just allow college athletes to benefit from their names, images and likenesses, like Olympic athletes do

Big-time U.S. college athletes deserve real compensationOn the same day that NCAA president Mark Emmert was testifying in front of U.S. Congress about how terrible it would be if college athletes were allowed to earn money from their names, images and likenesses – like any other college student or U.S. citizen for that matter – Michigan State was giving Colorado football…

Kobe Bryant’s complicated legacy

The late basketball legend became a model husband, father, citizen and businessman. But a dark incident in Colorado can't be forgotten

Kobe Bryant’s complicated legacyI was walking off the tennis court last Sunday when I saw several texts saying Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash. My first reaction was disbelief, then shock, then sadness. As I got in my car, I wasn’t sure why I was so sad. While I definitely respected his athletic ability and…
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