U.S. women’s soccer team fighting battles on and off the field

After years of being the best team in the world, they continue to fight for equal status and respect at home

U.S. women’s soccer team fighting battles on and off the fieldSexism sucks.    And nobody knows that better than the U.S. women’s national soccer team. The current team members, and their predecessors, have been fighting gender discrimination on the part of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for decades. The U.S. national team has been the best women’s…

U.S. women’s soccer team fighting battles on and off the field

After years of being the best team in the world, they continue to fight for equal status and respect at home

U.S. women’s soccer team fighting battles on and off the fieldSexism sucks.    And nobody knows that better than the U.S. women’s national soccer team. The current team members, and their predecessors, have been fighting gender discrimination on the part of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for decades. The U.S. national team has been the best women’s…

Baseball’s unwritten rules are stupid and archaic

It’s time for players and managers to grow up and get rid of the ego-based false machismo that ruins the game

Baseball’s unwritten rules are stupid and archaicI love baseball. But the ego-based false machismo that is the foundation of the Stone Age unwritten rules of baseball (aka The Code) drives me nuts. The latest example comes from a minor league game between the Hartford Yard Goats and the Trenton Thunder. Hartford had a combined no-hitter (between four pitchers) going in the…

When it comes to injuries, MLB teams remain clueless

Injury research through analytics should be priority one, since baseball owners spent $745,769,319 on injured list players in 2018 alone

When it comes to injuries, MLB teams remain cluelessBaseball has an injury problem. It’s a big one. And an expensive one. As but one recent example – albeit an extreme one – the New York Yankees had 13 players on the injured list by the end of April, just one month into the 2019 season!  Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises are filled with…

When it comes to injuries, MLB teams remain clueless

Injury research through analytics should be priority one, since baseball owners spent $745,769,319 on injured list players in 2018 alone

When it comes to injuries, MLB teams remain cluelessBaseball has an injury problem. It’s a big one. And an expensive one. As but one recent example – albeit an extreme one – the New York Yankees had 13 players on the injured list by the end of April, just one month into the 2019 season!  Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises are filled with…

Too many NBA players isolate themselves on the Island of Me

It reveals bad sportsmanship, a lack of professionalism and a complete misunderstanding of the essence of sports

Too many NBA players isolate themselves on the Island of MeAn anonymous National Basketball Association coach, whose team made the playoffs this season, recently said complaints from players about referee calls are “out of control.” I couldn’t agree more. The incessant crying and moaning by players (and often coaches) over seemingly every whistle by NBA officials takes away from the game and the fan experience.…

U.S. college basketball title game an example of sport at its best

True competition means the pursuit of excellence in partnership with your opponent

U.S. college basketball title game an example of sport at its bestAs a member of a sports reform organization, I usually write about problems and issues in sports, and how to address them. But today I’m celebrating the beauty of sport at its best. Monday’s men’s U.S. college basketball championship game was a terrific example of passion, hard work, sportsmanship, teamwork, resilience, family and true competition.…

Shoe malfunction puts U.S. College sports under microscope

The untenable college system promotes the amateur myth and tries to suppress the fact that young athletes fill the seats

Shoe malfunction puts U.S. College sports under microscopeA few weeks back, Duke University’s star basketball player, Zion Williamson, blew out his Nike sneaker – and sprained his knee in the process – in a game against his school’s arch rival, the University of North Carolina. At the time, there were fears that Williamson had suffered a serious injury, one that might negatively…

‘Disorganized’ youth sports offer lessons on democracy

Pickup games help kids learn to think for themselves and develop problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills

‘Disorganized’ youth sports offer lessons on democracyFor years, Fred Bowen has written a column for young readers on youth sports topics for the Washington Post. He’s also a successful children’s sports book author. If you have young athletes in your family, or work with them, it’s well worth introducing them to Bowen’s work. Recently, Bowen wrote a column that departed a little from…

Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retro

Every time MLB moves away from its history, tradition and nostalgia, the game doesn’t improve a little, it dies a little

Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retroBaseball is a significantly different sport than football, basketball and hockey. It’s that uniqueness, and the tradition that comes from the fact that baseball has changed very little over the years, that accounts for a lot of its popularity. “There’s no crying in baseball!” said Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie A…

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flaw

The NFL’s officiating video review system needs to be fixed. And overtime comes down to who wins the coin toss. How is that fair?

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flawI don’t know why some people aren’t sports fans but I’m certainly glad I am. Sunday’s National Football League games reinforced that feeling. What great drama and entertainment the NFL gave us with the conference championship games. Elite athleticism and clutch performances were on exhibit by players from each of the four teams. Sadly, the…

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurism

The organization that oversees college athletics broke the $1-billion mark in annual revenue for 2017. And it's considered a non-profit

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurismThe College Football Playoff (CFP) championship game recently generated millions of dollars for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, the universities involved and their media partners. The players who put on a great show of athleticism? Well, they probably got a nice steak dinner. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame made…

Rockies’ Murphy signing speaks to organization’s faulty values

Colorado chose to give millions of dollars to someone who denigrates gays. We should all be offended

Rockies’ Murphy signing speaks to organization’s faulty valuesThe Colorado Rockies recently signed free agent Daniel Murphy to a two-year, $24-million contract. On the surface, from a baseball perspective, it looked like a good move. Murphy has had some great seasons in recent years for the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, including finishing second in MVP voting following the 2016 Major League…

A sedentary lifestyle is worse for you than smoking

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is equivalent to having a major disease

A sedentary lifestyle is worse for you than smokingThe United States is considered a sports mad country. But the reality is that Americans enjoy watching sports, reading about them and talking about them. When it comes to the actual sweating part of sports – you know, participating – we’d rather sit on our couches, remote control in hand. As a whole, the United…

There’s too much adult in youth sports

A ton of kids are simply being priced out of sports. And many are alienated by a coaching structure that emphasizes winning

There’s too much adult in youth sportsThe twin forces of WAAC (win-at-all-costs) and PAAC (profit-at-all-costs) continue to damage the integrity of pro, college and high school sports. But they have also severely damaged youth sports, an area of sports that used to be a bastion of innocence. That innocence is certainly gone. There’s just too much adult (adult ego, to be…

Teamwork: A commitment to the oneness

Selfishness and out-of-control egos destroy more teams with the potential to be great than anything else, including injuries

Teamwork: A commitment to the onenessFrom a spiritual perspective, I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful to watch in sports than a team seamlessly working as a group. I once saw it described as a “commitment to the oneness.” I like that.  Helping a teammate – and in doing so, helping yourself and the team as a whole – is…

The sad, slow descent into CTE hell

The terrible degenerative disease is claiming more and more victims who played football at all levels

The sad, slow descent into CTE hellAs a sports policy analyst, I’ve learned a lot more about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes than I ever expected to. Actually, at this point, I’ve learned more than I really want to know. CTE is a terrible degenerative disease, and it takes an immense toll on those who are stricken, as well as…

Is today’s baseball player better than yesteryear’s?

They may well be, but the game certainly isn't as compelling or entertaining as it once was

Is today’s baseball player better than yesteryear’s?It’s a perennial baseball topic: Were the players from the past better or worse than today’s? It’s a fun topic, often debated in offices, in sports bars and on radio talk shows – especially come World Series time. There are points to be made on both sides of the question. We asked our followers for…

Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcome

Sports are an ongoing battle between ego and soul. If you choose soul, both sides can succeed, no matter what the scoreboard says

Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcomeWin-at-all-costs (WAAC) ethos greatly damage sports, which at their best are a great socio-cultural practice. The WAAC mentality sees sport as a metaphor for war, in which opponents are evil and must be conquered. It’s a mindset that sees only one thing of value in athletic competition: winning. Football coach Vince Lombardi was quoted as…

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sports

The NFL and other pro sports leagues don't celebrate the military as gestures of patriotism. The only motivating factor is money

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sportsAmerica’s major professional sports leagues – most notably the National Football League – have increasingly teamed with the military and corporations to serve up ugly forms of paid and forced patriotism. “The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious,” says William Astore, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-colonel…

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanship

There isn’t any sport – played by men or women – in which Williams’ behaviour at the U.S. Open would or should be tolerated

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanshipSerena Williams wanted an apology from Carlos Ramos. It should’ve been the other way around. Ramos was the chair umpire in the U.S. Open women’s tennis final last Saturday. The match pitted Williams against a young upstart from Japan named Naomi Osaka. Ramos is widely recognized as one of pro tennis’s best umpires, one of…

The stunning hypocrisy of big-time American college sports

Urban Meyer shouldn’t be Ohio State’s coach today. An educator? A builder of young men? A complete joke on both counts

The stunning hypocrisy of big-time American college sports.901. That’s Urban Meyer’s winning percentage at Ohio State. It’s also the only reason he’s still the head football coach at Ohio State today. After protecting – and covering up for – despicable assistant coach Zach Smith – and lying about it – Ohio State’s board of trustees gave Meyer a three-game suspension (and for…

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?

Sports needs to be built on a foundation of humanistic coaching. A tragic incident at the University of Maryland shows why

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi has been dead for 48 years. Yet his treat-’em-like-dogs coaching style is very much alive in today’s sports world. The University of Maryland football program is but the latest example of reportedly tyrannical coaches allegedly going way beyond legitimate coaching techniques. It’s apparently another example of what I call Lombardi…

Playing football is one scary game of Russian roulette

Despite North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora’s rosy perspective, the dangers of head trauma are extraordinary

Playing football is one scary game of Russian rouletteLarry Fedora, the head football coach at the University of North Carolina, had a few interesting things to say last week. Fedora believes that if football declines in the United States – due to links between playing the game and CTE, a chronic and debilitating brain disease – the country will decline as well. “There…

Become an agent of change for sports

We need more people who are passionate about sportsmanship, equal opportunity and safer playing conditions, to name a few

Become an agent of change for sports“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls…

Should young people even be playing football?

CTE isn’t just a pro football Issue; college and high school players are also at risk, and the damage can be life-altering

Should young people even be playing football?Most people associate chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease caused by repetitive brain trauma, with professional football – specifically retired Canadian Football League and National Football League players.  But CTE is more than a pro football issue. While the Boston University CTE Center has discovered CTE in the brains of 110 of 111…

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmet

The only way to significantly reduce brain trauma is greatly reducing the number of full-contact practices and scrimmages

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmetHelmet makers, along with some coaches, athletic directors and youth sports administrators would like you to believe that there are football helmets available that will greatly reduce the risk of brain trauma and concussions. To put it nicely, they’re misleading you. The reality is there’s very little a helmet can do to prevent brain trauma and…

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scam

The great divide in sports is spurred by phoney patriotism and over-commercialization

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scamWhen President George W. Bush took the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch following the horrific 9/11 attacks, sports helped bring the United States together as a country. As Howard Bryant recently wrote, sports were a “healing balm” for a hurting nation. But since then, pro sports owners and big-time college…

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about time

Now the trick is to put the revenue to the best use: on public fitness and activity initiatives

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about timeThe U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down a federal ban on sports gambling. My first thought was what took so long? Americans can legally bet on soybean futures, the rise and fall of stocks, horse races, dog races, state lotteries, real estate investments, church bingo games, the roll of dice and various card games. But…

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again

NFL owners are rich, not necessarily smart. Forcing players to stand at attention during the national anthem undermines basic rights

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again“Being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart, honest or fair. It just means you're rich.” That’s how John Feinstein ended his column about how former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid is getting punished by rich National Football League owners – in the same way former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is – for kneeling during the playing…