This book’s title raises a question: what sports are to be saved—professional, university, school, children’s, community? Reed's answer is all, for both participants and fans, by keeping sport policies and social responsibilities from being dominated by profit/political interests and a win-at-all-costs philosophy. Topics discussed include the “ego and greed” of professional franchises that receive taxpayer-provided arenas and ongoing tax benefits and then move their teams if further demands are not met; concussions suffered by athletes; the role of adult egos in youth sports; treatment of student-athletes and other problems in college sport; content and philosophy of school physical education; undesirable coaching styles; needs in women’s sports; opportunities for disabled athletes; and the symbiotic relationship between sports media and commercial interests. For each area, the author outlines and analyzes the existing situations and proposes solutions to improve them. He advocates the establishment of a national sports commission, which would play an important role in development of the nation’s sport policy and a national code of sports ethics and coordinate research on sports issues. . . .Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
— Choice Reviews
How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan, by Dr. Ken Reed, a former college athlete, coach, longtime sports marketer, sports management instructor and sports issues columnist, and now the sports policy director for our League of Fans, is unlike any other sports book I've seen. There are plenty of books on the market about each of our most popular sports – football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, etc. There are numerous books that profile our well-known sports figures. And there are a few books on specific sports issues like concussions and taxpayer-financed stadiums and arenas. But Reed's book is different. It covers the whole waterfront of sports issues and looks at how they're all interconnected. It's basically a sports manifesto that looks at nine of the most important sports issues we face today and the red thread that weaves through them all, from youth sports to the pros.
— The Huffington Post
What Reed does well in this 'sports manifesto' is capsulize the biggest problems into well-reasoned, readable, and exceptionally well-resourced accounts, using academics and journalists both in and out of sport who have weighed in on these issues to bolster his case. Then, he provides a handful of recommendations at the close of each chapter. Befitting any manifesto worthy of that label, the recommendations are really the soul of the book. . . .There were many times in these pages where I thought to myself that I would have liked to have written this book. Maybe Reed’s effort will make it that much easier for subsequent books, articles, and policies to be written by those who care, and most importantly lead to sustained action that will not just save sports but also create a more physically active and healthy society.
— Sport, Spirituality, Service
If you see yourself as a citizen more than a spectator, this book provides a game plan for organizing and preserving sports that are ethical, fair, and humane. Beyond identifying the major challenges confronting sports today, Ken Reed outlines strategies that will revive and sustain sports as a source of pleasure and meaning in our lives. His call to action is hard to ignore if you care about sports.
— Jay Coakley, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, author of Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies
Reed's litany of problems and issues besetting American sport – from grassroots to professional levels – is not new. What is new and worthy of a careful read, are the author's compelling ideas on what individuals can do about them and why such actions are important. Those with power and a financial self-interest in sport will not be the engineers of reform. Rather, the only hope for a return to "good" sport will be the activism of those with a moral compass and love of sport who are willing to step forward in their own communities to make change happen one small action at a time.
— Donna Lopiano, President, Sports Management Resources; Former CEO, Women's Sports Foundation
Ken Reed’s book How We Can Save Sports is reformer’s guide to cleaning up sports in America. His prescriptions are worth attention if America is to put sports competition back into perspective. The book takes on the tough questions surrounding the commercialization of sports in America and raises provocative questions about the proper role of sports in our society.
— C. Thomas McMillen, Former Congressman; College, NBA, and Olympic athlete
We know that organized sport in America is out of control. Reed's concept of "citizenship through sports activism" is a much-needed clarion call for all of us to do something about it. More important, he provides a thorough action plan with specific strategies and actions that any citizen who cares deeply about the role of sport in our country can undertake. It's time for all of us to get in sports reform "game" and Reed has provided us with a game plan to do so.
— John R. Gerdy, Author of Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment
With How We Can Save Sports, Ken Reed has described in straightforward, no-nonsense language how we can make our sports, from the playgrounds to the pros, better for all of us. Now it is up to everyone—athletes, coaches, administrators, kids, parents, and, yes, sportswriters—to get to work. As Reed explains, there is a lot to do.
— Fred Bowen, Washington Post sports columnist for kids and children’s book author
How We Can Save Sports is an ambitious book with thoughtful responses to virtually every ill facing sports in the U.S. Ken Reed has written a valuable book that is both a challenge and a joy. A must read for anyone who cares about what sports could be.
— Jim Thompson, Founder & CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance
How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan by Ken Reed, with a Foreword by Ralph Nader, is a must read for anyone who wants to right the ship we call SportsWorld which has so many current crises. I want to share it with all my students in the DeVos Sport Business Management Program.
— Richard Lapchick, University of Central Florida
According to Ken Reed, sport allows people of all ages to transcend their day-to-day lives in ways that enliven the human spirit. Reed’s passionate love of sports informs every page of his book and explains the depth of his criticism of the commercial culture that is corrupting sport from the little league level to the pros. I have never read a book that better explains how commercialism, when out of control, diminishes the joy of sport for fans and participants alike.
— Allen Sack, University of New Haven, author of Counterfeit Amateurs: An Athlete’s Journey Through the Sixties to the Age of Academic Capitalism; played on Notre Dame’s 1966 National Championship Football Team
The American sports institution and school-based physical education programs are in crisis. The rising tide of red ink burdening elite collegiate sports programs, the lockouts, strikes, and in some instances, the outright fiscal chaos stalking some professional franchises and leagues, are all hallmarks of current circumstances. Ralph Nader's League of Fans project potentially focuses, escalates, and expands the dialog and debate concerning the core questions at issue here and holds the promise of bringing the broadest spectrum of sports stakeholders into the discussion. On these grounds alone, the League of Fans initiative is not only welcome and needed, it is a national service.
— Harry Edwards, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
More than ever in this new gilded age of sports we need Ralph Nader's cold, clear-shooting eye and a game plan for taking back the birthright of athletics. The League of Fans is our best hope.
— Robert Lipsyte, American sports journalist, ESPN Ombudsman, and author of An Accidental Sportswriter
I feel like I've been waiting for this book to be written for as long as I've been in conflicted-love with the wide world of sports. For all of us who love the beauty of sports, but hate what they have become, Ken Reed's book is a Godsend. Written with clarity and grace, it's a welcome antidote to the business as usual sports analysis out there. So many among us want to reclaim sports from its worst excesses. But we need a map out of the wilderness. Now we have it.
— Dave Zirin, author of The Kaepernick Effect and sports editor for The Nation