Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

No Holds Barred: Ken Reed of League of Fans on Concussions and Sports 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Ken Reed, the sports policy director for the League of Fans.

League of Fans is a sports reform project started by activist Ralph Nader.

Ken Reed is also the author of the book How We Can Save Sports.

We spoke with him by phone Thursday.

League of Fans, he explained, is "an effort to look at contemporary sports issues." It is "kind of a sports policy think tank. We look at sports issues from youth sports to concussions to financing of professional stadiums, etc." They seek to "look at ways that we can enhance the positive and mitigate the negative. It's certainly not anti-sports."

Sports are hampered by "ego and greed and 'profit at all cost', 'win at all cost', and those types of issues. So those are the kind of things we try to focus on and limit those factors as much as possible."

We focused a lot on the issues of concussions, head trauma, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). These are major problems which have not only endangered the future of sports like NFL football, but, he said, must be considered when deciding whether or not to participate in sports like youth football, both by parents and their children.

We also discussed how we expect the popularity of American football to decline over the next several decades because of these problems, how some sports without intentional head blows need to be modified to minimize the danger of head trauma, what we can do to fight for safe youth sports, and much more.

In addition, we open with a brief summary of some of the major issues about sports corruption which have been covered on No Holds Barred since this show started almost ten years ago, in March 2006.

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