Good Sports

December 1, 2017  • Sports & Society Program

Rob Manfred and writer Terry McDermott

Chiney Ogwumike

According to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL commissioners all agree that the best athlete is one who plays several sports. “Multiple sports give body parts rest,” Manfred told more than 400 people at the Institute’s 2017 Project Play Summit in Washington. “Some of you crazy parents are making these kids go nuts, playing one sport,” former MLB player Harold Reynolds said. “I want you playing all kinds of different sports.” To that end, the Institute’s Sports & Society Program announced its new Project Play 2020 initiative, which marks the first time industry and nonprofit organizations have come together to increase youth participation in sports. “It is absolutely amazing how fast this formidable group got Project Play 2020 off the ground so quickly,” said Craig Robinson, a New York Knicks executive (and Michelle Obama’s brother), who made an appeal at last year’s summit for just such an initiative. The summit sold out for the third straight year, and #ProjectPlay trended nationally on Twitter. Speakers included Olympic hockey star Angela Ruggiero, WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike, ex-NFL player Chris Kluwe, and former US Surgeon General David Satcher.