Episode 104: NFL draft recap, enabling abusers in sports, and gender equity in snowboarding
The BIAD crew gets caught up on the NBA and NFL playoffs, [5:10] discusses the NFL draft, [17:30] and talks about the way sports leagues enable abusers such as Tyreek Hill and Justin Gimelstob. [35:17]
Then Jessica interviews Anne-Flore Marxer, a Freeride World Tour Champion snowboarder, who has directed a new documentary about Iceland and gender equity titled "A Land Shaped by Women.” [46:35]
Then, of course, we have the Burn Pile, [56:34] BAWOTW, [59:42] and What's Good! [1:06:27]
“Will Justin Gimelstob’s Violent History Ever Make Him A Tennis Pariah?” https://deadspin.com/will-justin-gimelstobs-violent-history-ever-make-him-a-1834249932
“Tennis official Justin Gimelstob serves up sexist rant against top female players” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/atptour/2304243/Tennis-official-Justin-Gimelstob-serves-up-sexist-rant-against-top-female-players.html
“John Isner stands by coach Justin Gimelstob after arrest” http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/25453412/john-isner-stands-coach-justin-gimelstob-arrest
“Breanna Stewart’s injury adds another layer of urgency to WNBA collective bargaining negotiations” https://thinkprogress.org/breanna-stewart-wnba-collective-bargaining-salaries-9e65d09a2afd/
“Diana Taurasi out for 10-12 weeks after undergoing back procedure” https://highposthoops.com/2019/04/25/diana-taurasi-out-10-12-weeks-after-undergoing-back-procedure/
“Nick Bosa liked Instagram posts featuring racist and homophobic slurs” https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/04/nick-bosa-instagram-racist-n-word-posts-twitter-social-media-nfl-draft
“Woman accused of providing sex services to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrested” https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/crime/martin-county/2019/04/24/shen-mingbi-accused-providing-sex-services-patriots-owner-robert-kraft-arrested/3560031002/
“Superliga femenina 2019 de Ecuador se jugará con 22 equipos” https://www.eluniverso.com/deportes/2019/03/25/nota/7250528/superliga-femenina-2019-se-jugara-22-equipos
“Trump Fed Nominee Stephen Moore Was Very Upset About Women In Sports Just As A General Thing” https://deadspin.com/trump-fed-nominee-stephen-moore-was-very-upset-about-wo-1834223997
“NCAA not solely to blame as Brock Hoffman has a path towards eligibility at Virginia Tech” https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ncaa-not-solely-to-blame-as-brock-hoffman-has-a-path-towards-eligibility-at-virginia-tech/
“Wieber Named Head Gymnastics Coach” https://arkansasrazorbacks.com/wieber-named-head-gymnastics-coach/
“These women made history as baseball's first ever all-female radio broadcast team” https://www.mlb.com/cut4/melanie-newman-and-suzie-cool-made-baseball-broadcasting-history
CARRIE BROWN BECOMES FIRST FEMALE CHAIR OF THE FWA http://footballwriters.co.uk/editorial/carrie-brown-becomes-first-female-chairman-of-the-fwa/#.XMAVeDrfY5Y.twitter
“Meet Salli Clavelle, the 49ers scout breaking into the NFL’s scouting boys club” https://theathletic.com/921883/2019/04/23/salli-clavelle-49ers-scout/
Al Hassan bin Al Haitham were crowned champions of the U-20 Women’s Football League in Benghazi. http://www.cafonline.com/en-US/NewsCenter/News/NewsDetails?id=D2elJCZLAvIP9Wai%2BzLFfw%3D%3D&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Sports agent Nicole Lynn could become first black woman to rep a top-five draft pick: https://theundefeated.com/features/lil-waynes-young-money-apaa-sports-has-potential-to-make-history-with-quinnen-williams/
BADASS WOMEN OF THE WEEK! https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/woman-s-work-the-nfl-s-cheerleader-problem-2019
Amira: Welcome to Burn It All Down. It may not be the feminist sports podcast you want, but it's definitely the feminist sports podcast you need. I'm Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history at Penn State University, and today I am joined by three of my brilliant co-hosts. Jess Luther, freelance journalist, author, and newly minted PHD candidate at University of Texas, Austin. Brenda Elsey, associate professor of history at Hofstra University, and Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress in Washington, DC.
Today we're going to talk a little about the NFL Draft, Nick Bosa, and the politics of evaluation. Then we will switch gears, and for what feels like the 312th time, we will look at two recent cases of violence abuse in the sports world, and the all too tepid institutional responses.
Lastly, Jess talks to Anne-Flore Marxer, a freeride world champion snowboarder, who recently directed a new documentary about Iceland and gender equity, entitled, A Land Shaped by Women. Last month when it premiered, Jess talked to Marxer about freeride snowboarding, her fight for gender equity on the tour, and why she became interested in Iceland.
But first, we are still in the midst of both the NBA and the NHL playoffs. I don't know if you guys have been watching NBA playoffs? You know we had Dame Lillard’s last minute bucket that became an instant meme, but I have to admit, I've been more enthralled with the NHL playoffs. The first round of the NHL playoffs was wild. We had sweeps, we had game sevens that saw the exodus of both Stanley Cup finalists last year, and all four wild card teams advanced to the second round. The NHL playoffs is full of drama and intrigue, and I'm super into it. Are you guys watching either of these play-offs?
Lindsay: I'm watching a little of both. I have to say, I am now more invested in NHL, because my Carolina Hurricanes upset the Stanley Cup champion.
Amira: Yes they did.
Lindsay: Yeah, this is fun. I grew up a really big hockey fan, and it's definitely ... I have not kept up with that, I'll be the first to admit, but I am fully on the bandwagon. I remember being in Prague, studying abroad with the Carolina Hurricanes actually did win the Stanley Cup which is something people forget happened. Watching all the games at like ridiculous times in Prague bars, and convincing people to put on the games because you can convince people in Prague to do anything at a bar. But yeah, I'm super excited.
Jessica: I have been doing what I call "Twitter watching" it? I just take in the highlights. I watched that three pointer at the buzzer 16 times, in different videos online. I saw a little bit of NHL stuff, and then I did through just osmosis of being in central Texas, I knew that the Spurs had a game seven. I just now found out that they lost it to the Nuggets, but you know, I'm taking it in that way. I haven't been actively watching it this time.
Brenda: It's the finals of La Liga. Barcelona just won yesterday. I can now turn my attention in a different direction. I've been a bit absorbed, so I haven't kept up.
Lindsay: Amira, I have a question for you.
Lindsay: How are you feeling?
Amira: You know, I have felt like the Celtics team has been so wildly inconsistent and frustrating, so I've basically been ignoring them? I just am kind of still doing that, and letting them surprise me. I'm more focused on the Bruins, who because of this topsy-turvy first round, have a clearer path now to the Stanley Cup, which everybody's very upset with. Because we've already won the World Series and the Super Bowl this year.
Jessica: Oh yeah.
Amira: The Bruins weren't particularly great this season, but they had a strong first round, and they unfortunately lost last night in overtime. The second round series right now is tied, 1-1. Their pathway looks so much clearer now, and I think that's giving people the fits because it would just be a lot, an excess of riches.
Lindsay: This is the most obnoxious conversation I have ever had with anyone. I am so sorry I asked. I am so sorry I asked. I walked into that one. I'm sorry listeners, I'm sorry.
Amira: You certainly did. I was like, "Oh, this is so nice." Nobody's teasing me, and they're liking and supporting my fandom. It's a new day here on Burn It All Down.
Lindsay: It's not, it's not.
Amira: Last week we saw the spectacle, glitz and glamor that is the NFL Draft. This year a record-setting number of people packed into Nashville, TN, switched it up a little bit, to see the draft take place. It was typical. It's the NFL Draft, you either watch it and consume it, or like me, generally don't care for it at all. It was, you know, featured perplexing early-round picks, including Daniel Jones, of Duke QB, while other more projected and talented players were perhaps left on the board. This spawned a treasure trove of memes trolling the New York Giants and reactions from Giants fans who are absolutely flabbergasted by this move.
It also featured what we've come to expect from the draft, images of people joyous and the next chapter of their career takes off. And, of course, we have to talk about Nick Bosa. Lindsay?
Lindsay: We have to talk about Nick Bosa, right? He was a second overall pick. He is a defensive end out of Ohio State, I believe? Who is a big Trump supporter, big MAGA guy. He has tweeted, in the past he's tweeted things, insulting Beyoncé, insulting Black Panther. Insulting Colin Kaepernick, calling Colin Kaepernick a clown. He's also-
Amira: Followed a surprising number of white nationalists-
Lindsay: Yeah, if you look at his likes, which of course people have, he has liked a lot of homophobic things. Now some of these, four or five years ago, liked a lot of things with the N-word in them. You know, I wrote about it yesterday, very racist, very homophobic. When asked why he deleted some of this activity, his answer was, "Because I realize I might be drafted by San Francisco." It wasn't because I've had a change of heart, you know, because I've done soul-searching, because I'm a different person now, because I've grown and learned. It was literally because he realized he was probably going to go number two overall to San Francisco. He did go number two.
Jessica: I heard him say his agent did it, I heard him say.
Jessica: I heard him say, "My agent did it for me."
Lindsay: Yeah, but I think like with ... Yeah, but I think like that probably with consultation. I think that it's been fascinating to see how people talk about this. He attempted a little bit to distance himself from these tweets, and from this stuff, being in an interview. When he went to San Francisco and did his welcome interview, he said ... He's already kind of said like I've changed a lot. If I hurt anyone, I'm sorry. Then you have to go, we'll put in the show notes and read his explanation for the Colin Kaepernick tweet. He tried to pretend it didn't have anything to do with the protest? Like it was just like he was just randomly thinking that Colin Kaepernick was a clown, and just tweeted it.
Jessica: What, just ...
Lindsay: It's really, really ridiculous. But, as he's kind of trying to distance himself a little from this, the President of the United States tweets congratulations to him.
Amira: "Congratulations to Nick Bosa on being picked number two in the NFL Draft. You'll be a great player for years to come, maybe one of the best. Big talent. San Francisco will embrace you, but more importantly, always stay true to yourself, make America great again." I literally cannot believe that this is ...
Brenda: It's such shit. It's such shit
Lindsay: I loved him so much though, because it was like ... I pictured Nick Bosa being like, that was good, that was a good press conference, I feel like I'm starting to put a little distance between myself and this. And then Trump just tweets-
Jessica: Go away, go away.
Lindsay: I kind of loved it for that reason, but I want to know what you guys think. Amira, if you watched the coverage? I don't think ESPN touched on this really at all, in their coverage, from what I read?
Amira: Right. Well I mean I think that's some of the stuff that people have started pointing out, which is like what is considered too much for teams? What's considered a distraction? We've seen people fall in draft stock because a picture comes out of them with a bong. Or fricking Myron Rolle got a Rhodes scholarship and people questioned his commitment to football, and he drops multiple rounds, right? We've seen this happen.
We've obviously seen what's happened to Colin, and ridiculous. Then with this, you have various accounts out there of executives and quotes from people saying, "It wasn't an issue," or "We didn't ask him about it because it wasn't relevant." What gets to be ... What's permissible as political engagement that isn't seen as a distraction? The same people will say, "Oh, it's not about what Colin's saying, it's the fact that there's media attention around this."
I've read multiple articles about Nick Bosa, so there's also media attention around him. The frickin' president is tweeting about him. Yet that's an okay distraction, that's an acceptable distraction. My kids are so loud.
Brenda: The hypocrisy is just appalling, it's just appalling.
Lindsay: Yeah, and it just goes back to what do people have to be accountable for, right? This isn't the same, but I just think about how in these interviews, right? In these big researches, investigations, that these teams do into these top players. They're looking for the answers that they want, and they're really not willing to dig far enough.
I think about how they didn't ask Bosa about these tweets, really. You know, they didn't really engage. They just asked people who had worked with him before if he was a nice guy, you know? Did he hate people at work? They didn't challenge him, they didn't really make him be accountable for it.
Reminds me a little of when there's a really, really talented player who has, I don't know, beat his girlfriend or been accused of sexual assault. They never reach out to the woman. They never reach out to people who might have differing opinions. They're like, "Oh, well I talked to his mom, and his mom said he was a nice boy, so you know, we did our due diligence."
Yet at the same time, we know that Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, they have been asked ... In meetings, they're always asked, "Are you going to take a knee during the national anthem," right? That has been a part of the scouting process for them.
Amira: Beyond that, you've had players like Dez Bryant who was asked if his mom was a prostitute.
Amira: You've had people like Cam Newton come into meetings and them say, "Do you have tattoos? Are you getting tattoos?" Invasive questioning. That's the thing about the draft that really like I was jesting about it before, but the reason I don't like it is because it's just a part of a system that’s exploitative and all of this scout analysis is based on tropes, a lot of the time. Even with draft grades and all of this stuff, there’s…you still see the coded language of is he scrappy, or is he surprising, all of this stuff.
The invasiveness and the presumptiveness of how the player sitting in front of you might fit into your locker room, what you're looking for, what you're evaluating. The execs in these rooms, the teams in these rooms, you already know what those front offices look like. What they're doing, to me, when you pair it with the combine, feels like just chattel assessment. It's really uncomfortable to me. That's really where my ...
Brenda: Can I just respond to that? I actually think that it's more insidious than Lindsay or you are even saying. I would go further and say not only are they not interested in questioning or talking to people who disagree. They know quite well that this person will do well with a certain brand of NFL fan. I think they're perfectly fine. They have no moral compass whatsoever in terms of racism and sexism of these players. They're perfectly happy for Bosa to capture an audience that is racist and sexist, and they think that is actually a money maker. Especially with fantasy, and it is.
I would say quite honestly, I don't think it's just about doing due diligence. I think it's being perfectly happy and acceptable to have a number of "high profile white players", and I'm thinking Tim Tebow, who will sell to a particular crowd.
Amira: Right. No, totally, and there's more evidence of this this year. There was a report out of AJC, around the Falcons' first round pick, Kaleb McGary.
Jessica: Oh yeah.
Amira: They had an executive, an anonymous executive, that said, "The tackle has been socially awkward. It's going to be a stretch for him coming in, because he's not a bad kid, he's just socially awkward. He's from a small country town, he just struggles. He's going to struggle being in the big city for a while." When asked, did he have social media stuff, like Nick Bosa, whatever? The executive said, "No, he's done some stuff that's just been socially awkward. You know how one day they play country music and one day they play R&B in the weight room? Well it was a country day and one of the blacks turned on R&B, he got pissed off and cut the cord to the whole speaker system in the weight room. All of the whites and the blacks were pissed off at him because they couldn't listen to any music. Socially awkward stuff, not racist. He just has to grow up."
Jessica: That's like borderline abusive stuff. I mean to destroy property, because you're so mad about "the blacks" music. I mean ...
Lindsay: I want to hide under a table. That makes me just like ... That makes me so uncomfortable.
Jessica: And they just say these things out loud. Oh man.
Amira: Out loud, exactly. Just music.
Jessica: I want to wrap up by talking about the number one draft pick this year.
Jessica: Who did not get a Donald Trump tweet, probably much to his satisfaction, if I had to guess.
Amira: I'd guess, yeah.
Jessica: Kyler Murray. It was a big historic moment, because Kyler Murray is now the first player ever to be taken in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts. He actually gave up ... He was drafted number nine by Oakland, the Oakland A's in the MLB draft. I think he gave up, I read somewhere, like $4.6 million that he was supposed to get in the MLB to go play football, which you know, it was his choice.
Lindsay: It’s a decision.
Jessica: This reunites him with Kliff Kingsbury. I don't know how Kingsbury's a coach though, but whatever, we've talked about that before. He was drafted number one to the Arizona Cardinals. It was a strange pick, in that they already had a quarterback that they had drafted. I think, was it last year, at number 10? They immediately traded Josh Rosen to Miami the next day.
I just want to give props to Kyler Murray. I mean to be that good in both of those sports is one hell of an achievement. I look forward to seeing him at the next level. Again, we never know how these guys are going to do, once they get there. People are continuing to point out that he's only 5 ft. 10 in. tall, they're worried about that. But he's a hell of an athlete. It should be fun to watch him.
Amira: Yeah, totally. I think that that is the thing. I will watch any video you send me of people being very excited and happy, or especially surrounded by their family on draft night.
Jessica: Yeah, me too, I love that stuff.
Amira: That's the stuff that I do buy into those who couldn't celebrate because his son was watching? Something on his lap?
Lindsay: Oh, I didn't see that.
Jessica: Oh, I didn't see that one.
Amira: Yeah, I'll have to find it. Where he was saying he was happy but he couldn't celebrate because his son was streaming some movie on his phone on his lap.
Jessica: We've all been there.
Amira: He didn't want to ... Yeah, exactly. You know, those are the moments. If we could throw everything else out and keep the joy. That would be ... I'd watch that.
I want to issue a warning about the content that we will be discussing in this next segment. We'll be talking about harm and abuse, sometimes in graphic detail.
In the last few weeks, we've seen cases in both tennis and football, of people acting in harmful and abusive ways. The ways in which their respective sporting institutions have failed, honestly, to respond to this. To get us started, I'm going to toss it over to Jess to give us a little background on these respective cases.
Jessica: I do want to give background on both of these cases just so everyone knows just exactly what we're talking about here. The first in the NFL, this is Tyreek Hill, we've talked about him before. In August 2015, Hill, he's a talented wide receiver in college at the time, he's 20 years old. He pleaded guilty to punching and strangling his then pregnant, then girlfriend, Crystal Espinal. He received three years of probation. Had to attend an anger management class, had a 52-week batterer intervention course, and was under supervision for two years. He was kicked off the Oklahoma State football team, but the plea allowed him to remain eligible. He eventually transferred to West Alabama, and when he was drafted 165th overall in the 2016 draft by the Kansas City NFL team, he was the first West Alabama player to be drafted since 1974.
In September 2018, right around the same time that Hill completed his probation, and the domestic abuse charges were dismissed, and his record expunged, he got engaged to Espinal. Six months later, in March of this year, Kansas City opened an inquiry into Hill, after local news reported that Hill was under police investigation for battery involving a child. This is the same child that Espinal was pregnant with back in 2014.
Earlier this week, the district attorney announced that he believed a crime was committed against Hill and Espinal's son, but that he can't prove which parent did it. Espinal is currently pregnant with twins. Within a day of the DA's announcement of no charges, a local TV station obtained a reported recording of Hill and Espinal. "The recording is believed to have been made in early March, when the parents were walking through Dubai's International Airport. KCTV5 was told the recording was an insurance policy for Crystal Espinal. Espinal had sent it to at least one friend for safekeeping, after she took it." In the 11-minute recording, she says their son says, "Daddy did it," about his broken arm. Hill denies this. Espinal says their son is terrified of Hill, to which Hill replies, "You need to be terrified of me too, bitch."
The criminal case against Tyreek Hill and his fiancée Crystal Espinal has been reopened. Hill's been suspended indefinitely by his team. I want to remind everyone, as we do anytime we talk about Kansas City, this is the team of Jovan Belcher, who in 2012 killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then died by suicide in the parking lot of the Kansas City stadium.
Earlier this week, Kansas City got Frank Clark, in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Clark was dismissed from Michigan's team in college after being arrested for domestic violence. The police report in that case is a really disturbing read. Clark pleaded down from first degree misdemeanor charges for domestic violence and assault to a charge of persistent disorderly conduct. That is the Kansas City NFL team right now.
The other big story running alongside this one is Justin Gimelstob. If you aren't a diehard tennis fan, you probably haven't heard of him. He's a force in men's tennis, I really want to stress this for people who don't know him. He is a former pro tennis player. He won in 1998, the Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles with Venus. He left the tour, went to blog for Sports Illustrated. He commentates for the Tennis Channel. He currently coaches Trump-loving American player John Isner. I believe Shireen threw him on the burn pile a while ago.
Gimelstob is one of the three current ATP, which is the Association of Tennis Professionals, the main men's tennis governing body, board representatives, which is elected by the ATP player council. This is an important position on the back-end side of tennis for men.
Background on Gimelstob. A year after his retirement, he went on some sports radio show and did a big old sexist rant. He called Anna Kournikova a bitch that he wouldn't want to have sex with, because she's such a douche. But, "I wouldn't mind having my younger brother, who's kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits of that." He called two other female players "sexpots" and another, "a well developed young lady." He was suspended from the Tennis Channel in 2010, after he compared a player's poor stroke to President Obama's policies.
In 2016, his wife sought a domestic violence restraining against him, stating he "Physically assaulted, harassed, verbally attacked and stole from her." He denied it. He's also been accused of planting cameras in her bedroom, to record her having sex with other men so he could show their son.
Most recently on Halloween last year, he savagely beat a friend of his ex-wife's in front of that man's wife and child. Over a three-minute period, Gimelstob punched the man over 50 times in the head while yelling, "I'm going to fucking kill you." The man's wife told the court this week that she was pregnant at the time, but due to the stress from the attack later miscarried. Gimelstob pleaded no contest, which is neither a guilty nor an unguilty plea, and he really refuses to take responsibility for it.
Tennis Channel made him take a leave of absence last year, it's unclear when that will end. Isner has defended him. Andy Murray, everyone's favorite feminist, said this weekend that Gimelstob should quit his role on the ATP board.
What do we do, with these violent men in sports? These are both horrible stories, with long histories. Here we are. They're both very good at their jobs, but like we've talked about this before. Should that matter?
Lindsay: No. In an ideal world it wouldn't. Look, this is all so difficult to talk about. This week, reading back through the Tyreek Hill police report and a lot of the stuff that's been written about him since, about ways that the redemption narrative that's really been thrust on him since, has been really, honestly it's been triggering for me, in an unexpected way. Not because I've been through this exact situation, luckily I have not.
It goes back to what I was saying earlier, where we want to see the convenient thing to see in people, right? Even when there's no proof there. Andy Reid wanted to see that Tyreek Hill was completely reformed, because Andy Reid wanted Tyreek Hill to be contributing for him on the field. Did the Kansas City Chiefs put any ... You know, there was a lot of talk when he was first drafted, about ways that he had been helped for his senior year of college, you know, and classes he had been attending and things like that.
Did the Chiefs put any of these things in place, in order to really provide Tyreek Hill with support? And specifically his wife and son. Was anyone checking in on them? Was there any outreach to the fiancée? What was the organization as a whole doing, because in my opinion, when you take on ... I'm not saying you can never take on someone with a violent past. But, when you do, I think you have an increased level of responsibility there.
As of right now, the Chiefs still haven't dismissed Tyreek Hill. I don't even know if that's a thing they should do, because we know that unemployment is a mitigating factor in all of this.
Jessica: And she's pregnant.
Lindsay: It just gets ... And she's pregnant again?
Lindsay: Right. Last time she was pregnant, he punched her two-month-old pregnant belly. Excuse me, but that's what happened.
Jessica: And strangled her.
Lindsay: That's the detail of the police report.
Jessica: Which is a really dangerous precedent.
Lindsay: I am just heartbroken over this.
Amira: I think one of the things that for me is most frustrating is watching how slowly the needle moves. And then how quick people can easily say, "Oh, see, he's awful," now that there's a recording. Obviously, you know, we did this with Ray Rice, over and over again. It reminds me, there's a group in Memphis that worked on MLK50, and they wrote this response, they wrote this piece to basically critique where we were 50 years after his assassination. They have a line in it that always hits me so hard in the chest. They simply say, "Oh, so you say your little brother was shot in the back by police before social media?" It hits me in the chest because it just speaks to the fact that if it's not documented, does it happen?
I think that that's what frustrates me the most with this is to see people not react or play the fence, or look the other way, over and over and over again. Then all of a sudden there's a recording, or there's video evidence, and everyone's like, "Oh, now we have to act. Oh, the team has that ..." This is not actually new. In a lot of the cases, it's not information teams didn't already have. What you're reacting to is not the action, you're reacting to the reaction of everybody else. You're worried about optics.
Jessica: And she knew that. That's why she recorded it, and sent it to a friend. Right?
Jessica: She's hyper aware of how people think about her own credibility.
Lindsay: And she's begging for help, you know? Even if she keeps going back on it, right? Even if she keeps doubting it. There's a part of her that needs to be rescued, right? She's trying to take some steps, and then because of fear, because of I'm sure financial commitments, because of the grooming that goes on with abuse, because he's the father of her child. Because of so many reasons, she keeps going back to it, but she's terrified.
I mean I don't think ... That's why she's recording this stuff. It just, I don't know. I mean after the things that Tyreek Hill confessed to doing to her, on the record, the fact that people thought it would be as easy as a few counseling sessions, I think really shows how little people understand about domestic violence.
Brenda: I just want to say that something that really caught my eye during this, and you know, it's one of those things that you almost don't want to read and look through, because it is really painful. Was that Tyreek Hill started his college career at Garden City Community College. Which might ring a bell for you, because it's the very same place where freshman football player Braeden Bradforth died.
Jessica: Oh yeah.
Brenda: Because of medical distress. Whose mother still hasn't gotten the answers about his death. The reason I want to bring that up is that these things happen beyond sports but there are institutions that guarantee that this will continue to happen. It starts way before you get to the Kansas City football team. It's a culture of de-humanization that applies to the players, and encourages their de-humanization and hatred sometimes towards women as well.
I'm not trying to simplify what happens in these cases. But we need to look at the very corrupt institutions that will only respond in these ways when there's public outcry. That are only interested in public relations. Those institutions are not going to solve this problem. When people like sort of cry out for punitive measures, I understand all of that, but I think as Lindsay was eluding to, there's something deeper and bigger and more painful that needs to be supported in terms of metamorphosis.
Amira: Yeah. Jess, do you want to ...
Lindsay: Just real quick on that, really quickly? It's worth noting that Kansas City is the same organization that employed Kareem Hunt, right? Who we saw the video of him hitting women. It's also the same organization where Jovan, the most tragic, with Jovan Belcher, who just continues to be at the center of some of these, case after case. I think that's worth noting.
Jessica: Yeah, I just ... I don't want to leave Gimelstob out of this, because the thing about this, is tennis is a really ... It feels to me, and Lindsay can talk about this a lot more. But from the outside, and the little I know, it seems like a really small world, it's pretty insular. People are not speaking out against this. I mean I noted Andy Murray, I think Amélie Mauresmo, some of ... You know, moving up to women, but mainly the men. I just want to talk about the men. He's basically, no one is calling for him to face any real consequences for this.
Jon Wertheim, who you all know I know, I've worked with him, I respect John a lot. He wrote a piece about this for Sports Illustrated last week, and it was pretty wishy-washy. He implies that in the piece that he knows stuff about Gimelstob and the situation that we all don't know. He obviously works with him, they're colleagues at the Tennis Channel.
It doesn't ... When I look back and I just went over it in the intro, and I see the history here. I don't know, it hurts me, on some level, that people can't just ... Men can't just come out and say that this is unacceptable, that they will not accept this. That they will not stand alongside this person, who not only has apparently hurt his ex-wife, he clearly beat the shit out of that man. He has said horrible things about women. I mean, I don't know, it's my frustration of like what does it really take?
I get that this is a small space, that it's hard to speak out against your friends. I understand all those dynamics, I guess. But where do we draw the fucking line? How are these people making ... Get a line. I don't know, it makes me very sad, and obviously mad.
Lindsay: It literally feels like the entire tennis community has Stockholm syndrome when it comes to Justin Gimelstob. He's exploited every single power lever in this sport, and cozied up to all of the right people. Ken Solomon, who runs the Tennis Channel, who then also that means tennis.com now, since Tennis Channel owns tennis.com. He still has as his header on Twitter, a photo of Justin Gimelstob, apparently they are so close. This man has so much power in the sport, that I think a big reason why people in the media are afraid to speak out is because of Ken Solomon. Also, I think it exploits how tightly ...
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lindsay: Think about the way the tennis community works, right? Yes, there are some weeks where there are like three small tennis tournaments all around the globe, right? Most of the time, this isn't like every week there's 32 games. Everyone in the sport is spread out. Not 32 games, but 16 games, you know what I mean. Like at the NFL, where the powerful people are spread out on a week in-week out basis.
The major events, the big-time WTA and ATP events are all combined. At the majors they're all there, they're all working under the same roof for weeks at a time. It really, I think this is exploiting how first of all, the way conflicts of interest work in tennis. Which is that Gimelstob is not just a Tennis Channel commentator. He's not just an ATP board member. He's the manager of Lindsay Davenport.
Jessica: Oh wow.
Lindsay: He has a production company that produces big videos for the USTA and for the ATP. And because he's at the Tennis Channel, he's credentialed for all of these events, so he's ... People are afraid to speak out, people without a lot of power. I don't know about people with tons of power, but people without a lot of power are even afraid to speak out because they're going to have to run into him at every single tournament.
Jessica: And they know that he's beat the shit out of somebody.
Lindsay: And they know he literally has rage issues.
Jessica: Yeah. Oh, that's a good point. Oh, that's terrible.
Lindsay: It's so gross. I understand completely. Look, I've been reporting on this. Hopefully by the time this is up, I'll have a piece up on this, God willing. It has been ... I've never had a piece where it's been harder to get people on the record. Never. Even anonymously on the record. People are terrified.
It's staggering, because a lot of this, what this comes down to, is he's really good at getting the men on tour more money. By that, it means more money than the women. That's what that statement means, people just leave out the, "than the women" part. I don't know, it's gross. It's seedy. It's time for the people who actually have power in this sport to take a stand.
Jessica: We're excited today to have Anne-Flore Marxer on Burn It All Down. Anne-Flore is a freeride world tour champion snowboarder and surfer, who has now directed a film called, A Land Shaped By Women, which we will definitely get to in a little bit. I was hoping that you could start out by telling me what the freeride world tour championship is.
Anne-Flore: In my snowboarding past, I studied with, doing street rail and quite urban snowboarding, they look a lot like skateboarding. Doing the sides of the rail of the staircase, for example. Then I started doing big air and slope play, which is what you see nowadays at X Games or at Olympics. Which is pretty much one slope in the park that has several kickers and a line and you get to do different tricks on the different kickers. At the end of the line you're being judged on the difficulty of the tricks you're going to bring into your line in the slope play.
Then I did that same thing, or the idea of it, as a big air kicker, but I did that in the back country. There you look for terrain where you'll be able to build a jump for yourself with a shovel, that actually has a big enough space for a landing area to land your tricks. Then I started looking at both steeper mountains, and started to think I could actually start higher and use that place to actually do my tricks. And progressively I just got steeper and steeper, and that becomes more of a freeriding.
I ended up doing those freeride competitions, where you're being judged on the difficulties of your land you choose on the mountain. When everyone's starting from the same spot and riding at the same spot, everyone gets to choose which part of the mountain we use? Whether we're going to take a really big place, or a really steep part of the mountain. It's always about finding the land that has the biggest difficulty that will allow you to still take it with speed and a lot of charging, let's say it like this.
Jessica: And you were a champion? You're a world tour champion, doing the freeride?
Anne-Flore: Yes. Yeah, they gave me a real title, it's a real title, I'm a world champion.
Jessica: That's amazing. What was your experience like on the freeride world tour as a woman?
Anne-Flore: When I arrive on the freeride competitions, it was back in 2011. On the first competition I did, my boyfriend at the time, he was doing that competition and he was in my first competition and said, "I'm calling you to tell you I'm not just coming to support you, I’m actually going to ride as well." I did the competition, and me coming from a place where you come with like first track, really good snow conditions. But in this competition, they always put the women in the back of the competition. When I entered my lane, I was really surprised to see that there were so many tracks already, because all the men had been there.
Anne-Flore: So it was just tracks and rocks, and it was really horrible because it was the end of the day, so the snow was getting really cold and really icy. The conditions were really difficult to go. I did my line, and I arrived at the bottom, and I was winning the competition, which was quite amazing. Then I realized nobody was watching, because the organization of the competition, of the freeride world tour, was organizing the podium for men exactly when us women were riding down the mountain. Everyone was watching the other way, towards the podium of the men. So nobody had seen our run, nobody had really understood what was going on for us.
On top of that, I won the competition, I won $1,200 US dollars. My boyfriend at the time, who I told you about, when he came in second to last? There were 25 men skiers? He won $1,500 US dollars.
Jessica: Oh wow.
Anne-Flore: Even by winning that competition, I was winning less than the guy who gets second to last. So I decided right then that I was going to keep doing this competition during that yeah, because I knew that ... as long as I was participating and as long as I was winning, then I would have that mic in my hands, and I would actually be able to change the way they were treating women in these competitions, and which I did. It led me to win the whole tour that year. Just kind of funny to understand that my passion for bringing better equality, better appreciative towards gender equality in my sport, led me to actually get a world title.
At the end of that year, they ... So what happened, I actually got all the girls together, we made a list of everything that could be improved, and then we sent that list to the organization. But soon enough we understood they were not going to follow those ideas, so I started to put in a copy of it to any of the sponsors of the tour. Which was Fiat and Nissan at the time. Then when that wasn't enough, then I actually started putting the press in copy of those emails. So soon enough, the whole, in Europe, everyone was talking in the press about the way they were treating women.
At the end of the year, when I won the world tournament, they asked me if I was going to be back the next season. I said I would come back the day they actually bring better opportunities and better quality of competition and better prize money for women. I left. Then three years later, they came back to me and they had actually put the women back on the big competitions with better prize money. That's when I felt that as long as I ... You know, if I had been able to bring so many changes in that matter, then if they're really looking to improve in the way they treat women in this tour, I could go back and try to see what I could do from the inside.
I did two years of the competitions again, in 2016 and 2017. Yet it was always starting at the back of the competition. In the first year men would get $8,000, and the first snowboarder woman would still get only $4,000, meaning we would still be 50% off. I was just really getting really tired and frustrated. There was less competition of the season in Verbier, the big freeride competition. When I got to the bottom of my run, I was winning that big competition but I had no more pleasure, I was so tired and I was looking for inspiration and strength.
That's when I decided the next day to jump on a plane to Iceland, to check it out, because I knew it was on the forefront of gender equality and I just had enough with this fighting energy, and I really wanted to reconnect with something positive and change the surroundings. That first few days in Iceland was such a beautiful gift in my life. There were mountains, and meeting the Icelandic women, which was such a beautiful gift of empowerment. That's when the idea of making this film about it started in my head.
Then the next winter, I called my friend Aline, and I said, "Ah, do you want to go spend the winter with Jovan in Iceland?" So we did. Then I made the film called, A Land Shaped By Women.
Jessica: To be clear to anyone listening, A Land Shaped By Women is Iceland. That is the subject of the film. Can you just tell us a little about what the film is, for people who haven't heard of it before?
Anne-Flore: The film is following us in our journey through Iceland, in which we went mountaineering under the northern lights. We went surfing in the snowstorm. We went snorkeling in the ice. All of it is very gentle and elegant, and that's just really more about the beautiful landscape. Along our travels, I present that what happened in Iceland in 1975, in archive footage, which is quite interesting. 90% of the women in Iceland went down the street to show the importance of participation of women. As a result from that day, Iceland was the first country in the world to elect a female president in 1980, President Vigdis. Then along our travels, I present the portrait of the most incredible women we met along the way.
Jessica: What do you think it is about Iceland?
Anne-Flore: Doing the research, now I understand how Iceland became such in the forefront of gender equality. It was really amazing to me to understand that the women in Iceland brought those changes within society. The first thing that happened in 1915, when they had the right to vote, they realized they still didn't have a seat in the Parliament. They studied this political, exclusively feminine political party, and they went to meet all the women in Iceland, to understand what was problematic for women. Until then, when the women were taking part in the society through social projects, but were not interested in politics.
By bringing the difficulties of women to the center of the debate on the politics side, they actually brought which was to be a whole new voting participation of 40% in Iceland, which were those women who actually then started to vote. By doing that, by the first election that came around, in 1922, they actually got the their first seat in Parliament, seeing how many women took part in this tradition of voting, then each of the different political parties included women within the political parties. For the future, was then understanding they had to bring women within the political system. This is one example, but it happened again and again, through time in Iceland, which has brought this incredible mindset of Icelandic women where they know they can all be part of building the society they want to live in.
In the film, we met quite a different range of women. We met a human rights lawyer who participated in writing the new constitution for Iceland. We met Vilborg Arna (Gissurardóttir), who was the first Iceland person who reached the summit of Mount Everest.
Jessica: Oh wow.
Anne-Flore: She’s a polar explorer. When she talks, she does say that when she started, there were really very few women being part of the mountaineering world in Iceland. What she did, it was a thing where she started inviting women to be part of her expedition. So they could actually gain all the technical side of actually doing mountaineering. So then they could become themselves guides in the mountains. And so today there are so many mountain guides that are women in Iceland and that was really striking to me. Because when you do mountaineering in France or in Europe, it still is a very male-driven surrounding. When you do that in Iceland, then you have so many women. It's incredible how the vibe changes when you actually have a bigger mix within the people who practice that sort of activity.
Jessica: What's next for you? Are you doing your snowboarding? Are you doing filmmaking? What's the next thing for you?
Anne-Flore: It’s quite interesting how everyone's asking me, I don't understand why. But the thing is, with this film, it only released the 6th of March. Until the past week, I was still on tour showing the film. I showed the film in Russia, I showed the film in Istanbul. I don't really know exactly. The thing is-
Anne-Flore: ... I loved making the film, it was something that was really, really wonderful and I would love to get to make another one.
Jessica: That's great. Can you tell people that are listening how they can see the film?
Anne-Flore: To watch the film they can go on any video-on-demand platform, such as iTunes, or you name it, and you will probably find it. If you have any trouble finding it you can go on our website, just go to alandshapedbywomen.com, and that's got the link on that as well.
Jessica: Great. Thank you, Anne-Flore, so much for being on Burn It All Down. This is so interesting.
Anne-Flore: Oh, thank you so much.
Amira: Now it's time for everyone's favorite segment, the Burn Pile. Brenda, what are you burning this week?
Brenda: I am burning the Ecuadorian Football Federation. In this case, that means soccer. I guess metaphorically, but I'm conflicted about that still. Basically, what happened was there were a series of very disturbing charges coming from players from the national team that outlined the ways in which people on the coaching staff have sexually harassed them, and I'm going to say, it looks like assault, from what I can read. The complaints say things like besides yelling and verbal abuse, that they've also touched the players inappropriately, including genitals, breasts. They've asked for sex to keep them on the team. They've requested nude photos.
There's a whole series of denunciations. I'm not sure how that's all going to play out right now, because the media's been really sketchy on it. There isn't much coming out, because the person is anonymous right now, and hasn't been identified, which is good if that's what she decides. It's not just her, but it's about three other players, it looks like. Again, hard to get an exact number.
At that very point that this story broke, the Ecuadorian Federation re-upped the news that they were starting a women's professional league. They've had no response to these charges. It's been a couple of weeks. No response, no plan of action, no investigation. Their social media came back with this glory story of look, we're starting a 22-team women's professional league. Just by the way.
You know, the official is being quoted as, "We want to get back to the World Cup." The last time Ecuador appeared in the World Cup was in 2015. You know, it's just I want to burn that, it's disgusting, and horrible. By the way, the Colombian Federation, the Uruguayan Federation, the Argentine Federation, they're doing the same thing. They're all, you know, saying, "We're going to start all these great projects for women," and totally unresponsive to massive reports of abuse. Whether it's on a professional, sexual harassment level, racial, etc. I'd like to burn the Ecuadorian Football Federation this week.
Jessica: So low-hanging, but still enraging fruit this week for me, I chose this in part because my mom emailed me this story with like a whole lot of exclamation points. Donald Trump wants to appoint a man named Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board because he likes what Moore says when Moore is on TV. Spoiler alert? Moore says nice things about Trump on TV. Including arguing once that Trump should have received the 2018 Noble Prize in economics. So a smart guy, Stephen Moore.
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell, for what it is worth, described Moore as, "Wrong all the time," about pretty basic things. Like whether prices are going up or down. That's such a good ... oh gosh.
Okay, so earlier this week CNN dug into Moore's background, because Trump wants to put him on the Federal Reserve Board and found that Moore really hates women participating in sports, in any capacity. Moore blogged for the very conservative site, National Review, in the early 2000s. In 2002, Moore wrote about changes he'd make to March Madness. "Here's the world change I propose: no more women refs. No women announcers. No women beer vendors. No women anything. There is of course an exception to this rule. Women are permitted to participate if and only if they look like Bonnie Bernstein. The fact that Bonnie knows nothing about basketball is entirely irrelevant.” Cool dude.
At one point he wrote, "The bigger and more serious social problem in America is the feminization of basketball generally." So also bad at history. Anyway, wait, so it actually gets better.
"While I'm venting on the subject, here's another travesty. In playground games and rec leagues these days, women now feel free to play with the men. Uninvited in almost every case. There's no joy in dunking over a girl, never mind that I can't dunk." Can you imagine this guy dunking on a girl?
Okay, "Never mind that I can't dunk except on eight-foot baskets. If I could, I wouldn't celebrate dunking over someone named Tina.” I don't think that man can dunk on an eight-foot basket.
Anyway, there's a whole treasure trove of these columns. But to make this a little more serious here, of course Trump likes a misogynistic man, pot and kettle and all of that. And of course, one of the ways this misogynistic man expresses his sexism, is through hating on female athletes and women in sports. That this is such an easy target, should give everyone who reports on sports a pause. To think about how sporting culture has developed to make it a go-to place for sexists. Most won't, because sports is misogynistic. Rinse, repeat, and burn.
Amira: We talked about Tim Anderson a little, and I talked about his bat flip with Renée Tirado in my interview on last week's show. It was recorded before the MLB handed out suspensions, due to the brawl that ensued after. If you remember, Tim Anderson from the White Sox hit an amazing home run, flipped his bat in celebration. Then his next at bat was beaned by a fast ball in retaliation for violating the "unspoken rules" in baseball, of not showboating or whatever the hell they ... I can't deal with it.
The league after the brawl suspended the player who hit him five games, which for a starting pitcher is a slap on the wrist, because you won't even really miss a start. They also, though, decided to suspend Tim Anderson himself, for using, "Racially-charged language." Essentially what they mean is that after Tim Anderson was hit with a fastball, upwards of 100 mph, and he was angry, he used the N-word, and got suspended a game for it. This relates back to when you were talking about how the NFL was going to start policing language, and could give a flag on the play if they heard that exchange.
It's just like, I am not here for white umpires and white leagues and officials and all of that, trying to police the language of black people. It's different, and you know it's different. Don't play coy. He was talking to a white pitcher, he was obviously not calling him the N-word in a derogatory way, he was just using his language.
Marcus Stroman, who is a black pitcher for the Blue Jays, spoke up in his defense and he was like, "You can't suspend somebody for that. This is ridiculous. This is normal slang, trash talk, reaction in our culture." He talks about more, he's like, "I'm authentic, I'll speak my mind when I feel things aren't right. I will always defend and respect our culture in the game. I stand with Tim Anderson on this."
I just can't ... I'm not particularly interested in having a conversation about it either, like to me it's fairly cut and dry. Does it injure you that much to not be able to say a word? It's just ridiculous. Don't say you want to make baseball inclusive, then suspend one of your only black players on the week you're celebrating Jackie Robinson, because he reacted by getting hit with a ball. No, I'm just ... I really don't have the capacity to deal with it, I just want to burn it down. Burn.
Amira: Well, Lindsay's next.
Lindsay: Yeah, so, familiar group, back onto our Burn Pile here, with USA Gymnastics. In particular, the new CEO for USA Gymnastics, I believe the fourth or fifth in the past 20 months, Li Li Leung, who came out and did an interview this week with NBC on the Today Show. This is her first big interview since being appointed to the position. In this interview, she says that she herself was seen by Larry Nassar. But she said she wasn't abused by him, and the reason why she wasn't abused by him is because her coach was there.
Now anyone who has been following the Larry Nassar case knows that actually a lot of his abuse did happen while coaches or parents were in the room. The fact that she would make this statement, it comes off as incredibly victim blame-y. It also comes out as extremely ignorant about the details of the biggest abuse scandal in the history of USA Gymnastics. That is absolutely absurd, your one thing as the CEO, is to know all the ins and outs of this case. You have to know that before you can move forward.
Her apology was absolutely bullshit, excuse me. She said, you know, "I understand how my comment seems insensitive to survivors and their families, and I apologize." Seems insensitive? It was insensitive. Absolutely, positively was insensitive. I don't understand how USA Gymnastics keeps getting this wrong. I don't understand how she didn't have to go through like 40 hours of PR training, in which every bit of information about the Nassar scandal, and about how to talk about it, was beaten into her brain. And I don’t understand how we're still here. Phew! Throw it onto the Burn Pile.
Amira: Well after all that burning, it's time to shout out some badass women of the week. Honorable mention this week, Jordyn Wieber, Olympic gold medalist who you might remember from the 2012 Olympics, and former UCLA Assistant Coach, was named the new head coach for the University of Arkansas' Women's Gymnastics Team. Go Razorbacks, congrats Jordyn.
Melanie Newman and Suzie Cool were baseball's first all-female radio broadcast when they called the Salem Red Sox 2-0 win over the Potomac Nationals on the past Tuesday.
Carrie Brown, the Senior Sports Correspondent for BN Sports was unanimously voted as the first female chairman of the Football Writer's Association, which makes her the first woman chair of a major football organization.
Salli Clavelle is the only woman working right now as a full-time scout for the NFL. She's with the 49ers. If you want to read a great profile about her by The Athletics' Lindsay Jones, check that out over there on theathletic.com.
Congratulations to everyone who participated in the U-20 Women's Football League in Benghazi. The event was organized by the Women's Football Community of the Libyan Football Federation. Al Hassan bin Al Haitham was crowned champion.
A special shout-out to the University of Nebraska's Noor Ahmed, who is the only golfer at the collegiate level to play in a hijab.
I also want to send a special shout-out to my students, members of the Penn State women's track team, who smashed records and took home the sprint medley college championships at Penn relays this week. Brooklynn, Danae, Alexa, shouts to you guys.
Nicole Lynn became the first black woman to represent a top five draft pick in the NFL when her client, Quinnen Williams, a defensive lineman from Alabama was picked third overall by the New York Jets. Congrats, Nicole.
Amira: And a drum roll, please.
Group: (drum roll)
Amira: This week's badass women of the week are Yu Gu and Elizabeth Ai, on their film, A WOMAN'S WORK: The NFL's Cheerleader Problem, which premiers at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival this week. This film was really hard to make. It centers on former Raiders cheerleader Lacy Thibodeaux-Fields and former Bills cheerleader Maria Pinzone, who both sued their employers for wage theft in 2014.
While in recent years it's come to light the precarious labor situation that many NFL cheerleaders find themselves in, when these women were setting out to make this film a few years ago, they found a lot of resistance and a lot of financial backing, because a lot of people said well this isn't a feminist film, or this isn't a film that is really about labor conditions, because it's cheerleading and these women are willingly being objectified.
But despite that, these women stuck it out to see this film get made, to bring a very important story to light. Which is now premiering at Tribeca, so congrats to you. Thank you for your perseverance and resilience in getting this important story out there. You are our Badass Women of the Week.
All right, folks, what is good in your lives? Lindsay?
Lindsay: Whoo, well I've just really been enjoying this spring weather. Finally, you know, been wearing a few dresses, and not boots. Just kind of really just loving it. I've also been, if anyone follows me on Instagram, I'm sorry.
Jessica: We do.
Lindsay: I'm sorry because I have boring everyone on my Instagram stories-
Lindsay: ... with a 30-day workout challenge, where my goal is just to do some sort of workout every day for 30 straight days. Just trying to get in a better habit. I'm on day, today's day 22, it's early in the morning, so I haven't done an exercise. I'm getting towards the end here.
Honestly? It's not really getting any easier, or any more fun as I go along. But I'm doing it anyway. I am proud of myself for that. I am glad that the end is in sight, because you know, I think rest days are good, and I would like to maybe just do five or six days a week. Yeah, it's been a challenge. Follow me along for this final week, see if I can make it. All right.
Jessica: I'm going to see Avengers: Endgame today.
Jessica: Which I'm really excited about. I've made Amira promise not to spoil anything for me.
When I texted Amira to tell her that I was doing this today, she was like, "Jessica, that's a lot, because the Battle of Winterfell is also tonight." For us Game of Thrones fan means, I feel like I'm just going to be in a lot of emotional journey today.
I wanted to tell people I'm reading a book called, How to Do Nothing, by Jennie Odell. It's really good. It's about social media and taking a step back and reassessing our relationship to it. I really just like how she talks about it. It's not like you have to throw it away, but she just complicates it, so How to Do Nothing.
And then I wanted to tell you guys that I'm very excited because I've been bench pressing for probably like four years now, and I think maybe two years ago I did the first big step. You have the bar, which is 20 kg, then you add weights on each side. About two years ago I finally added the 10s, they call them the big greens, on each side, so it was 40 kg. Then I've slowly worked up from there. This week I did 47.5 kg, which is 104 lbs. I bench pressed it, I did it three times each set. It was great, I felt really good about it.
So next week I'm going to finally do the next big step, which is I'm going to have 15s on each end of the bar, as I go up to 50 kg on my bench press. I was really excited about that this week.
Lindsay: That's so cool.
Amira: Yeah, so like Jess said, Endgame. Endgame is what's simultaneously good and awful, which is my life right now. Yeah, Endgame, and Game of Thrones. But I'm an emotional wreck, so there's that.
Anyways, the other thing that happened this week is that classes ended, so that was beautiful. I'm still grading, but it was a really nice end of the semester, punctuated by just the community I have here, I have two really, really dope new colleagues, who are both post-docs now but they are going to be staying at Penn State. They were hired to the tenure track. Jenelle and Dara have been just the best friends to have here in State College with me now.
They threw me a surprise party on Friday, which is really hard to do, because I generally figure these things out. But instead they told me it was a movie night, and I spent all week trying to choose between watching To Wong Fu or First Wives' Club. Finally thought I was coming to this party, and it turned out that they just threw a surprise party for me to celebrate my successful passing of my second year review.
Amira: It was very sweet. There was cake, there was alcohol. We ended up just watching Game of Thrones all night. Community is so important, so special shouts to them. It was the perfect way to kind of cap off this semester. I already miss my students, I had amazing classes this year, some really great student athletes. Including one for assignment, who like casually interviewed Billie Jean King for a random little assignment in my class. I was like, "This is like the definition of over-achieving."
Lindsay: We should have her on our podcast.
Amira: I know. I was like, "Oh, okay."
Lindsay: Wow, your student's showing us up.
Amira: I know. She's amazing. She's amazing, and we'll probably be seeing her on the national team by the time we do the World Cup, the next round goes. They're phenomenal, I'm blown away by their podcasts and these op-eds that they're turning in, so I already miss them. I'm also very excited because I won't actually be back in the classroom until August 2020, because I have all year off next year.
Amira: To, knock on wood, cross your fingers, finally finish my book. Ah, Brenda.
Brenda: Man, I'm not doing any of this stuff. Lifting laundry baskets sometimes?
Jessica: Well I did that …
Brenda: Running errands. Okay, I've got to tell you, Amira is two weeks ahead of me in this process, and you can tell because she's way better than me right now. I still have to teach, and I'm like, "Oh," it's that moment in the semester when you're trying to wrap everything up and you're like, "My God, what have I not taught you?"
Amira: Have you learned anything, actually?
Brenda: Yeah, it's like I already see the evaluations in my head.
Amira: Yeah, right.
Brenda: You're like, "No, no, don't let it end like this. Let us end this relationship on better terms." So I'm still kind of there. I guess what's good though is soccer season has started for my daughters, and it's adorable and cute. I actually live in a place where they don't fool themselves that they're creating the next Marta. They're really just good spirited and nice and no one screams about like arbitration or anything. Like, "That wasn't offsides," you know, I doubt anybody really understands that besides the ref in the games that we play. It's lovely and cute. I guess I'll say that. Oh, oh, oh, I'm messing with La Liga, of course. I knew that one though. I knew that one.
Amira: So on brand.
Brenda: Yeah, and I couldn't of course watch the end to celebrate anyway and enjoy it, or else you would have lost.
Jessica: Of course.
Brenda: Yeah. I mean I could only watch the first half, but I knew it was going well.
Amira: Well congratulations to you and Messi.
That's it for this episode of Burn It All Down. Thank you all for listening today. You can listen and subscribe to Burn It All Down on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher or Google Play, any way you get your podcasts. Feel free to rate the show. Send us an email, if you want to get in touch as well. We're on Facebook and Instagram at burnitalldownpod, and on Twitter @burnitdownpod.
You can also find information about the show, links and transcripts for each episode on our website, burnitalldownpod.com on the website, which is newly designed, please check it out. You'll also find links to our Patreon as well as our merchandise shop, and you can email us directly from the site. We’d love to hear from you.
Again, that's it, from me, Amira Rose Davis, Jess Luther, Brenda Elsey, and Lindsay Gibbs. As Brenda says, "Burn on, not out," and we'll see you next week flamethrowers.