Episode 115: Wimbledon!!! The World University Games, and Anne Orchier from NOlympics LA
On this week’s show, Brenda, Lindsay, Shireen and Jessica talk WNBA All-Star rosters. [2:42] The crew discusses the exciting happenings of Wimbledon. [7:23] Lindsay interviews Anne Orchier, an organizer with NOlympics LA, about their quest to stop the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, and the upcoming transnational gathering of anti-Olympics organizers in Tokyo. [22:39] And to round out the episode, the team talks about a fascinating sports tournament: the World University Games. [40:01]
Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, [52:22],and our Bad Ass Woman of the Week, starring Sifan Hassan. [1:03:54]
EDD, A’ja Wilson Named WNBA All-Star Captains: https://www.wnba.com/news/edd-aja-wilson-named-wnba-all-star-captains/
Wimbledon 2019: Simona Halep calls victory over Serena Williams her best match: https://www.sportingnews.com/ca/tennis/news/wimbledon-2019-simona-halep-calls-victory-over-serena-williams-her-best-match/1xe1hbg7ajz9rz55etxgiujpz
India's golden girl Dutee Chand finishes fifth in 200m final in World University Games: https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/athletics/story/dutee-chand-world-university-games-indian-sprinter-women-s-200m-final-1567859-2019-07-12
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2019 SUMMER UNIVERSIADE: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/stories/news/detail/everything-about-2019-summer-universiade-university-games-naples-italy/
Serena Williams Poses Unretouched for Harper's BAZAAR: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a28209579/serena-williams-us-open-2018-essay/
USWNT Press Officer On Christen Press's Barstool Sports Partnership: "Something Seems Amiss!": https://deadspin.com/uswnt-press-officer-on-christen-presss-barstool-sports-1836316531
Jordi Osei-Tutu incident shows that racism is still as big a problem as ever in football: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/jordi-osei-tutu-incident-shows-17924651
Tougher fines in tennis: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/11/sports/tennis/fines-wimbledon-french-open.html
Indonesia's Aceh says women's football 'forbidden' unless all-female: https://sports.yahoo.com/indonesias-aceh-says-womens-football-forbidden-unless-female-003740114--sow.html
A look at every WNBA triple-double in league history: https://highposthoops.com/2019/07/08/chelsea-gray-joins-historic-list-of-triple-doubles/
Shanshan Feng had a 9-under-par final round to win the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic: https://www.lpga.com/videos/shanshan-feng-takes-home-the-2019-thornberry-creek-lpga-classic
Shireen: Welcome to this week's episode of Burn It All Down. It's the feminist sports podcast you need. I'm Shireen Ahmed, freelance writer and sports activist in Toronto, Canada. I'm leading the “toxic femininity” charge again this week.
On the panel, we have the amazing weightlifter extraordinaire, my favorite PhD candidate/croissant maker and author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, Jessica Luther. She's coming to us from Austin, Texas. Dr. Brenda Elsey, president of the feminists for Leo Messi Fan Club, undeniable genius, and associate professor of history at Hofstra University in New York, and the indomitable brilliant Lindsay Gibbs, with the most beautiful laugh and a mightiest pen, who is my favorite cuddling companion. She's a sports reporter at ThinkProgress in DC.
Before we start, I would like to thank our patrons for their generous support and remind our new flame throwers about our Patreon campaign. You pledge a certain amount monthly as low as $2 and as high as you want to become an official patron of the podcast. In exchange for your monthly contribution, you get access to special rewards. With the price of a latte a month, you can get access to extra segments of the podcast, a monthly newsletter, and an opportunity to report on the Burn Pile which is only available to those in our Patreon community.
So far, we've been able to solidify proper funding for editing transcripts and our social media guru, Shelby, but we're hoping to reach our dream of hiring a producer to help us with the show. Burn It All Down, certainly a labor of love. We all really believe in this podcast, but having a producer to help us as we grow would be amazing. We are so grateful for your support and happy that our flame-throwing community is growing.
We have a kick-ass show for you this week. We will speak about Wimbledon, Lindsay interviews Anne Orchier, an organizer with NOlympics LA about their quest to stop the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles and the upcoming transnational gathering of anti-Olympic organizers in Tokyo. Then, we have a segment on the World University Games currently happening in Napoli, Italy. It's going to be a heck of a show. Let's get going.
Before we start, let's talk about WNBA All-Stars. Jess, Linds, Brenda, what are your thoughts on that well?
Lindsay: Right now, we know the starters for the WNBA All-Star game. We don't know the full list. I think that's coming out on Monday, so by the time this episode comes out we'll have a better idea of the full roster of All-Stars. We know that Elena Delle Donne and A'ja Wilson are the two captains for the All-Star game which is super exciting. That means they're going to be picking the teams which we love because it's a little drama. Who doesn't love a little more drama in our lives? I do. Bring on the petty. Bring on the drama.
I actually got to talk to A'ja Wilson on last night on Saturday night in DC. She and Liz Cambage and the whole Las Vegas Aces team were in town. Las Vegas is going to be hosting All-Star this year. They are all just so excited to bring the whole WNBA to Vegas. I am trying to figure out how to go. All the flame throwers, I need you to cross your fingers for me. I don't know. I love the All-Star game. It is so much fun although I do know that some of the players and coaches don't love it quite as much because the alternative is that they get a vacation for a few days.
I can't really blame them because the WNBA season is so ridiculous. When you have All-Star, you don't get a break, but it's still ... I don't think anyone can say it's not a great thing for the sport. Jess, were there any surprises for you?
Jessica: Not really any surprises necessarily, but I did think of Shireen actually was the first person I thought when I saw the list because making her debut this year is Kia Nurse.
Lindsay: As a starter! This is big. That's so big.
Jessica: Yeah. It's huge. I know that her biggest fan is Shireen Ahmed. That was actually my very first thought when I saw the list.
Shireen: She was the first one who I saw. She's actually been for those of you I think it was episode 70, she was on her show. It was lovely so just so you know. There's a connection between us and the All-Star. There’s many connections rather, but between us and the All-Star game, Burn It All Down. It's exciting.
Brenda: Can I ask when the game is?
Jessica: July 27th.
Brenda: Okay. July 27th, perfect.
Jessica: Not too far in the future.
Shireen: Here's a question, Jess. They don't announce the entire roster, they do it one at a time? Because the only one that actually saw this first was Kia Nurse. Why did I only see that?
Jessica: I don't know. I think they listed the top vote-getters who will be the starters. Correct, Lindsay? Then, the coaches will decide the last 12.
Lindsay: Yes. They listed the top 10. That's a combination of fan vote plus player vote plus coaches vote, I believe, but that's always a little ... I mean look. It does turn a little bit into a popularity contest, let's not even lie, when the fan vote is 50%. Obviously, popularity and fans are super important. That's big, but I think then the coaches come in and pick the next 10 players who are going to fill out the rosters because it's important to also have players who might deserve it statistically, but might not have the biggest profile.
If you look at just numbers, I wouldn't really expect A'ja Wilson to be a starter, but I mean she could be a starter, but like to be the number two player so far this season is phenomenal as she is. However, she has the whole South Carolina voting contingent, like Dawn Staley got up. Stuff like that is fun. I agree with it, but I also think that it's really important that there's some sort of ... I do like that the coaches round out the roster.
Jessica: Yeah. I mean I do think that's why there's three Las Vegas players. It's because they're a popular team, like three are starters. I agree that it definitely skews that which is good and fun.
Lindsay: I don't understand how Jewell Loyd made as a starter. I don't understand how they DeWanna Bonner is not a starter. Brittney Griner I think is also questionable as a starter although I think she should definitely be on the team, but she had a really tough beginning. There's some there's some interesting– and even Liz Cambage, her statistics so far this season, she was coming back from an injury getting used to new team. She hasn't necessarily been like one of the top six players, top six post players in the league so far this season.
Once again, I think she should definitely make the full roster, but like I said, popularity matters and fan engagement really matters. I'm not like mad at that.
Shireen: Starting off our first segment, Jessica can you take us through Wimbledon, please?
Jessica: Yeah. I'm going to do it as quickly as I can. As we're recording, I assume because I didn't actually even check, but Roger Federer, he's seeded number two. He and Novak Djokovic seeded number one. They're playing in the final of the men's tournament. As we're recording, that's actually happening. If you heard my burn last week, I'm team Fed all the way today.
Federer beat Nadal who was number three to get into the final. It was a first match up at Wimbledon since their historic final back in 2008 which I remember really well. I was very pregnant. The match is considered by many to be the best tennis match ever played. It was incredible. This semifinal was also great not at the same level because nothing will be, but Federer was just better than Nadal on grass in the same way that Nadal is just better on clay than Federer is, even though the match was really good.
Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista Agut who was number 23 to make a final. Yesterday, we had the women's final. Serena Williams, she was seeded number seven. She was going for historic 24th Grand Slam final or Grand Slam championship. She was beaten handily 6-2, 6-2 by Simona Halep who was seeded number seven. It was a match that lasted less than an hour and Halep was near-perfect like I can't stress enough that she basically played perfect tennis yesterday. It was her second Grand Slam title, her first being the one she won last year at the French Open.
I mean there's plenty of directions that we could take this conversation. Of course, I really want to hear from Lindsay about her takeaways from all this. I don't necessarily care enough about this, but this is always sort of one of these narratives that popped up again that the men's game is doing fine because the top three made the semifinals whereas the women's side, what was it, how did one headliner put it, like that they “wilted” during the tournament because the big names went out early. I don't know how anyone can't see how the top of the men's game is old, about to retire! Good luck to them.
We can and should of course talk about 15-year old US player Coco Gauff who got into Wimbledon through qualifying and then played three very good matches to make it into the second week. That's when she ran into Halep. She was, of course, our badass woman/girl of the week last week. It was a thrilling debut. I mean I can't stress that enough either. Thrilling debut at a Grand Slam for this teenager. She was just so, so good.
I mean we should talk about Serena how great her mixed matches were, Andy Murray, that was super fun. We can discuss this 24th Grand Slam like whether or not she's going to get there. She's been chasing it since she returned from giving birth to Olympia. She won her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2017 when she was newly pregnant. That was the last time she won a Grand Slam. She's 37 turning 38 in September. She played very little this year because of injury.
She says she's now pain-free. How much is she going to play in the hard court season before the US Open? What did you all think of Serena's piece addressing the US Open final last year? Then my final sort of thing here is will we see Osaka make a run now that she's back on the hard courts because she's really struggled since she won the Australian Open? Those are all my thoughts. I have a ton, but I'm going to stop there.
Shireen: Well, I could listen to talk about tennis forever. Serena's piece was so, oh God, it was so sincere. It was so honest, like I've come to really appreciate the way that she communicates and I look forward to what she says just because she let us in to a very personal conversation with Naomi Osaka. We didn't deserve that like that didn't need to be ours, but she's explained. That's one of the things too I feel with Serena. I feel like she's always put into a position sometimes where she has to explain everything. That, at the same time, bothers me although I'm willing to soak up whatever she says.
Then, there was this whole bit on her fighting for equality, with people like why don't you just focus on tennis if it's too much. That again comes to me full circle and people completely missing the point that what Serena does is tied into who she is. It's just these questions from sports journos that are just ... or whoever on the periphery, it frustrates me. I don't know. Linds.
Lindsay: Yeah. I think that, first of all, let's talk a little bit about that presser question because that got butchered a lot. I think it was asked very strangely, but it was also coming from a strange place which was the interpretation of a Billie Jean King quote. Billie Jean King in kind of pre-tournament media that she was doing, she expressed that she wished that part of the reason ... This is hard for me to say because I don't like the way this came off, but also Billie Jean King as a person I like to give the benefit of the doubt to, because I think she's earned that.
But she said that Serena has so much going on in her life that sometimes she knows how much this 24th means to her and just kind of her vivid dream would be that for just a small amount of time, all Serena would have is tennis, would this be a lot easier if just for this quest for the 24th. She said I know that's not realistic, I know everything else means a lot to her. It should, but she's on these boards that I'm on. I know she does so much work there. She's got all the fashion line. She's got everything else.
I think in Billie Jean's head, what she was saying was she wished for just a short period of time that Serena, I don't know, would be able to just do tennis or would maybe have the privilege of not having to worry about a lot of their things because I think we have seen as she's gotten older that the ability to flip that switch between all of her interests isn't automatic as it used to be.
That makes perfect sense because her body is much older. At the same time, Serena's earned the benefit of the doubt too to be able to make her own decisions in this realm. I don't think for one second that Billie Jean King meant to say she should completely stop fighting for equality and focus on tennis, but it did not sound great. I didn't actually read the quotes from Billie Jean King until-
Jessica: They're fine.
Lindsay: Huh? They're okay?
Jessica: Yeah. I mean I do. I think the paraphrase I tweeted about this. I think the paraphrase was way less generous than Billie Jean. I think the word celebrity was wrong to use in the question like she said to Serena like, "You're a celebrity," the one asking the question. But Billie Jean, there is definitely like you can tell that she ... It's like she wants for Serena that she could just play tennis and not have all these other things, but then, she says at the very last thing is like if this is what makes her happy, then it's fine.
Anyway, the question wasn't fair to Billie Jean King or I mean we can argue about that or to Serena, I just think it shouldn't even been asked, but-
Shireen: I think, for me, in saying about questions, I didn't mean to state that it was wrong for Billie Jean King to say that. I just meant the conversations that arose around that. I should have clarified because I agree with you, Jess. That's the vibe that I got. But Billie Jean King has always been a very strong advocate of Serena Williams because life experience and her own contributions to women's tennis as well, but it's the conversations that arise out of that, like you said, the paraphrasing wasn't good. I don't know all these things that come around discussions on Serena's choices and her tennis and her game and this and that. It became really exhausting, I imagine.
Jessica: And this is part of a long-standing pattern particularly with Serena and Venus where more so and part because they're so famous, but also we have all this sort of racialized gendered things that happen around them. Their entire career, there have been question about their commitment to the sport. There's no way to divorce this question from that long history. I think that's ... As soon as I heard it, it ruffled my feathers because it is just so normal in a way that is so undermining to the Williams sisters.
Brenda: I mean, I just agree with everything that I'm just nodding my head until it almost falls off. I mean I find it so frustrating the way in which many journalists try to pit women in tennis against each other all the time. It's like I don't know. It's like their second favorite sport is to sort of stoke these flames and pretend that they know about these relationships between people or that they can shape them. On the one hand, I get it because people do have a really strong emotional attachment to the athletes that they love. They want to know what they want inside their head.
But I do think there's something particularly heinous about pitting Billie Jean King against Serena in some media way. I think it's just like it smacks the sort of center of patriarchy which is to make women fight with one another for like scarce resources which may be like free time and the ability to not do politics or whatever that resource is. Make them sort of against one another.
I mean I was also– ruffled feathers is like a really nice way of picturing Jessica like this beautiful flamingo flapping. I'm more like continuously exploding. My head is like in million pieces. But I think we have to recognize that this is like call out when questions like this are posed that pit women against each other in sport.
If there's anybody to pit Serena against her, I mean it's Margaret Court. Yet, I so want this for her, but also like why am I asking this of her? Like beat that record-
Jessica: Yeah, which is a stupid record.
Lindsay: The record does not mean anything, and yet, it's sitting there.
Jessica: You can't compare.
Brenda: I know! And yet there’s part of me that it's just-
Jessica: Also just do it!
Brenda: Can we please just erase Margaret Court from everything.
Shireen: Can somebody explain what record you're talking about? Jessica, what record?
Jessica: That Court won 24 singles titles when she was playing-
Lindsay: Grand Slams.
Jessica: ... which is just a totally different time. Grand Slams. Thank you. Grand Slam titles, but when I was reading about it this week, it was a time when almost no one went to the Australian Open. She won it all the time. She's Australian. It's just a totally different like what Serena's had to do to win 23 versus what Margaret Court had to do to win 24 is just …You just can't compare them, but it's become the whole thing. They mentioned Margaret Court all the time. She's horrible, huge homophobe. They're talk about taking her name off of stuff in Australia like it'd be nice on some level for Serena to win this thing. We could never talk about Margaret Court again. But she shouldn't have to either. She's the GOAT.
Lindsay: Yeah. It's frustrating, but, also, it means something to her too. I think that that's another reason-
Jessica: Yes. That's true.
Lindsay: ... if she wants to keep going for it. I do want to say though, I think we are all very sensitive when it comes to Serena because we love her so much and because she's taken so much crap, but I do want to say I do think it's somewhat legitimate to question should she play a few more tour events now than she used to, would that help her in these late stages? I think even she herself said she thinks being in a final on the WTA Tour level would help her get past this hurdle late in her career. It is legitimate to talk. She is an athlete. We can question her athletic decisions a little bit in a respectful way, but I think we have to be careful to not be doubting her commitment to the sport because she’s still here. I think she's pretty committed.
But I also want to say that part of this makes me sad because we are doing something that I get mad when the rest of the media does which is we've barely talked about Simona Halep. Like I said, I'm guilty of this and it's so hard because Serena is everything. I mean she has won 23 major titles. She's earned the right to be the pivotal topic of discussion, but Simona Halep when in this final her entire run for her to win on grass of all surfaces which is not her best surface-
Jessica: She's a slider.
Lindsay: She’s a slider!.
Jessica: Grass isn’t nice to you.
Lindsay: Her footwork on grass was just phenomenal. Her defensive effort in this match, and the way she-
Jessica: Oh my gosh.
Lindsay: ... blended defense and offense, I mean it was a perfect showcase of tennis like this was ... Honestly, even if Serena was at her peak form, she would have had trouble with Simona on this day.
Jessica: I don't know if anyone could have beaten Simona yesterday.
Lindsay: No. I don't either.
Jessica: It was an incredible ... The defensive hits where she's like going back across her body, across the net and hitting an angle that like made ... And painting the line, it was unbelievable.
Lindsay: It was unbelievable. There were so many shots that Serena hit that would have been winners against anyone else. Then, people were saying, "Oh, well Serena had this high number of unforced errors." But that's because Simona was getting to everything! She felt she had to go for the lines in this extreme way like part of that was Simona's play. Look. I just think it's ... I loved it after the match. They said, "Could you play better than that?" She said, "No. I executed my game plan perfectly."
She was kind of in disbelief at how perfectly these all come together. Look. She's a former number one. She won the French Open last year. This is not an out of nowhere shocking result, but it was for me who's followed Simona for so many years, I mean her narrative was that she could not perform on the biggest stages in the sport. The heartbreaking losses in finals, the ability to execute on the WTA Tour level, but not carry that over to majors. This was who she was.
Then, to see her against Serena Williams, who Simona has been ... I mean Simona gushes about Serena Williams. I think she has the right amount of respect like she posted an Instagram from Indian Wells earlier this year. That was her watching a Serena match saying, "Watching the GOAT." She has so much respect for Serena, but she also has enough respect for herself to not go into a match thinking she's already lost. I just loved what we saw from Simona Halep. I love who she's developed into the way she's found this mental calmness that she never had in big things. I just want to make sure that we give her due as well. Congratulations, Simona.
Shireen: Next, Lindsay's interview with Anne Orchier.
Lindsay: Hello, everyone. Lindsay here. Joining me is Anne Orchier, an organizer with NOlympics LA, an anti-Olympics movement that is trying to get the Olympics away from Los Angeles and maybe help us come up with a new model all together to do this. Anne, thank you so much for being here at Burn It All Down.
Anne: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.
Lindsay: I guess like let's just dive right into it. NOlympics LA, why don't you want the Olympics to be in LA because I've heard tons of things about how good it's going to be for Los Angeles. Mayor Garcetti has been on all these podcasts over the years that I've listened to. What would are the downsides of the Olympics being in LA?
Anne: Yeah. I think on something that's important to keep in mind whenever people talk about the benefits of the Olympics, so for example, someone like Eric Garcetti who will talk about kind of what the people stand to gain from hosting the Olympics in LA. For him, that's true. He personally stands to gain a lot from hosting the Olympics in LA. The Olympics are a great way for people who are already based in centers of power, who have a lot of resources, who have a lot of money.
The Olympics are a great way to accumulate more power, resources, and money, and disenfranchise anybody who's standing in your way of that. If you are not a part of the ruling class essentially, if you're not one of the people who stands to, who already is like part of that like super, super powerful minority, you get screwed over basically in every way possible. That's the majority of people in a host city. Typically, we look at six major impacts that the Olympics have on host cities and on the residents have posted these kind of excluding that minority elite.
That's environmental destruction and decimation, displacement, accelerated gentrification just basically like out-of-control real-estate speculation, criminalization of poverty and informal economies, just really accelerated and exacerbated police militarization, and also just keeping in mind these are things in Los Angeles that we already see on an ongoing basis. We're not saying the Olympics cause these. It's just that they basically like pour gasoline on the fire.
Lindsay: Yeah. I think one of the things that has been staggering for me as I've studied up on your movement over the past year or so and written about it from time to time at ThinkProgress has been really how ... There can be all these regulations in place, but in a mega event like the Olympics throws all those regulations out the window. It just seems like it gives those in power the authority to do whatever they want. Particularly let's talk about the environmental impact.
There are certain kind of environmentally safe steps that don't have to be followed if they're using the excuse of their building these projects or these stadiums or housing or hotels for the Olympics. Another thing that, and I think we've talked about this a little bit on the podcast, which is that ICE would have a lot of access to the LAPD. ICE can kind of be much more involved in the local policing.
Anne: Yeah. I think similar to the environmental regulations, I would say just like as a kind of blanket statement whether it's about housing, whether it's about environmental protections and regulation, whether it's about policing, one way that we've sort of talked about and thought about the Olympics are, I don’t know if you're familiar with the idea or your listeners with like the state of exception, which is the idea in politics, it's mainly has referred to the kind of like post 9/11 security state and the idea like in moments of crisis, political actors, and people in power will use that crisis to say, "This is a state of exception," and all of this sort of like normal operating procedures around whatever it is, protecting privacy like that is suspended. And now we have to go into this like hyper-vigilant mode. We see something similar happen with the Olympics, but, obviously, it's instead of a crisis, it's like the celebration basically. It's like we're having this big party and this big thing that needs to happen. Everything that would normally be like a non-starter or that people would get upset about suddenly is somehow permissible. Then, those things get normalized.
For the example of policing and as you mentioned with ICE, and this is also literally connected to like traditional sense of the state of exception since September 11th, Olympic Games have been designated a national special security event which means that it basically mandates what's called a unified command between federal and local law enforcement.
Originally, NSSEs were things like state funerals, the Democratic National Convention. The idea is that they’re events that might be potential terrorism targets. That's the justification for it. Of course, in the case of the Olympics like there have been sort of like two high-profile terrorist incidents, but actually the highest body counts for Olympics are of residents of the host city at the hands of local police, like that's actually the most dangerous if you're thinking about like potential violence and risk related to the Olympics. It's not the terrorist threat. It's what happens when you pour millions and billions of dollars into local police forces and give them high-tech weapons and surveillance and basically like carte blanche to do whatever they want to keep things clean and calm for the wealthy tourists. That's what happened in LA in '84.
Lindsay: I was about to say. That was a big part of like the riots right, like what led up to the riots.
Anne: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Basically, Gates, the LAPD in the 80s for the Olympic Games, he was basically allowed to do whatever he wanted given tons of money like high-grade military equipment. That was basically what provided the foundation for the war on drugs in LA in the mid to late 80s and then up into the early 90s.
Lindsay: We know that there's plenty of reasons not to have in LA, but you are hoping to make this a more global movement. I know that you and some other organizers are headed to Tokyo. Can you tell us why are you going there? What should we be looking out for?
Anne: We recognize that in order for any of us to be effective, the people who are behind the Olympic Games, those interests whether it's the IOC, the real estate speculators, the corporations and public sponsors, they're organizing transnationally. They’re working together. It doesn't make sense for us to just focus on us. We have to also be thinking at that level because that's the level that we're being organized against.
Some of it is on that pragmatic level. On a political level too, it's about recognizing that our struggles are connected, that these are the same problems and that we're all more likely and better equipped to solve them if we're working together rather than trying to just pawn the games off onto another city.
Lindsay: Yeah. That makes sense. What are we going to see from you? I know there's a day of action. I believe it's July 24th. Is that correct?
Anne: Yeah. July 24th is the International Day of Action. The organizers in Tokyo have planned an event in Tokyo so really looking forward to that. Yeah, just really personally looking forward to seeing like how folks in different cities and countries are approaching things like coordinated direct actions, how they're choosing targets, what the parameters are. For folks who haven't looked at them that the name of the group is @hangorinnokai.
They have Twitter. I don't think they have Instagram, but they have Twitter and a website. You can see they make ... I think, personally, do they make like the most amazing posters. Most of them are out of cardboard. They've done a lot of these sort of like installations around the parks. They formed mainly in response to the criminalization and displacement of unhoused folks in Tokyo which has been accelerating in lead up to the Olympics and getting sort of more aggressive and violent.
Japan has some laws about the rights of unhoused people to occupy public spaces that we don't have in the US. They've made a lot more traction on that front. We're seeing all of that kind of start to just go out the window and be increasingly violated in lead up to the games, along with a pretty concerted attack on public housing.
On that note too, one of the things that I'm also personally really excited about and have been working really hard on is we're going to have an event towards the end where we all get together and just talk more generally about the impact on housing and organizing as tenants and unhoused folks and organizing together and what that's looked like in each of our different cities and countries like what the challenges have been, what are the contexts, what are the things that we're all kind of seeing happen that are similar, what are the things that are different.
Then, how do we all work together not just in the context of stopping the Olympics collectively, but particularly around the right to housing and residence.
Lindsay: But here's another thing is that we here at Burn It All Down. We are a sports podcast. We do love sports. We do love the Olympics. It's always a tough thing for us. It's something we discuss a lot which is how to ethically watch the Olympics knowing what is going on, on the ground in these host countries, knowing the corruption in the IOC, knowing the corruption within some of these federations. I think the problem often is if you're an activist, if you're against something, you have to have absolutely all the answers on how to fix that.
I'm not expecting that from you, but just like where would you like to see us go from here. Is the answer to just kind of like get rid of this competition? It might be like that might be the answer. That might just be something we all need to grapple with because it's not worth it.
Anne: Yeah. I mean the short answer is like yes. I think we all basically like appreciate the importance and value of like athletic competition and physical activity, but it's really about the profit motives. It's like that's the thing. It's the IOC. It's the cooperation between the IOC and the corporations and the politicians.
The short answer is like I don't think that there's a way to perform the Olympics as long as those are the people running it, but I don't think that that means that we get rid of like international sporting competitions. It's just about how do you take that profit motive out, how do you build in accountability?
Actually, there's a video. If you go to our website, nolympicsla.com/video we made a video this past year called swolecialism. I didn't come up with the name so I can't credit. I think it's cute and funny. It's a good like little explainer on the history of basically like anti-capitalist international sporting events of which there are a lot but we don't know about because they don't have the same like crazy multi-gazillion dollar branded stranglehold on our consciousness that the Olympics do, but those have existed.
In particular, there have been like two basically like communist protest games in response to the Olympics. One was in response to the 1936 Berlin games, the Nazi games. There was sort of like a counter-Olympics organized by a communist party. That exists. There are models for that. Again, I appreciate you saying it's like we don't have to come up with all the answers because the sort of project of taking down the IOC and the Olympics is just a big enough task in itself.
Lindsay: Yeah. You're busy! You're busy. Yeah.
Anne: There’s a lot on our plate, but I do welcome, I think people should look into these other alternatives. I think these models exist. I do think it's possible to come up with an alternative that is not dominated by corporate greed and destruction and just like exploitation basically like the IOC and all of the interests that it represents. They're just sucking the marrow out of like every human being city, natural resource like that they can.
When you take them out of the equation and start to look at other people who have run games that are not dominated by that sort of level of rapacity, it seems pretty cool like I would be really excited about that. I would be super excited about like a collectively run international sporting competition where athletes actually got paid.
Lindsay: Just for LA, for the movement that you guys are running in LA on the grounds, what are the next steps because I know that it's technically official that LA has the 2028 Olympics, but that's also a long way off. I know I've talked to some people within your organization who say there's still hope that we could defeat this.
Anne: Yeah, absolutely. I would push back a little bit on that like that idea of, oh it's official, and ask like what does that really mean? And getting back to the idea of like who the IOC is, like they have sort of given their permission. They have sort of bestowed this "Honor onto LA" of hosting the 2028 Olympics, but they make up the rules as they go along. This is not something that is like handed down from a higher power, we don't have to make them in charge of this.
Well, there's sort of two good examples of like why we can sort of question this idea of what it means for the bid to be official. One is, actually, we have historical precedent in Denver in the 70s. Denver rejected a bid that was “official.” It has happened before like it could happen again.
The other one is Amazon. That was “official.” I think we're entering this era where it's like important to look around and ask or ... It's critical that we say when we enter these junctures of like, "Oh, this is official. This is happening. There's nothing you can do." We can step back and say like, "Well, wait. Why is this happening, just because a couple of really like hyper wealthy powerful people decided behind closed doors that this was going to happen like now we have to accept it?" We don't. We can say no.
Lindsay: It's really about getting pressure on maybe some local politicians, local power brokers to keep pushing back on this and, of course, organizers on the ground which are the most important.
Anne: Yeah. What we've seen in the past is basically the IOC. The IOC pretty much will pack up and slink off at any sign of local opposition and democracy. The IOC, it's been super cushy for them for the last whatever like 100 years or so where they could just come in, do whatever they wanted. They're not accountable to anyone. They take home huge stacks of money from this process. It makes sense like when you think about it at any time, there's like a little bit of friction, anytime there's a little bit of even annoyance.
They just will say like, "You know what? Not worth it." We saw that when Oslo rejected the bid. One of the main critiques that residents of Oslo had weren't even around the impacts to the city. People were really upset about … I haven't talked to organizers in Oslo, so apologies to anyone who's listening if I'm mischaracterizing their opposition, but from what I've read, one of the centerpieces of their opposition was all of the demands that the IOC had, including like, "Oh, we need private jets. We need to take over your highways and your transport. We need all of all of these accommodations,” basically.
Residents of Oslo were like, "We don't want to subsidize that." The IOC just said like, "Okay. We're done with you then." They pretty much will pack up pretty quickly at the signs of democracy essentially, at the signs of people exercising their collective right to speak out and to determine like what's going to happen in their own city.
Lindsay: All right. Well, listen. Thank you so, so much. I'm so excited to see what happens in Tokyo and to continue to follow along. We will continue to check in with all of you. Please, keep us updated on all the work you are doing.
Anne: Awesome. Thank you so much, Lindsay.
Shireen: Brenda, can you give us a little bit of an intro into our next segment, please?
Brenda: I'm going to try. As much as I miss the Women's World Cup, it's actually a refreshing change to delve into the World University Games which have been held in Naples, Italy. They started July 3rd and are wrapping up the day we're recording today, July 14th. This is what I've learned. I started delving into this at the suggestion of Shireen. Bear with me because I'm a newbie to this, but I'm also a new fan.
This is the 30th iteration of the games. Now, they're being played every two years. There's winter and summer versions of the games. Next up is going to be Lucerne in winter 2021, and Chengdu, China in the summer of 2021. It's run by the International University Sport Federation which I have to admit I had no idea existed. I'm still learning, a little bit at a loss as to what this is. I'm also really confused about how representatives are chosen.
For example, in Team USA basketball, the US women were represented by Mississippi State who won silver. Then, for the men's side, Clemson. I'm like, "Huh. That's interesting." I'm imagining what I think is that it's sort of relationships that have come out between universities like North Carolina State seems to be particularly keyed into the swimming sports here. I'm learning how different universities have gotten themselves into this international tournament.
Once I started reading that, it was really interesting. Japan and Russia are killing this tournament, 82 medals apiece with Japan right now on top. I think there's water polo finals still to be played, but then, the US, China, and Korea are next but very far off in the 50s and 40s with medaling. A couple of things that were interesting to me is just, because I'm a soccer person, men's soccer in Japan got gold, Brazil silver, and France bronze. In women, South Korea gold, Japan silver, Italy bronze. I'm like, "Huh." But again, I had to be-
Jessica: What teams are they sending? Are these like u-something?
Brenda: Well, they're not. They're not sending international because-
Jessica: It's interesting. They have to be University athletes?
Brenda: Right except, okay, let’s get weirder into this. On Burn It All Down, we're going to be really happy that Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman and track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal at these games.
Brenda: She won the 100-meter, 200-meter dash. After being persecuted by the stupid testosterone rules of IAAF, it turns out the new ones don't apply to her events. She's come out as a forecaster. She's also become this year India's first ever openly LGBTQ athlete. She's publicly stated she's in a same sex relationship. She's come out to express her support for the Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize gay sex. After that, she got terrible like sort of violence against her. I was really happy to read that. That said, Dutee Chand is 23 and is employed at a mining company.
Jessica: She's not in a school?
Brenda: Technically, she started law school in 2013. I'm happy to see her run anytime. But I'm a little bit flummoxed as to what this is. I'm so intrigued to figure out what the NCAA has to say about this. I'm sorry if that's a shoddy introduction, but I can tell you that it's really piqued my interest. I'm following this now.
Shireen: I think that was the fantastic intro. This tournament is also actually called the, and forgive my pronunciation, Universiade. It's like the whole celebration.
Jessica: It's a made up word, so say however you want.
Shireen: Okay…isn’t it actually like-
Brenda: I think it might be the Italian..?
Jessica: It's made up , it’s a combination of ‘university’ and ‘Olympiad.’
Brenda: Because in like Portuguese it would be universidade. I just assumed it was like, I don't know, Italian or something.
Shireen: Because the history of this competition was that it was in '97. I thought Universiade was Italian. I love made-up things.
Jessica: Google currently doesn’t pick it up. Let me see.
Brenda: Because I did read at the very first-
Lindsay: Because I have news for you. Most sports words are made up.
Jessica: This is investigative journalism right here in real time.
Lindsay: Most of everything we talk about is completely made up.
Jessica: Google translate believes that it must be a Hungarian word when I tried to tell it was Italian. I don’t know. It is a made-up word. Say however you want, Shireen. Go ahead. We'll give you authority.
Shireen: I'm really excited that we're talking about this because I like doing stuff that's a little bit out of the box. You know this. Everybody knows this, but it's interesting because some of the fun things about this are there there's almost 6000 athletes, 112 countries, 222 events across 18 sports. What I do like about this is when we hear things like South Korea is winning the women's football competition.
That kind of stuff excites me because these competitions are... the funding for this and I know that Brenda got into this, we don't know what the rules are. They're a little bit flexible as are many things in sport because federations and universities and teams bend the rules where they can, but the idea that people have access to sport on a global scale and amplification thereof always makes me happy.
I'm sure there's corruption and tremendous toxic patriarchy at the root of this somewhere in this tournament and organization and whatnot, but if it gives people a chance like if I hear about women's water polo, that makes me really happy because just those athletes deserve that opportunity and all athletes deserve opportunities particularly marginalized ones.
The reason I decided to actually have this big topic was because Dutee Chand won. That's enough of a catalyst for me because to have her have a sense of glory and be part of something is really special. Just so people know, Saudi Arabia is sending female student athletes for the first time, and Kosovo is making its debut at this tournament. That's always exciting.
Monaco is only sending one athlete. I don't know if that's in yachting or I don't know what that sport is, but thank you just sending one. Anyways, so Jess.
Jessica: Yeah. I wanted to mention an Italian discus thrower. Her name is Daisy Osakue. I hope I'm saying her last name correctly. She won the golden discus. She's a black woman who was born in Turin. Her parents are Nigerian and Amira talked about her last year on this podcast. You probably will remember when I say this because she was struck by an egg that was thrown from a moving vehicle. She was targeted, people assume, because she was black. The injuries she suffered threatened her eyesight.
Shireen: That's right.
Jessica: This is very cool that she was in Italy performing in these games. She won gold. I definitely wanted to mention her. I do think the women or the basketball stuff is really interesting. I would like a better sense of how they're choosing these teams, but Mississippi State represented for the women.
One of the things that was interesting and Rickea Jackson, I read she's the highest rated recruit that ever sign with Mississippi State. She showed up in this tournament, leading scorer in every single game. She averaged 21.8 points. I'm wondering like what this will mean for Mississippi State going into the regular seasons like they got to play this intensive tournament as a team before the year even started.
The other thing that I wanted to mention, I think Shireen and I probably read the same article, but I thought this was fascinating because it's in Naples. They actually house 4000 of the athletes on two cruise ships as part of the athletes’ village. Then, I just loved this sentence and the piece that I read, "As befits a nation so proud of its food, the organizers have promised that bread and mozzarella will be made fresh aboard in addition to other Neapolitan favorites like ragu." I was like, I should have gone.
Lindsay: The only thing that's made me want to be an athlete. I'll do it!
Jessica: Fresh bread and mozzarella on the cruise ships in the Naples Harbor for 4000 of these athletes.
Shireen: I mean that's hosting. If I go somewhere, I would like mozzarella bread and ragu, just Nashville ... No. It's okay. Nashville, I'll have barbecue, but anyways, Brenda.
Brenda: There was a point at which, Shireen, just to go back to your point where you said you were sure there was something toxic and patriarchal about this, I was reading the official website of the Naples games because let's stay in the land of mozzarella, but really there was two things that struck me.
One is the involvement of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games who, evidently was this was his brainchild. The reason that Italy has been so involved was because of the Fascist Party and Mussolini in the late 20s and early 1930s. I was struck by the fact that this was just included in the timeline of the Naples games on the official website. You can check it out that just is like, oh yeah, there’s like all these fascists, like that's part of it.
There wasn't any sort of thing about…that sucks and it's embarrassing? You want to still give them props like on your timeline there? Anyway, that's what I did find that in there. Yeah. We should be attentive to those kinds of things, but I mean I love to see. We talked on the last episode about organizing things without FIFA and maybe thinking about how these tournaments can be constructed without these organizations. I am really interested in seeing this alternative structure.
Lindsay: Yeah. I just wanted to add to that. Apparently, Brazil was actually supposed to host this year. A few years ago or even before these Summer Olympics, they were like, "We're too broke to host this." I just love that this is where they drew the line.
Brenda: It was gonna be in Brasilia, I think all the way in 2016, they like, "FIFA's bankrupted us, so sorry."
Lindsay: Yeah, FIFA the Olympics, but there's a reason for that, but this is where Brazil drew the line and just like cracked me up like after all they did for the Olympics and for FIFA. It's just like, "Oh no, but we can't do this.” Ah, alright.
Shireen: That was amazing. I mean these facts are important because it's also this is a non-professional athlete, from what I understand, a non-professional athlete tournament. It's just really interesting. I do hope that at some point, these athletes get an opportunity to go to the Olympics because that's what the piece that, Jessica, you and I had read that it can be a stepping stone you should get to the Olympics. That's what we hope for amateur athletes that they get that opportunity. Although its shady beginnings and associations are really…at the end of the day I hope that athletes and coaches get the support that they need.
Moving on to our favorite segment, this is the Burn Pile. Brenda, can you start us off by lighting your torch?
Brenda: Sure. This week, I'm burning the idea that any Joe Schmoe thinks that he can defeat professional women athletes. This week, YouGov in Britain surveyed men and found one out of eight would admit that they thought they could get a point off Serena Williams. Jessica has made proper fun of all of you on Twitter who maybe answered yes to that question. But it's not just that.
It's actually watching the reactions to the Women's World Cup as well which has prompted outpourings of male delusion about how their male children compete the US Women's National Team. People have responded and made fun of this and stuff like that, but I guess here's the thing I want to burn: where is this question even coming from to be on a survey? What is the impetus for that question?
You know what I'm saying? I don't get what is the desired knowledge. Is the “knowledge” to figure out how many men discredit and discount women's achievements because we know that just as much in a survey is learned ... Just as much is learned or taught by the question itself than by the answers.
I hate that this is a question. I hate this is a fun game for people. It's as much that I want to burn the psychology behind it as the stupidity and instead of identifying with these women athletes, what we've learned is that it's men's fantasy to defeat them that at the end of the day, what those questions prompt and what those answers prompt is a fantasy about beating women, about the joy and pleasure you get from saying the best woman athlete cannot enter even into my Joe Schmoe whatever ragtag amateur softball team or some shit.
I want to burn the people who design those kinds of questions and who stoke that fantasy that you are somehow equivalent to Serena Williams which should be laughable and is laughable, but I think underlying it is something that's not really laughable which is just the fantasy of hurting women and discrediting them. Burn.
Lindsay: Yeah. I just like to place on the Burn Pile all of the conservative male tears and female tears that we saw this week freaking out over the celebration from the US women as they drunkenly partied in France and then got on a plane and partied on the plane and then arrived in New York City and partied for two days straight and kept drinking champagne and kept cussing and kept partying all the way to the ESPY.
We've been told by people in Fox News that they are “dividing the country” and that their antics, that their non-classy behavior is what's going to keep the country from supporting them and that they are not being good role models to women. I just want to say that seeing them celebrate this way has been one of the most affirming things I've ever seen in my life, it's been intoxicating because we never get to see women do this.
I talked to some other female athletes about this week. Often, they're not given the time. They're not given the resources because of their schedules, after they win, they all go in their own directions. For the women to be able to do this and to have Megan Rapinoe with a bottle of champagne in one hand and the World Cup trophy in the other hand on a parade float, looking at Ashlyn Harris's Instagram story and say, "I deserve this. I deserve everything," just like inject it into my veins. Just like inject it into my veins.
We are so often told that we have to go around and meekly say, "I'm sorry." I mean how many times do you or I say I'm sorry during the day just to know one out just like because I'm just like moving around the world. There was something so intoxicating about this unapologetic brashness. It was Alex Ovechkin in the fountain after the Stanley Cup. It was shirtless JR Smith. It was everything. Thank you to them and throw on the Burn Pile anyone who thought that that celebration was dividing America because I like to think that you are no fun. Burn.
Shireen: Burn. I'm going to go next. What I've wanted to burn is something that had been brewing, I had tweeted about it, and I'm just very frustrated about it. There's been a push for women's tennis to grow all over the world. This is a really great thing. This is something that we want. This is something that hopefully stays and the effects of the Women's World Cup despite its problematic things and challenges I've definitely talked about on the show.
One of those things is that the Indonesian Football Association is trying to grow women's sports. They're trying to grow with the game. The Muslim majority province of Aceh has declared, and clerics and scholars and that, which is called off of this story that I'm writing, "hardline Islamic Indonesian province." They have declared that the game is forbidden unless men are excluded entirely. Okay fine.
I love that idea. I want men to be excluded from everything. This actually works for me.
Lindsay: Can we do that? That sounds amazing.
Shireen: The problem that I have with the implementation thereof is that this doesn't happen because the facilities and the infrastructure is not set up. If you've got coaches that are women that are trained and officials that are women that are trained, I see this as a good thing, but what ends up happening is that because they don't have those in play, the ideas that men shouldn't be able to see women playing and that's what the problem is, so, I mean I'm not ... Like I've said, I tweeted this out. I'm not a scholar. I'm not a cleric, but if men have a problem watching women, how about they not fucking look? How about they not watch? It's really not that complicated.
This really upsets me because the losers at the end of the day are the women who simply want to play. For the record, these women were wearing hijabs. They were wearing like tights with their shorts. They were fully covered. If you have seen photos of women in hijab playing like, I know in Jordan, in Egypt, some of the players cover. Or just this idea, it’s really not that complicated. It's super sporty, but, yes, they're covered. This really, really frustrates me. It's also frustrated the association of football that is literally trying to do this.
Aceh is the only region that implements Islamic law to this level. It's been really difficult and the organizers had said that the players complied with regulation. They were covered. They didn't violate law in that way and that they said that they're just trying to get the infrastructure down and even one of the heads of an organized committee of women's sports had said this is really frustrating because build the infrastructure they need. Don’t just ban it.
What I want to do is I want to burn this because at the root of this, these are patriarchal interpretations without giving any leeway. There's rigidity. Where there's rigidity, there's no bend at all, but the idea is that women lose because men make these arbitrary decisions. It's not okay. I want to burn it all down. Burn.
Jessica: Yeah. I'm going to go back to tennis. At the French Open, US tennis player, Anna Tatishvili, returned after 19 months off. She had an ankle injury. She used a protected ranking. We've talked about this a lot with Serena coming back after a pregnancy. She used a protected ranking to enter the tournament. The ranking was about to expire. Protected ranking meant she didn't have to go through qualifying. She wanted this to be her return to the tour.
She got to Paris a week in advance. Tour doctors assessed her stability. She passed the test that she needed to in order to compete. Then, in her first round match, she went up against number 29 seed Maria Sakkari who's a very good clay court player. I feel like that's really important here. Tatishvili lost badly, 6-0, 6-1. Then, Grand Slam officials used a new rule passed in 2018 that requires players and first round matches to "perform to the required professional standard.
To say that Tatishvili had not performed to that standard and therefore she would not get her first round prize money of 46,000 euros which is about $51,000. That's a really harsh penalty in a sport that is travel-intensive, played year-round, and physically wearing on the body and just like personally having gone to Paris for a week like however much money she spent just to be there, just for this tournament?
As Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times reported this week and whose piece I'm relying on heavily, it'll be in the show notes, the point of this rule, the one about perform to the required professional standard, the point of that rule is "intended to prevent injured players from competing in Grand Slam events just to clean prize money which has been rising steeply for even first-round losers in recent years. It was prompted by a rash of players retiring midway through first round matches at majors because of existing injuries.”
Part of the rule is that if you withdraw before the match starts, you actually get half the prize money. There's an incentive if you don't think you're going to do well. You're going to need to retire that you just go ahead beforehand. Then, they can fill you in with what they call the lucky losers from the qualifying rounds. This has worked, Rothenberg says that there's less mid-match retirements in the first round more pulling out before the match starts.
But Tatishvili was the first player to actually play the entire match and then show up and have her paycheck withheld from her. Tatishvili told Rothenberg that she hadn't even considered pulling out before the match because she felt she could compete even if she knew she wasn't going to do that well. Sakkari, her opponent for her part, called it "super unfair." Tatishvili was "definitely not tanking the match," and "I was playing really good these weeks. I think she did the maximum she could," which is one thing to think about is like what this means to the other player, the one who actually beat them, what this says to them.
So much of sport is totally arbitrary. We just talked about that, rules are made, some subjective understanding of them by a referee or official determines if the rules met. In this case, officials of the French Open decided after the fact that Tatishvili was not prepared based on what they saw and statistics from the match, but what is "the professional standard" for losing after coming back from a 19-month injury break, how was one to know beforehand whether or not they're going to be good enough at that professional standard?
I'm not what exactly has to change here, but certainly something, longer protected rankings for injured players so they aren't pressured to come back as fast? No punishments if you actually play the match, better assessments pre-match to determine readiness like something? This feels like one of those moments where the intent of the rule is much kinder than its actual application. It is detriment to the athletes. I just want to burn that this week. Burn.
Brenda: That sucks.
Shireen: Now, let's lift up some amazing, amazing people this week. Honorable mentions go to Simona Halep who won her second Grand Slam final and first Wimbledon title beating Serena Williams in a 56-minute match during which Halep only made three unforced errors. Doubles was postponed until this morning. We're recording on Sunday. Diede De Groot want her six doubles Grand Slam title in a row with her partner, Aniek van Koot, her third Wimbledon ladies wheelchair doubles title.
A special shout out to Connecticut Sun point guard, Layshia Clarendon, who had surgery for a subluxed retinaculum tissue and dislocated of peroneal tendons. Her cast was taken off. She's been documenting her recovery on social media while sporting a Burn It All Down t-shirt. We love you, Layshia! We're excited to see you back on the court soon.
Chelsea Gray of the Los Angeles Sparks finished their game against the Mystics with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds which is her first career triple-double and only the ninth one in WNBA history!
Shanshan Feng had a nine-under par final round to win the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. It was her 10th LPGA title and first since 2017.
As mentioned, Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman to win gold at the World University Games in track and field winning the 100 and 200 meter races.
Now, can I get a drumroll, please? The winner is Sifan Hassan, a Dutch Ethiopian athlete who ran a four-minute 12-second mile and 33/10ths of a second. This is beating a world record at the IAAF Diamond League event in Monaco by 2/10ths of a second. That is amazing. I don't even drive a mile that fast.
Jessica: It's incredible.
Shireen: It's amazing. Congratulations to you, Sifan.
Now, what's goooood? Brenda, tell me ... That's me practicing my country music voice for Nashville. Yeah. Go ahead.
Brenda: Okay. Oh boy. What’s good is J. Lo giving Carli Lloyd a lap dance at the Garden? What’s good about it is how uncomfortable Carli Lloyd looked like she couldn’t–
Lindsay: There's no better player that it would've been more awkward with like Carli Lloyd is the perfect person for this because it is peak awkwardness.
Brenda: It's still like I'm scratching my head about that visual. I have to say that I think Carli Lloyd really lost an opportunity to enjoy that lap dance. She was so stunned in the moment.
Jessica: That's not Carli Lloyd though. That's not Carli Lloyd.
Brenda: Right. Right. But those things together were like fascinating to me. I liked it. I keep watching it. I don't know what to make of it except that I love both those people. Them together is awkward awesomeness. That's what's good, is that in all the celebrations and the fact that in the ticker tape parade with Carlos Cordero getting boos and chance of equal pay. I'm still sort of rumbling in all of this and all of my friends including friend of the show, Liz Hutchinson, who dyed her hair pink in honor of Megan Rapinoe. She did. It looks incredible as you would imagine. She sends lots of saludos to everyone. My friends texting me all their pink hair is…I’m here for it.
Shireen: That's amazing. Linds.
Lindsay: Yeah. That's wonderful I have to say it's been a rough week for me, but I have been carried through by this celebration as I mentioned in the burn pile. That's been what's good. What's good is WNBA. I'm back focused fully on that. That's good. Women's sports are the cure for my depression. Yesterday, I got to the pool for a little bit actually. I did like a real summer thing with some friends. That was a very rare thing for me. It was very lovely. Yeah. That was great.
Shireen: That's beautiful. For me, what's good is ice cream. I'm actually not in Toronto as I said in the intro. I'm actually in Sarnia which isn't a border of Saginaw, Michigan otherwise known as Brenda Country. Well, all of Michigan is Brenda Country. I'm here for a soccer tournament with my daughter. I'm super proud of her because she's been pulling out some Sari van Veenendaals and just really, really proud. The girls are short. There's a lot of injuries on their team. We're battling through this with their bodies, just women who are not paid.
They're just working so hard. The temperature was up to like 32 degrees yesterday. I consoled myself by eating freezies on the sidelines in solidarity, and then just trying to help or possible making sure they're hydrated all that kind of thing. It's just a very interesting journey as a parent with the kid and competitive sports like this like you see how hard they work and their commitment to it.
I keep thinking I was never this dedicated when I was that age, but it's just ... I'm so proud of these young women many of whom have very different interesting disciplines, are going to be going off to college in a year or two and just to see them, I'm very inspired. It's really cool to be like my age and be inspired by people that are like less than half my age. I love that. Again, ice cream. There's fantastic ice cream here. I find it wherever I go, so local dairies. I respect you, I salute you, and I appreciate you. Jessica.
Jessica: Yeah. We've actually been eating a really good peanut butter cup ice cream from our local grocery store recently. That has been good. Thank you for saying that. I too deeply, deeply enjoyed the US Women's National Team celebration. I watched Megan Rapinoe walk out when they introduced her at City Hall..4000 times? I don't even know. I just watched it over and over again.
There was some time when she stood up and was just dancing to the crowd cheering. I watched that just as many times like I was so taken with it. Of course, Wimbledon was good. I'm cheating just a little bit and watching what is now the first set tiebreak between Djokovic and Federer. I'm going to go do that. That will make me happy today.
My son last week, he did a music camp, a rock camp. At the end of the week, they made them perform in public which I thought was really brave of everyone involved. It was 90s music. I got to see him play the bass on Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana and he has this nice shoulder-length hair. He was like head banging. It was really cool on some level because the kids struggled with these songs.
As a team on stage, they had to get it together and get through it. And they did. I loved it. It was super fun. It was such a nice into what was in many ways a very difficult week. I really enjoyed that.
Shireen: That's it for this week in Burn It All Down. Although we are done for now, you can always continue to burn all day and/or night with our fabulous array of merchandise including mugs, pillows, tees, hoodies, bags, and I hear rumors of a beach towel. What better way to crush toxic patriarchy in sports and sports media by getting someone you love a pillow with our logo on it.
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