Episode 120: MLS "dumb as fuck" policy, an interview with Britni de la Cretaz, and Tokyo 2020 Olympics
After discussing the twatwafflery of Barstool Sports at the top of the show, Brenda, Shireen and Jessica talk about the MLS "dumb as fuck" No political display policy. [6:41] Then Brenda interviews sports writer Britni de la Cretaz about an important story in Iowa girls basketball history [17:56] Finally, the crew delves into the problematic issues around the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. [33:39]
Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, [48:44] our Bad Ass Woman of the Week, starring Bianca Andreescu, [58:38] and what is good in our worlds. [1:02:38]
National Labor Relations Board to Probe Barstool Sports Founder David Portnoy’s Anti-Union Tweets: https://www.thedailybeast.com/national-labor-relations-board-to-investigate-barstool-sports-founder-david-portnoys-anti-union-tweets
Why MLS is missing the point with its new ‘no political display’ rule: https://farenet.org/news/why-mls-is-missing-the-point-with-its-new-no-political-display-rule/
Alexi Lalas Should Think Less: https://deadspin.com/alexi-lalas-should-think-less-1837248204
The Timbers Army is Right: MLS Must Rescind Its Ban on the Iron Front Symbol: https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/08/12/26956470/the-timbers-army-is-right-mls-must-rescind-its-ban-on-the-iron-front-symbol
Alejandro Bedoya showed why MLS can never be a nonpolitical space: https://www.sbnation.com/2019/8/7/20758742/alejandro-bedoya-mls-gun-violence-goal-celebration
Flagrant Foul: Benching Teen Moms Before Title IX: https://longreads.com/2019/08/14/flagrant-foul-benching-teen-moms-before-title-ix/
Op-Ed: Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics are showing the nightmare waiting for L.A. in 2028 https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-07-23/anti-olympic-2028-summit-japan-los-angeles
2020 Tokyo Olympics searching for answers amid heat wave: https://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/story/2019-08-15/2020-tokyo-olympics-searching-for-answers-amid-heat-wave
The Olympics Are Coming To Tokyo, And So Is The Movement To Kill The Games Forever: https://deadspin.com/the-olympics-are-coming-to-tokyo-and-so-is-the-movemen-1837203511
Tokyo Olympics construction worker dies from suspected heatstroke: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/09/tokyo-olympics-construction-worker-dies-from-suspected-heatstroke
Athletes concerned about heat and water conditions at Tokyo 2020 marathon swimming test event: https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1083337/heat-water-concerns-tokyo-swimming-test
The Real Hurdle at Tokyo’s Olympic Test Events: The Heat: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/sports/olympics/tokyo-olympics-heat-triathlon.html
Atlanta coach De Boer: Equal pay 'ridiculous’: https://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-womens-world-cup/story/3919998/atlanta-coach-de-boer-equal-pay-ridiculous?sf217468828=1
Air Canada Forces 12-Year-Old Squash Player To Take Hijab Off At Gate: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/air-canada-fatima-abdelrahman-gate-hijab_ca_5d4ccd20e4b01e44e477c7ae
Deadspin Editor Quits, Rails Against Bosses: ‘I’ve Been Repeatedly Lied To and Gaslit’: https://www.thedailybeast.com/deadspin-editor-quits-rails-against-bosses-ive-been-repeatedly-lied-to-and-gaslit
Winning Triathletes DQ'd From Olympic Test Event For Crossing Finish Line Hand-In-Hand: https://deadspin.com/winning-triathletes-dqd-from-olympic-test-event-for-cro-1837275031
Caster Semenya says female athletes have never offered her support: https://thegrio.com/2019/08/16/caster-semenya-says-female-athletes-have-never-offered-her-support/
Scott Morrison says Cricket Australia's decision to allow a trans player is 'mystifying, heavy-handed': https://www.sbs.com.au/news/scott-morrison-says-cricket-australia-s-decision-to-allow-a-trans-player-is-mystifying-heavy-handed
Good luck to all the women participating in the inaugural Aurora Games this week. The Games are “a multi-sport, multi-country, multi-day event showcasing the best in women’s sports, entertainment, and culture and was created as a platform for women to take center stage.” https://auroragamesfestival.com/faqs/
Meet Maddy Freking, the first girl in the Little League World Series since Mo’ne Davis: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/08/15/meet-maddy-freking-first-girl-little-league-world-series-since-mone-davis/?noredirect=on
Swedish women's hockey players to boycott upcoming camp and tournament: https://sports.yahoo.com/swedish-womens-hockey-players-to-boycott-upcoming-camp-and-tournament-163523423.html
Simone Biles Earns 6th U.S. All-Around Gymnastics Title With Historic Triple-Double: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/12/750434716/simone-biles-lands-historic-triple-double-earns-6th-u-s-all-around-gymnastics-ti
Davina Smith is running 330 miles across Utah with a piece of Bears Ears National Monument: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2019/08/16/this-monument-valley/
NPF AWARDS BANQUET KICKS OFF 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: https://profastpitch.com/npf-awards-banquet-kicks-off-2019-championship-series/
Shireen: Hello, flamethrowers. 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 and I'm coming to you from Prince Edward Island, Canada. I'm leading the toxic femininity charge this week.
On our panel, we have the amazing Jessica Luther, weightlifter extraordinaire, my favorite Ph.D candidate/croissant maker and author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape. She's in Austin Texas.
Dr. Brenda Elsey is president of the Feminists For Leo Messi fan club. She's an undeniable genius and associate professor of history at Hofstra University.
Before I start, I would like to thank our patrons for their generous support and to remind our new flamethrowers 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, an opportunity to record on the burn pile and special perks only available to those in our Patreon community. So far, we have been able to solidify funding for proper editing and transcripts and our social media guru, Shelby Weldon, but we're hoping to reach our dream of hiring a producer to help us with the show.
Burn It All Down is a labor of love and we all believe in this podcast, but having a producer to help us as we grow would be amazing and we are so grateful for your support and happy that our flamethrowing community is growing.
We have an absolutely phenomenal show for you this week. We'll be talking about the MLS and their quote unquote "no political display" rule which is absolute bullshit. Brenda interviews Britni de la Cretaz, who is a sports journalist and then we will talk Tokyo 2020 and the probability that it will be a shit show. Let's get going.
So friends, Jessica, let's start off with what was really-
Jessica: Yeah, I'm ready.
Shireen: What was hilariously, hilariously, hilariously stupid this week. Tell us about it.
Jessica: Yeah, I'll try. I don't totally understand the origins of it, I think I missed that part. So, I think it's because The Ringer, which is a sports site, is unionizing and they have, that came down this week, but once they announced they were unionizing, it got around and somehow, Dave Portnoy who runs Barstool Sports, boo, decided to start tweeting about how no one that works for Barstool should ever think of unionizing or he would fire them.
Then lawyers started responding that Barstool employees should reach out to them if they want to unionize and then he would retweet people and tell them if they contacted those lawyers, he would fire them. All of this is illegal. What he was doing in public, saying that he would fire people for trying to exercise their labor rights is actually against the law.
So, it was just kind of wild to watch this idiot break the law just in public, repeatedly, over and over again. I don't know. I found it delightful honestly. I mean, we have talked repeatedly about how shit that site is for so many reasons but just the idea that maybe it could be brought down because he is just so dumb is... I don't know, there's something about that that I really... I was happily following along. That's how I'll say it.
Brenda: Yeah, I mean, Donald Trump Jr. supports the Barfstool people, so I just want you to know-
Jessica: That's right!
Brenda: I just want you to know that he's come out with his deep, and I'm being super sarcastic if it's not evident, his deep understanding of labor laws to say that he thinks that the biggest mistake that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made is defending labor rights vis-a-vis Barstool. I think that's enough. I think that's all you need to say.
I mean, just be on the right side of history, and that means that Barstool sucks. I also was asking my lovely show mates before the show began about states' labor rights because there are certain states that override federal legislation, like North Carolina and Wisconsin, so I was asking Jessica, did you figure out which state they are headquartered in?
Jessica: Yeah, they're in New York City, so they're under New York law.
Brenda: Okay, so that is a right to unionize state. It's really cool that I just want to recognize that fact that Barfstool is not in Wisconsin, so you have to play by the rules, sir. I don't know. I'm also gleefully watching his demise or what I hope is his demise.
Shireen: I think that we deserve this joy. Yeah, I think that we-
Jessica: Yeah, that's true.
Shireen: We deserve this joy. For me, what I ended up doing was - just a little backstory here, a couple years ago Portnoy was implicated in alleging threats against SoulCycle and the reason was he had left his pregnant wife for an Instagram model and she ended up, that Instagram model allegedly slept with an instructor at SoulCycle.
So, I did a little bit of digging down that black hole on the internet, so I started following an alleged cycling instructor on Instagram. This is my contribution to this whole situation is an Instagram follow to some guy I do not even know and I don't cycle. I tried Soulcycling once and I threw up afterwards and never did it again. Never did spin again.
But I think that I just love what's happening because this world and this toxic universe of protection that Barstool and Portnoy live in will come crumbling down and my popcorn is ready and buttered and I'm ready to see that happen. If it's not this, if it's not the racism and the homophobia, the toxic misogyny, maybe it'll be labor relations. So, let's wait and see.
On to our next segment. Brenda, can you tell us a little bit about what you've aptly described as dumb as fuck MLS rules?
Brenda: Did I say that? If I didn't, I should've.
Jessica: It might've been me.
Brenda: It was brilliant.
Jessica: It was one of us.
Shireen: It's one of us.
Brenda: It's definitely dumb. So, there are new regulations that Major League Soccer has put into place to stop fans from coming to stadiums with messages that they describe as ‘political statements.’ There are also particular clubs who have taken on their own regulations. So, MLS has one and then certain clubs including the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, are clubs who go specifically after what's called the Iron Front symbol which is this sort of...
If you haven't seen it, it's a green flag with arrows pointing downward to the left side of any flag, right? It comes from the 1930s and it's an anti-Nazi symbol. This has provoked MLS to come out and, not just this, but some others as well, and there have been MAGA and Trump signs as well that have been in the stadiums.
So, MLS has decided that fans don't want to see this, that they're there to enjoy the game. MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said he's worked really hard to devise this policy, which is hilarious admission of how difficult it is for you to come up with something dumb as fuck.
But basically, he has said and I quote, this is what he told the Associated Press, "I think it was the belief of the league", you're the head of the league, dude, but, "I think it was the belief of the league and the clubs that fans at our games at our games to enjoy the game and there is no place for third party political organizations or groups to express their views. Their place is not within our stadiums." End of quote.
I just want to wrap it up, I guess, by saying to say that and have it be specifically against the Iron Front symbol which is anti-Nazism basically says that Nazism is a legitimate political position. It's basically like, you know what? If this is all political, then it's sort of legitimizing and normalizing the fact that that's a political position but I don't think most of us think that Nazism is actually a legitimate political position nor was it ever.
So, I think there's a really important point to be made there. I would like to say MLS decided not to discipline Philadelphia's Alejandro Bedoya who is a player who on the field during a game last week, took the microphone and said, "Congress, you have to do something to stop gun violence." He is Colombian and certainly was referencing also the fact that the El Paso shooter had Hispanics as the main target and they decided not to fine him.
The rules obviously already don't work and that's good because Bedoya shouldn't be fined for a very human reaction but neither should people fighting Nazism. I don't know, I guess I'll just intro it there.
Shireen: Yeah. Jess?
Jessica: I mean, it is laughable, right? The whole thing on some level and I don't know a lot about this, but I was wondering about, and Bren sort of hinted at this toward the end there, the diversity of the MLS crowd. I would assume that there are a fair amount of Latinx people who watch, that this is a group of people who never get to shed quote unquote "politics" when they walk into a soccer stadium.
This kind of thing always to me... As you just said Bren, the people who benefit the most from leaving politics out of it are always going to be white, cis, hetero men who just want a break from having to think about everything around them and they can and so, they don't think of their community as a political space whereas a lot of soccer fans show up to these games and their community is a political space and they do want to advocate against ICE.
Of course, we have to mention Alexi Lalas, one of our favorite deserved punching bags-
Shireen: Do we really have to?
Jessica: We do, because it's too easy, right? He's the worst and he tweeted... For everyone who doesn't know, he tweeted pictures from a recent... I don't know where he got them. Was it a recent MLS game? And they were mainly anti-ICE and he said, "Is this really what you guys want?" We were like, "Yes, that is what we want to see at soccer matches."
Then he followed it up by saying, "This is going to lead to possible violence and what will happen if a child is caught in the middle of it?" Which is just the wildest, talk about slippery slope, which means he should be out there advocating against alcohol at sporting events if this is really the reasoning behind it, but that's never the reasoning behind it. It's that Alexi Lalas has specific politics and he doesn't want to see things like this at his soccer games, right?
I think a lot of the time, that's the undercurrent of the decisions being made here. It's not actually about the things they say it is. It's really that they just don't like the politics.
Shireen: Well, I mean, just on that note, it's really ironic that suddenly Lalas cares about children because what ICE is doing is detaining and terrorizing children.
Shireen: If he really cared about the children... That's what I tweeted at him and I know it was just me wasting characters and brain space but I was so frustrated by that disingenuous…Does he even understand what he's saying or are only specific children worthy of this attention? It's such a gong show of privilege and idiocy.
Just this morning, I was CC'd that there was a supporter who was ejected from an LA Galaxy stadium for a banner reading “ANTI FASCIST ANTI RACIST ALWAYS SEATTLE” which is against league policy. MLS told him that quote, "The banner is not allowed per league policy because, and this is a specific quote, "We want both sides to be able to come and watch games without politics."
You can't do that. I'm sorry. Like Brenda talked about, the crowds, the players, you can't do it without politics and this idea that sports cannot be political is literally erasing the lived experiences of I don't know how many people. It's just those privileged can say that. Nobody else ever says that. I've never had somebody from a marginalized community say to me ‘I don't want politics with my sport.’ It doesn't happen. I think it's so irritating. Jess?
Jessica: I just wanted to mention too that MLS is the only professional league among the top five sports in the US that even has this, right? It's not as if they're even modeling it on someone else. I don't think they have this in Europe? They have made this out of thin air for themselves for, I imagine, again protecting their own politics and what makes them uncomfortable.
But if they're looking to other leagues, they allow it. They manage it. So, this idea that all of the sudden, children are going to be injured, it's like, where is anyone even coming from?
Brenda: I love just to hear that. The guttural sound of disgust.
Jessica: That's as articulate as I get about this, I think.
Brenda: Yeah, I mean I just want to add a small thing which is historically speaking, what I've found and maybe other people find different things but what I've found is that conservatives and people who define themselves as being on the right politically say that they don't have politics, that they have morals, and that people on the left are constantly agitating with their quote unquote "politics".
I find that at least in most of the cases that I've ever studied, that is a tool. That in itself is a tool to degrade the sort of human rights argument because it sort of says people who are on the left, they're trying to change things and they're agitating things with their politics whereas we, standard bearers of conservatism, are not doing politics, we're just doing morals. So, if it's gay marriage, right? It's-
Jessica: Yes. Sorry, that's as if politics is a debate and morals is a settled thing. As if being anti-Nazi or anti-fascist is a debate that's out there and like Shireen said, that we have to handle both sides of the debate equally. That alone reveals your politics.
Brenda: How is Nazism on that fucking spectrum? I think we just decided that was off the spectrum by 1944, right? We were all good with that, I thought. But evidently not, so who am I? Oh man.
Jessica: That's a good point, Bren.
Shireen: I am not a historian obviously and I always defer to Amira and Brenda on most things, but I think for me, this idea of let's hear two sides of the story, what Jess says, there's not two sides of the story. There's people with different lived experiences and their journeys and what not. But this idea that we have to hear everyone objectively is this farcical notion by gatekeepers and those that don't want to literally get involved in anti-oppression, so I find that extremely, extremely frustrating.
Just to note, back on the tweet that I was reading, it's actually by this fan named Shawn Wheeler and if any of you... I don't know who Shawn is, I follow him now on Twitter but if any of you are interested in getting involved in the movement, his Twitter account is very, very, very... Offers a lot of information on MLS and how to get involved in different anti-oppression movements as a fan in MLS.
So, the Twitter handle is @zag08. So, shout out to him and all the people organizing and mobilizing. I just really appreciate that and if you flamethrowers have any information or please free to email us or tweet us on how other flamethrowers can get involved in something in their spaces in different cities, whether it's NWSL, MLS, whatever around the world. Please, let us know and we'd be happy to amplify.
Another flamethrower that we're really happy to know and connect with is Eric Silva Brenneman who is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Eric is really involved as well and just wanted to shout him out and the work that he does. Again, if you actually have anybody that you want to amplify or share, please let us know and we'll be happy to do so.
Brenda, do you want to lead us into your interview with Britni?
Brenda: Yeah. I sat down with her to talk about a new piece she has at Longreads that looks back at the landscape of Iowa girls' basketball in the mid-century, mid 20th century and a very important court case where some basketball players tried to protect their right to play even when they were pregnant as teenagers.
I am so excited today to welcome to the show, Britni de la Cretaz who is a writer focusing on the intersection of sports and gender and a sports columnist at Longreads. We are really excited today because she has a brand new piece coming out, "Flagrant Foul: Benching Teen Moms Before Title IX" and that's coming out at Longreads. We are recording this before it comes out, so please check it out because it's already out if you're hearing this. Hi, Britni.
Britni: Hi, how are you?
Brenda: Doing well, thanks. So, this piece is a pretty in depth dive into an important court case, into the landscape of women's basketball in Iowa before Title IX. Can you give us a little bit of background as to the scene of Iowa, I guess high school girls' and women's basketball in the moment that you're writing?
Britni: Yeah. This story takes place in the early 1970s in Iowa and Iowa girls' basketball at that time was pretty much the best high school girls' athletic program in the country. Iowa was a really interesting state and this program, because before Title IX as we know, there weren't really girls' athletic programs most places in the country.
But in Iowa there was and girls' basketball and other athletic programs and sports were being played there and that was, in part, due to a man named E. Wayne Cooley. He headed up the Girls' Athletic Union and for him, he wanted his programs to be the best and to be better than the boys programs because he was running the union.
That was kind of the reason why, but as a result, he put a lot of time and resources into especially Iowa girls' basketball. What made it unique was at the time, they didn't play full court basketball. So, the game was six-on-six. There were three people at each end of the court from each team and they couldn't cross the center line. So, it was a different kind of game that was played at the time as well and it was incredibly popular.
Brenda: But what happens is that this case surrounds a particular woman's struggle to keep playing basketball after she gets pregnant. Can you talk a little bit about Jane Christfofer?
Britni: Yeah. Jane Christoffer Rubel, she played basketball at a little school called Ruthven and it was in Ruthven, Iowa and she was one of the highest scorers in the state her sophomore year. Really good player. She got pregnant during her junior year or right before her junior year when she was 17.
So, she married her boyfriend Ken and had her daughter and then decided she was going to try to play basketball again her senior year. She assumed that she could do that because the year she sat out, there was a boy on the boys basketball team who had gotten married and had a child and he played basketball. So, she never thought twice about it.
She went back to play and was told by the superintendent and the principal and her coach that actually, she could not play because the athletic union's rules forbid married women or mothers. The terminology was "women associated with marriage or women associated with motherhood", they were not allowed to play sports.
Brenda: One of the things that you describe pretty poignantly in the piece is how much basketball meant to them. We might just sort of say, "Well, maybe she should focus on her studies," or something like that but could you talk a little bit about what you found in terms of its meaning for these girls?
Britni: Yeah. I mean, there were scholarship opportunities available which was obviously a big deal, particularly for people who didn't necessarily have a lot of options in terms of the ability to go to college. That was one big thing. But for Jane in particular, she'd been playing basketball for as long as she could, she'd been playing sports her whole life, she was good at it.
She describes never wanting practice to be over, never wanting to leave the court, and also says that the game was something that just came really easily to her, was an escape for her from everything else, so she just really loved being on the basketball court. For that to be taken away from her was really, really upsetting.
Brenda: Yeah. Can you describe a little bit about the case?
Britni: Yeah. What I love about this story and part of the reason I wanted to dig into it is it started with this question of... I had read an interview that a woman named Michella Marino had done with Jane for her dissertation in 2011. That was sort of the first piece that I had in this before I got started and as I was reading and listening to this interview, what struck me about Jane is that she's not a feminist, she doesn't identify as really progressive in any way.
She, to this day, considers herself incredibly traditional. She also describes herself as non-confrontational. So, I started with this big question of what makes somebody who's non-confrontational, who's not raging about the patriarchy or angry about feminist stuff, what makes a person, when they're told, "Actually, the rules say that you can't play," instead of saying, "Okay, that sucks but I guess I can't play", what makes that person say, "No, that's not fair and I'm going to try to do something about it."
That was really where the story started for me and for Jane, what it came down to was that boy that got to play that year she sat out. For her, she didn't understand that her struggle was part of something bigger. She didn't understand that there was a larger oppressive system at play. For her, she really thought it was unfair. That was the word she used over and over again. It was not fair.
So, she decided that she was going to challenge it and she was really supported at her school even though Mr. Cooley who directed the Athletic Union felt very strongly that married girls, married women, mothers should not be on the basketball court, they belonged in the house, in the home. That was very important to him and that was a huge value of his.
Her coaches and the principal and the superintendent, these three men, really, really supported Jane not just because she was one of their best players but because they thought it was an outdated rule and they thought it was being unfairly applied. So, they helped her try to write letters to appeal the ruling, the rule itself before a lawsuit came about.
They first started writing letters to the union itself and the department of education maybe, a bunch of different letters to see if they could get this changed and it didn't happen. So, the season started in November and on November 1st, she found out that all of her attempts were exhausted and they weren't going to change the rule.
So, literally the next day, her lawyers filed suit in court saying that her civil rights had been violated and that lawsuit was one that they took on pro bono for her.
Brenda: In the end, she wins but doesn't receive any damages, right?
Britni: Correct. What happened was the judge initially issued a stay which... I'm not a lawyer. Issued a ruling that let Jane play until the final ruling was made. During that time, it was clear public opinion was on Jane's side, her town really rallied around her, there was newspaper articles and radio broadcasts and there was letters pouring in from all over the country.
Mr. Cooley was really upset that she had even been allowed to play. He called it a ‘health and safety issue’ in case she might be pregnant. Eventually, what happened is Mr. Cooley who had initially vowed to fight the lawsuit to the best of his ability and to the full extent, however long it went, I think he saw the writing on the wall and the board of directors for the athletic union saw the writing on the wall.
There was a very good chance that either they were going to lose or it'd be a long process with lots of appeals and they decided what was most important was the financial health of the union and the ability for the union to exist and they were worried that a lawsuit would financially wipe out the Girls' Athletic Union.
So, they decided to change the rule and allow Jane and therefore other married women and girls to play.
Brenda: Right, because Cooley never really changes heart on this, right?
Britni: He doesn't and he passed away in 2013, so it's hard to know if by that point, he had changed. It's hard to know if 50 years later, he might have said, "I believe now that married women and mothers should be playing basketball." He was asked about it a couple times in the years right after the lawsuit but there was nothing that I could find that revisited that case for him, interviews or anything in later years. So, I can't say for certain that in the year 2000, he would've still been saying that.
But he was sat atop the Girls' Athletic Union for about almost 50 years and towards the end of his tenure, he really, really struggled because he was unable to have his views progress with the culture and his ideas about girls and women were still really regressive. He also clung to six-on-six basketball for girls until... I mean, it wasn't until 1993 when Iowa high school girls started playing full court basketball.
The only state that played six-on-six longer was Oklahoma which was 1995. That was really the biggest battle of Mr. Cooley's entire tenure was six-on-six basketball. The female PE coaches almost waged a war against him. For years, he was told that it was discriminatory, it was sexist to not allow girls to play full court basketball.
He believed that women's and girls' physiological needs were different, their bodies weren't built for the full court game. He spoke about that, but ultimately, the public pressure that pushed six-on-six really to its death I think was the realization that Iowa girls were being hindered in their ability to get basketball scholarships because college basketball played the full court game and it's really hard to be recruited to play at such a high level like that, to recruit a player who has never played that game.
Brenda: So, Title IX had an inadvertent effect on that as well.
Britni: It did and Iowa and Title IX is such an interesting story because when Title IX was passed, Wayne Cooley did not think Iowa was going to be touched. He was like, "Especially if you just look at high school sports, we're good because look at all these girls that we have playing sports." And they did, they had a ton of girls playing sports, particularly compared to other states.
But Title IX is not just about the number of girls who are playing sports and that's what Mr. Cooley did not understand. Even his athletic union itself came under scrutiny because it was an all male board and an all male, girls athletic union running girls' sports. There was even a time when that was called out as, "Hey, also maybe this is a problem." And also the rules of six-on-six basketball.
So, Mr. Cooley was really blindsided when Title IX and what he called ‘the feminists’ came for Iowa and Iowa high school girls’ sports.
Brenda: Today, when we see Title IX coming under fire by the Trump administration and people like Betsy DeVos, why do you think a story like Jane’s, or what do you think it brings to those discussions?
Britni: I think it shows why the law was necessary in the first place. I think it's easy, particularly when we're removed from when and why it was passed, really why it needed to be passed. I also think it's a really good example of again how Title IX is not just about the number of girls playing sports or women playing sports. It's not just about the facilities they have available, that's really important too. It's about really the whole of the athletic experience and all of the ways that girls and women have been excluded from playing.
Jane's case was really impactful. There were several other girls who, once her victory came down, were then able to play. They'd been waiting to find out whether they'd be able to play and similarly, married women and girls hadn't been allowed to do other extracurricular activities like music when they were married.
Once married girls were allowed to play sports, they ended up being allowed to do all these other extracurriculars too because that was no longer enforceable. So, it had all of these ripple effects as well for who was allowed to be included in not just sports but extracurricular activities as a whole in Iowa high schools.
Brenda: Fascinating. Well, thank you so much, Britni for writing this piece and for being on Burn It All Down. Everyone go and read Flagrant Foul: Benching Teen Moms Before Title IX.
Shireen: Jessica, can we talk about the gong show that will be the Tokyo Olympics?
Jessica: Yeah, I mean, of course we can. We are now less than a year away from the next Olympics which will be the summer games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. They will start on July 24th of next year and finish on August 9th. We've talked repeatedly on the show about the issues around hosting mega events like the World Cup or the Olympics or even something smaller like the Super Bowl.
I also think if you haven't listened and this topic is of interest, you definitely should go back to Episode 115 from a month or so ago and listen to Lindsay's interview with Anne Orchier, an organizer with No Olympics LA. But in short, some of the main issues with mega events are over spending, the militarization of police which then become permanent in many ways once the games are over, and citizens being displaced by construction projects as well as negative environmental impacts.
So, for Tokyo specifically, I feel like always the easiest way in is the money. As of October of last year, the Games, which the city said would cost $7.3 billion when they did their bid to the IOC, they're now estimated by Japan's board of audit to cost $25 billion and the final number could be even higher.
80% of that is taxpayer money. Allegations of corruption also caused the Japanese Olympic Committee president to resign in March. I mean, I just feel like it's always so obvious but one thing I really wanted to talk about... There's multiple things we could talk about with Tokyo but one thing that has come up very recently is the impact of climate change and we could think of this in a really big way for sport in general.
But for the Olympics in particular and especially for next year, they're having a huge problem right now. They're doing test events in Tokyo and in the surrounding area to prepare and some of these are qualification events for athletes for next year. A lot of it is just to see whether or not everything is in place for things to run smoothly and they are not running smoothly because the heat has been extreme.
Over the last week or so, I guess end of July into early August, the Japan Times reported that 23 people died and more than 12,000 were hospitalized for heat related conditions in Japan because it's been up in the mid-90s. There's actually been reports that that death toll is higher, closer to 57 people died in that time period. One of them was a construction worker on Tokyo 2020 stuff.
It's also just caused huge problems at actual events. I'm just going to do the run down here. There was a beach volleyball test event in late July, you guys, these are real things- athletes sat in giant buckets of water as organizers sprayed the sand with hoses and four people needed medical attention! There was a rowing test event where three athletes were treated for apparent heat exhaustion.
The temperature at the rowing test event was recorded as 93 degrees Fahrenheit before 10:00 AM. There was a swimming marathon test event which just those two words together, but anyway, swimming marathon test event. There was a three time Olympic medalist, Oussama Mellouli from Tunisia, who said, "It was the warmest race I've ever done."
Then the triathlon. This is the one that's gotten a lot of press. Last week, the International Triathlon Union, they were doing the women's test event and at the end, they had to shorten the race from ten kilometers to five kilometers because of quote "extreme levels of heat". There was a 90 degree temperature plus the humidity.
They had added extra water stations, they had medical personnel every 500 meters, there was more air conditioned airs, there were massive ice baths, but still the water temperature before the event, this just blows my mind. It was 86 degrees (30 Celsius). The water that they were swimming in was 86 degrees and the threshold is 89 (31 Celsius). We're talking Fahrenheit of course.
So, when they changed it, the run was supposed to be ten kilometers at the end, they changed it to five kilometers, there were some delegations... Triathletes had shown up, these women thinking they were going to get to qualify for the Olympics but once they changed the distance, that ruined their qualification.
That wasn't true for all countries because different countries had different qualifying things but also, if you're running a triathlon and running is your event, the thing that you're great at and suddenly, they've cut it in half, you're not going to do as well.
All of that stuff is amazing and one thing that people are concerned about is the marathon. Obviously, I live with a marathon runner, I talk about that, so we're often talking about marathon stuff and one thing that Aaron has brought up to me is that he actually feels like the marathon should be a winter event now. That it's ridiculous that they run it in the summer because when Aaron runs a marathon, he wants it to be 40 degrees when he starts running.
They're not sure what they're going to do next year about the marathon. They've already moved it up to a 6:00 AM start which is incredibly early and they've said they're going to pave... Listen to this. This is wild. They're going to pave the marathon course with a head shielding material on the road and they're going to try to grow trees higher for more shade. That's the response.
So, you have this immediate impact of climate change. There was a New York Times article about this that pointed out that this year, France, Paris, which will be hosting the next summer Olympics after Tokyo, had its hottest summer on record. That part of it alone, we can go on, I have other things I can talk about as far as the planning around all of the stuff but I'm just so interested and fascinated and worried about what climate change will mean for these kind of sports moving forward, especially ones like the summer Olympics which are pretty much set as to when they take place.
Brenda: Holy crap.
Jessica: I know.
Brenda: Just reeling from all that information. Jess, you're such a good break-it-downer when it comes to this. Holy crap. I'm just taking it all in. I guess for me, the first place to start is always the permanent changes that happen. I always think about Brazil in 2014 and friends of the show like Chris Gaffney were there.
Once they expand that private... Most of the security forces and increase in police and security are private forces. So, the IOC and FIFA and bodies like that recommend to host countries that they don't increase their public forces, that they contract private forces so that they're less liable for when someone just happens to kill civilians and whatnot, which is just build into the plan.
There's this knowledge transfer that happened and I just guess what always gets me is that it's never rolled back. There's never a moment where that's going to be like, "Oh, you know what? We really need to make major cuts in our security forces." No government has ever said that anywhere.
Once it happens, it's permanent. Anyway, I don't know, I was just struck by that as you were describing it.
Shireen: Yeah, I think that one of the things too for me that I started reading about through the work of some really interesting people like Dr. Jules Boykoff and I know he and Dave Zirin have been working on stuff for a while, but talking about the militarization of Olympics and these games and even Brenda, to add on what you're saying, the idea that sports aren't politics really, it's hilarious when you look at all the proof that it certainly is.
Jessica and I have talked about being in France and walking around and seeing people with machine guns patrolling the grounds of the Eiffel Tower. Just this idea that these powers that be use this type of force not just to displace people from certain areas and usually marginalizing the power, but are literally having force.
We saw it at the London Olympics. It was even in Vancouver at the winter Olympics and we see it increasing. I mean, there's a rise against the 2028 Olympics in LA and I understand why. The militarization and the force and a lot of people don't realize this, but during the Olympics, much like during World Cup times, if there's any type of what's considered vandalism or violence, there's a court itself from those organizations.
FIFA has its own court of quote unquote "law" within that space. It's really scary, and while there's all this militarization happening there's very little, as much as there can be, trafficking of human rights abuses during that. We're not even talking about the leading up to the human rights abuses to create the stadiums, to create the places, what type of indentured servitude is being used to create those facilities.
We're not even touching on the environmental genocides that happen in some of these places. It's just really sickening to me and Jess, I know you had more stuff on militarization as well.
Jessica: Yeah, I second your point about Jules Boykoff and Dave Zirin. They've actually been co-writing a bunch of stuff and they were recently in Japan and they had a piece at the LA Times. In it, they wrote about the militarization and they wrote, quote: "In 2017, Japanese legislators rammed anti-terrorism legislation through the parliament, justified by the need to protect the Olympics. The legislation added hundreds of new crimes to the books including offenses such as sit-ins to oppose the construction of new apartment buildings."
They also brought up that at every Tokyo Olympic venue, in order to get in, you're going to be subjected to facial recognition systems. There was a piece in Deadspin where someone was recently in Japan and they were talking about how they have these robots, security robots all over the place now. You talk about permanent things that are going to go into place that will still be there when it is over, including literally laws, anti-terrorism laws. I mean, Japan is definitely heading that direction in the way that, as you all said, these sites always do.
I also wanted to bring up Fukushima which I find, again, talking about environmental and the way that host countries will use games to sort of blanket over things that they don't like. Just as a reminder, in 2011, Japan had that devastating earthquake that was off the east coast of the island that created a giant tsunami that killed over 20,000 people. There's still something like 2500 people missing.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station lost its core cooling capacity. There was severe damage to the reactor core. It was a level seven event which the International Nuclear Events scale, that's one to seven. It was the worst that it could be. And there were radioactive materials that were released into the environment.
The torch relay is going to begin in Fukushima and they're going to do softball and baseball games there, about 55 miles from the actual meltdown. Activists told Jules Boykoff and Dave Zirin in that same LA Times piece that, quote: "The Japanese government is using the Olympics to claim that everything is back to normal and that evacuees should go home."
Because people were massively displaced and so, a lot of people in Japan are really worried that the government is using the Olympics to force these people back to their homes which are still dangerous. I highly suggest you read, there's actually a second piece that Jules and Dave did for The Nation about Fukushima specifically and it's really hard to read it, but you should.
When they were there, they saw high levels of radiation, bags of radioactive topsoil that people without hazmat suits had scraped up and put into these bags. They talked to a woman who's on the Ōkuma Town Municipal Council who was warning about dangers in the are.
There's a part of me that's really nervous about being a spectator of this and watching and just my complicity and the very act of watching is going to be participating in this sort of cover up that could really be damaging to people who live there. I'm already thinking about it.
Shireen: I struggle a lot with the excitement, just coming off of a very successful World Cup, seeing the players who have qualified, like for example Kosovare Asllani has already tweeted about how Sweden's on its path to the Olympics and the players are excitedly talking about that journey. Then I'm sitting here reading what I've read and Jules Boykoff is a friend of the show and a friend and he's fantastic on this work.
He talked about it in the Olympics pre-Rio and during Rio, et cetera and I'm lucky enough to see him, having seen him present in person about this and it's absolutely harrowing. I think that I struggle with that too, Jess, in terms of, and Brenda I don't know if you feel similarly, trying to balance wanting to amplify women in sport and people who wouldn't always get that platform and then having this be the backdrop of it.
It's something that makes me knot up inside. I haven't learned how to deal with it and reconcile those two things. Bren.
Brenda: For me, that's a really similar question to how can you want support for women that are attached to FIFA while knowing it's a monstrous organization? Those things are the same or when we talk about problematic faves to me. There is a seriousness, there's a gravity to it that you and Jessica both detailed. So, it is really difficult but I think that you can take a lot of different tracks and I think Jules and Dave and Chris and the other people who are working on these types of issues, many more, also have several strategies.
You can work within the thing, you can work outside of the thing, and it's not necessarily one or the other, right? You can sort of work on all those fronts. I try to tell myself it's not an either/or situation. There's the immediate issue of wanting to amplify marginalized communities that are in that space and I can still work also on changing the larger structures too.
Shireen: That's really helpful. Thanks, Bren. On to our next segment, the burn pile. Brenda, can you take us through this amazingly awesome, awesome segment of the show?
Brenda: This week, there was just so much to burn and not to pull the curtain of Burn It All Down back too far but we do sort of choose among ourselves which things we're going to burn. Just to let people know, this week was like, here's an extra pile of flaming garbage.
It's one of those weeks. It's an extra burn pile week. I don't know, we have to call it something like that. A blue light special or whatever it is, we have to have a term for the weeks on Burn It All Down where we actually just say there's all this extra crap. This week, not to go in too hard on MLS but to absolutely go too hard on MLS, Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer this week told The Guardian that he thinks the idea of equal pay is quote "ridiculous".
Quote: "If they're watching for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that and 100 million for a women's final, that's a difference, so it's not the same. Of course, they have to be paid what they deserve and not less, just what they really deserve. If it's just as popular as the men, they will get it because the income in advertising will go into that, but it's not like that. So, why do they have to earn the same? I think it's ridiculous. I don't understand that." End of quote.
I don't understand why a mediocre manager is asked his opinion whatsoever is what I don't understand. I want to burn the fact that Frank de Boer is seen as someone who knows anything about any of those things just because at one time, he was fired from Ajax and he was an okay player. Okay? He's okay but now he's at Atlanta, okay?
The Atlanta United president, Darren Eales, responded to De Boer and said his quote "word choice", that is amazing, the very phrase of "word choice" that gets used all the time to defend white privileged men instead of his beliefs. Okay, his ‘word choice.’ What, secretly he would've chosen other words that would've hidden his misogyny? Was quote, "poor and misguided" and he attributed it to English not being his native language!
Shireen: Oh my god.
Jessica: Oh my gosh. None of them should talk.
Brenda: In no part of the interview does he seem challenged by the English language. He seems very clear. That's why I wanted to read you that whole quote. He's not stumbling for words, he's not reaching, he seems very clear. It's ridiculous, equal pay, and the market's going to work it out. Well, Mr. De Boer, the market is rigged by the people who benefit from it. It's not fair, it's not science, it's not objective. So, you are bad, you have been bad, your word choice is more than poor, it reflects your poor thinking and I want to burn it all down. Burn.
Shireen: Burn. So, my burn is very much... I was struggling between talking about Caster Semenya not feeling supported by women because that just made my heart hurt. I also got a really awesome, awesome email from flamethrower Penny Ackerman and Penny wrote requesting that we burn metaphorically the prime minister of Australia who spoke out against an inclusion policy for trans cricket players.
There's so much to burn, so I agree with Brenda about having an extra pile of not kindling but an extra pile of all these things that we can just take and then throw on. But what I'm really going to burn is something that happened a couple weeks ago to a 12-year-old squash player named Fatima Abdelrahman and she is on the Junior National Squash team of the United States.
She was traveling for a tournament, first time traveling by herself, and she was traveling with her coaches and teammates. Now, Fatima is 12 and she recently decided to start wearing a hijab. But in her passport photo, it doesn't have her wearing that scarf so Air Canada employees at San Francisco Airport asked her very aggressively to remove her hijab because they wanted to check her identity.
This is after she passed through security already. This was before getting on the plane at a gate and they didn't provide her a place to do it securely and she asked them, "I feel like I'm out in the open," and one of the staffers was like, "No, no, no, there's nobody here. Just take it off." This is a 12-year-old.
I'm a bit concerned, were her coaches were not advocating for her? I have a lot of questions, I'm very upset by this and this happened earlier in the month. This was in the beginning of August. I just saw that and it made me really angry because to put a child in this position and children don't have to update their passports often. I think it's every five years, I believe.
During that time, if a child or a young woman wants to take off her hijab or put it back on, why is this an issue? She was completely singled out. This was a racialized targeting of somebody. She's also 12 years old. Air Canada does not have the training to have to be able to deal with this, they did not offer her a safe space within she could do this.
There were men there as well and I think she spoke up as much as she could for herself but she does say, her sister did an interview and said that she was scared and then she just wanted to get on the plane quickly and was pushed into doing what she wanted to. That type of coercion is dangerous and it's violent and Air Canada, this was somebody going on their first tournament in that way, traveling alone.
I don't know how she did and I hope she did okay, but it mars the experience for players of marginalized communities to have to do this and I hope she does really well in her career, hope she stays with squash. I'm sure she's amazing. But Air Canada, burning it all down.
Jessica: Brenda's totally right. I had a different thing that I originally picked out which was about two female triathletes who held hands crossing the finish line and then were disqualified for doing so, but it's fitting that I was going to do that because I first saw that on Deadspin because I read that site all the time and actually that's my burn pile for this week.
It's no secret that journalism as a field is struggling financially and has been for awhile. I'm sad about that as a journalist but also as a citizen of the world and this week as a sports fan who likes to laugh at sports but also think critically about them because in a Friday afternoon news dump, current Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell announced on Twitter that she's leaving the site and moving on.
Then almost immediately, The Daily Beast released a piece in which Greenwell, bless her heart, spoke briefly but openly about her problems with the new management of the site's parent company, G/O Media, that now owns Deadspin which as you probably know, used to be a part of the Gawker network before that was brought down by a defamation case brought by Hulk Hogan and paid for by rich, conservative Silicon Valley venture capitalist asshole Peter Thiel.
G/O Media is owned by a private equity firm and there's lots of these private equity firms buying up media groups. It's called Great Hill and it oversees not just Deadspin but also Jezebel, Splinter, Jalopnik, The Onion and Clickhole, and The Root among others.
Greenwell told The Daily Beast, quote: "I have been repeatedly undermined, lied to, and gaslit in my job by management," which includes the CEO Jim Spanfeller. Spanfeller had recently sent the entire staff an email in which he criticized Greenwell and reporter Laura Wagner for a piece that was coming out about problems with G/O Media, which kudos to them for reporting on the place that they work.
Greenwell did publish the piece despite Spanfeller's worries. Greenwell also told The Daily Beast that G/O leadership refused to guarantee editorial independence for Deadspin and asked for the site to... Asked for Deadspin to, quote "stick to sports". Greenwell said, quote, "That is not something I feel I can ethically do," so she's leaving.
I think the most brutal piece of the Daily Beast article though was the kicker and I'm just going to read it to you. Quote: "Deadspin was nominated for its first national magazine award earlier this year and according to Comscore data, it reached 11 million unique visitors in June, a record for the site."
Let me be clear. Deadspin used to be trash and I hated it for a good while. But over the last four years or so, it's cleaned up and become a place I want to publish. I deeply respect the work of Diana Moskovitz and Laura Wagner and so many of the people there. I will read anything Albert Burneko writes. It's often very brave, very funny, and very good work.
Dan and I, when we needed a home for our years long reported piece about Baylor, we took it to Deadspin, to Diana and to Megan because we trusted them with that work. Thank God there's a union which can protect the workers at G/O in some capacities. I'm not sure though who gets to decide who the next editor-in-chief of Deadspin will be and ultimately who will determine the future direction of the site.
I'm worried for where Deadspin is headed and what we all will lose if or perhaps when their sharp critical voice is lost in sports media. Today, I just want to burn this whole thing and whatever the fuck G/O management is doing over there. So, burn.
Shireen: After all that necessary burning, it's time to amplify some incredible, awesome, awesome women. Our honorable mentions for badass women of the week are Rowan County, North Carolina little league who won the Little League Softball World Series. This is their second win in four years. Congratulations to you.
We want to give out a shout, good luck to all the women participating in the inaugural Aurora games this week. The games are a, quote "multi sport, multicultural, multi day event showcasing the best in women's sports, entertainment and culture and was created as a platform for women to take center stage", unquote. They start Tuesday, August 20th and run through Sunday, August 25th. To hear more about them, we just did a hot take that dropped with Jessica interviewing ice hockey coach Digit Murphy. Please do check that out, it was an awesome interview.
I also want to mention Maddy Freking, the first little girl in the little league baseball world series since Monique Davis and she has just been so powerful. Shout out to the 43 members of Sweden's women's national hockey team who announced this week that they are boycotting their upcoming training camp and five nations tournament because the Swedish Hockey Association's failure to provide adequate support and financial compensation.
Once again, Simone Biles, who last weekend won her sixth US All-Round title. Golfer Gabi Ruffels who won the US women's amateur last weekend, becoming the first Australian to ever do so.
Davina Smith, a Navajo woman who is running 330 miles over the course of two weeks from Bear's Ears National Monument to Salt Lake City with a medicine bundle that includes dozens of plant species that grow around Bear's Ears. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, she's doing this to raise awareness about how the federal government has shrunk the size of Bear's Ears and to, quote "foster alliances between people advocating on behalf of various issues across the state from land, air, and water protections to education, healthcare, and affordable housing."
Also want to mention Amanda Chidester of the Chicago Bandits in the national pro fast pitch, who was unanimously chosen as Park Planet Player of the Year and also won the Offensive Player of the Year award and the Home Run award.
USSSA Pride’s Jolene Henderson, who won her second consecutive Diamond Sports Pitch of the Year award and USSSA pride third baseman, Jessie Warren, won the Rawlings Golden Glove award. Abby Cheek of the Chicago Bandits won Rookie of the Year award. Sammy Marshall of the Cleveland Commons took home the Stolen Base award for stealing 22 bases. Absolutely phenomenal this year.
Outfielder Victoria Hayward of the Canadian Wild of southern Illinois was named the 2019 recipient of the Jennie Finch award and the Chicago Bandits coaching staff that includes Lauren Lappin and Amber Flores won the NPF Coaching Staff of the Year. Woo!
Can I please, please get a drum roll? Amazing. That was so good. Our badass woman of the week is Canadian and Mississauga native, Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian teenage tennis player who won the Rogers Cup, also known as the Canadian Open. She defeated Serena Williams in the final when Serena had to retire due to back spasms.
The two shared a moment after Serena's early retirement in the match during which Serena cried in frustration and Andreescu went over, hugged her and told her she understood and reminded Serena that she is a quote "fucking beast" unquote and then they hugged. It was a really, really beautiful moment. Congratulations, Bianca.
Moving on to what's good. Brenda, what's good?
Brenda: I can do it. I can be optimistic. All right, I love this segment. It really keeps me grateful. Nashville's coming up-
Brenda: And people are starting to ask if we're going to do some social event and that makes me really happy. That's really, really good. I am taking the kids to New Hampshire and Vermont and going canoeing next week, so that's going to be super good because I love canoeing. If people don't know, I have a giant canoe tattooed on my arm. So, if you didn't know I love canoes, you would be constantly reminded if you were around me. It is my happy place.
I'm doing that and let's see. I feel like there's... Ooh! I went to go see drag comedy last night at the Spiegeltent at Bard College and I sat next to Parker Posey.
Jessica: What?! That's pretty cool.
Shireen: Very cool.
Brenda: It was very, very, very good. I know, I know. I felt like she should've introduced herself or something because I felt like she should've just sensed my fangirling but I kept it in check and focused on the performance and didn't just look at Parker Posey. But I do have to tell you, she's stunning and it was really exciting.
Shireen: That's amazing. That is really amazing. As I mentioned, I'm in Prince Edward Island and my favorite place in the entire world, eating a lot of ice cream. I'm here with my kids, we drove across eastern Canada. Absolutely love that drive. I've been off the show for a couple weeks. I had some big things happening. I moved with my children and I'm really excited about that. It went very well.
I also actually checked off something on my bucket list. I don't know, I took over the Burn It All Down Instagram for this moment but I watched Serena Williams live at the Canadian Open. She played against Belgian Elise Mertens and I was completely shaking with excitement. I'd never see live tennis before. It was stunning and as somebody who's not super into tennis as much as I am women's ice hockey or football, it was such an incredible privilege to watch her as my first match.
But also, I attended the pride night at the Canadian Open with Shelby Weldon who does our social media and it was really, really wonderful to go. I saw some flamethrowers there. Hi, Mel! And was just really, really excited. I also ate a salad and chips which I now know are not good tennis viewing foods and that was a lesson I had to learn through experience.
Just watching the power of her serve and the returns was just extraordinary. Sean Paul was in the audience because it was Caribana in Toronto and he was there. I don't know how he found out I was there, but he probably came just to get a glimpse of me. Love me some Sean Paul. So, that's been very good for me.
I'm very happy. Like I said, I'm in Prince Edward Island. My vacation's coming to an end. I did go to a corn boil last night which, if you're from the maritimes or Atlantic, you know what a corn boil is. Just really, really grateful to be back at Burn It All Down. I missed my crew. So, Jess, tell me what's good with you.
Jessica: Well, in case anyone thinks that I have my life together, if I've tricked you into believing that, what's good in my world is that a year and a half ago, I started painting my living room and then I stopped. For a year and a half, you can see in the right light, because it's two shades of white kind of thing but you can see exactly where I stopped painting. For a year and a half, I was going to paint that room. Finally, this weekend, I got it together.
So, it's all taped right now. Everything is taped, so today I can paint it and I'm really excited to finish this project that I stopped in the middle of a year and a half ago.
I am also reading two different books that I am in love with. One is Jia Tolentino's "Trick Mirror". I just love her writing, it's fun to read it and she's so insightful. I've been really enjoying that and then on my romance novels, I'm always reading romance novels, Alisha Rai has a new book. I deeply love her. I also very much like her as a person. She's a friend of mine and she has a new book called "Right Swipe" and it's brilliant.
Then the last thing I wanted to mention is GLOW, the show on Netflix about the gorgeous ladies of wrestling. It's in season three and it is wonderful. I love the characters so much. These women are so amazing, the diversity of the cast, I mean, we've made it through six episodes and the sixth episode wrecked me in all the right ways, all the good ways. I love GLOW. Season two was phenomenal-
Brenda: I binge watched that whole thing. I binge watching that. I'm not giving anything away but I'm just echoing and endorsing that from you.
Jessica: Yes. Go watch that. There's this amazing scene where Alison Brie... I don't know how to say this right unless you've seen it but Alison Brie is topless in this scene but it's about female friendship and it's a topless showgirl scene but it's so sweet and charming and not sexual and about female friendship. I don't know. There's just something so smart about how they do all those things and I just appreciate the hell out of it.
Shireen: Thank you for joining us this week on Burn It All Down. Although we are done for now, you can always burn all day and all night with our fabulous array of merchandise including mugs, pillows, tees, hoodies, bags, and what better way to continue to crush toxic patriarchy in sports and sports media by getting someone you love and care about a pillow with our logo on it?
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