Episode 43: Winter Olympics Wrap-Up, Afghanistan Women’s Team, and The NCAA’s Horrible Policy
Brenda, Shireen, Jessica and Lindsay dig into the joys and losses of the Olympics and revel in some of the majesty of and dramas of sport.
Shireen interviews the brilliant Kelly Lindsey and the indomitable Khalida Popal of the Afghan Women’s National Football team and we hear how they hustle – all over the world – to strengthen their team.
The crew talks NCAA and the horrors and injustices committed by an organization that should protect and advocate for student athletes.
The BIAD Team rightly burns what needs to be burned, give props to incredible women, and share what’s good.
Intro (6:08) the Olympics (19:11) Shireen interviews Kelly Lindsey and Khalida Popalof the Afghan Women’s National Football team (33:38) the NCAA (45:45) Burn Pile (55:34) Bad Ass Woman of the Week (57:53) What’s Good (1:02:49) Outro
For links and a transcript…
“USA women’s hockey had their biggest win before the puck even dropped in Pyeongchang” https://thinkprogress.org/womens-hockey-biggest-win-2f277a3e39f2/
“Team USA’s Women’s Hockey Gold Was The Most Electrifying Moment Of The Olympics” https://deadspin.com/team-usas-womens-hockey-gold-was-the-most-electrifying-1823220929
“Olympics Draws 16.4M Total Viewers, Lowest Weeknight Result Of 2018” http://deadline.com/2018/02/hockey-gold-olympics-ratings-hit-near-low-pyeongchang-nbc-1202299380/
“Rules are rules: After shunning silver, Jocelyne Larocque ordered to wear medal” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/rules-trump-emotion-as-canadian-womens-hockey-player-ordered-to-wear-silver-medal/article38062105/
“Exclusive: Federal documents detail sweeping potential NCAA violations involving high-profile players, schools” https://sports.yahoo.com/exclusive-federal-documents-detail-sweeping-potential-ncaa-violations-involving-high-profile-players-schools-103338484.html
“Who Gives A Shit?” https://deadspin.com/who-gives-a-shit-1823260537
“Take it from a former Division I athlete: College sports are like Jim Crow” http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-college-sports-20180111-story.html
“Exclusive: Inside the Corrosive Workplace Culture of the Dallas Mavericks” https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/20/dallas-mavericks-sexual-misconduct-investigation-mark-cuban-response
“Grandma: Rae Carruth Won’t Get Custody Of Son Whose Mother He Had Murdered ” https://deadspin.com/grandma-rae-carruth-wont-get-custody-of-son-whose-moth-1823147107
“American Women Just Won Their First-Ever Cross Country Medal” https://deadspin.com/american-women-win-their-first-ever-cross-country-medal-1823183938
“Lindsey Vonn In Tearful Post-Race Interview: “I Wish I Could Keep Going…My Body Probably Can’t Take Another Four Years”” https://screengrabber.deadspin.com/lindsey-vonn-in-tearful-post-race-interview-i-wish-i-1823178962
“How Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir beat France” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43133439
“Now It Can Be Told: Barbara Stevens Has 1,000 Victories to Her Name” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/sports/ncaabasketball/barbara-stevens-bentley.html
“Ledecka Completes Historic Double with Gold in Women’s Parallel Gian Slalom” https://www.olympic.org/news/ledecka-creates-history-with-gold-in-women-s-parallel-giant-slalom
Brenda: Welcome to this week’s episode of Burn It All Down. It may not be the feminist sports podcast, but it’s the feminist sports podcast you need. On this week’s episode, we have the brilliant Shireen Ahmed, freelance sportswriter in Toronto, Canada. Jessica Luther, independent writer, general slayer, and author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape in Austin, Texas, and the whip-smart Lindsay Gibbs, wordsmith at Think Progress in DC. And I’m Brenda Elsey, associate professor of history at Hofstra University.
I want to take this time to remind our flamethrowers about our Patreon campaign. You can pledge a certain amount monthly and in exchange for your monthly contribution, you can get access to extra segments of the podcast, a monthly newsletter, and opportunity to even throw one of your own awful things in sports on the burn pile. We send our deepest appreciation to those that have already contributed.
On this week’s show, we’re gonna talk about the how the 2018 Winter Olympics are going. Perhaps even about the Canadian curling crisis. Shireen will interview Afghanistan’s National Team coach, Kelly Lindsey, then we’ll switch gears to discuss the scam that is college athletics not paying its players. Of course, the burn pile, the worst in sports, we’ll have that and we’ll celebrate some badass women who are changing the world.
So before we get started, I want to ask about this … how do I say it? I think Shireen you had a word for her?
Shireen: The half assed pipe skier?
Brenda: Yes. The half assed halfpipe skier? That’s a thing. Have you guys been following her and her escapades?
Jessica: I mean, I’ve watched the video of her like 400 times if that’s what you mean by following?
Brenda: So what’s your hot take on that Jess?
Jessica: My crying laughing tears would be my hot take on that. It’s such a thing to watch, so for anyone who hasn’t seen Elizabeth Swaney. That’s her name, right? She does the halfpipe on skis and it’s kind of like, she goes up and comes back. It’s just very basic, is the word I would use. It’s very basic and the best part is if you find the video, the commentators take her really, really seriously. Bless their hearts. They take her really seriously and that just makes it all seem more surreal.
Brenda: So what are they saying, because I haven’t watched that much of it. What are they saying? “And here she goes back down.”
Jessica: “Her skill set is limited.” Things like that. My favorite is at the very end, she does her final little swoop up and on her way down, flips backwards, and then skis the little bit backwards. He’s like, “Oh, showing her full range of skills.” It’s really … something both … it’s surreal, but also sweet in a way. She just … her entire story is so strange.
Lindsay: Okay, so I was reading this Yahoo piece on here and they did a really … It was actually really interesting. They did a very sincere interview with her and talk about her and it turns out that she is just the most earnest person in the world. She’s not this jerk that’s trying to … just this rich jerk. She’s just this super earnest person who has always dreamed of being in the Olympics and just kind of made it happen in her own way. It was kind of a sweet article. I came away from it feeling a lot of love for her and I did not feel that beforehand, because she just really didn’t see everyone laughing at her. Or it didn’t bother her. She just wanted to ski in the Olympics and this is how she made it happen. She worked like four jobs in order to do this.
Jessica: We can still laugh.
Brenda: I think it’s really interesting and I think it’s earnest that Lindsay read a whole interview and an article on it.
Lindsay: I did. I did. I did.
Brenda: Shireen, you want to jump in?
Shireen: Yeah, the thing is … my opinion is two-fold. One, she’s completely my Olympic dreams alive. If she can actually do that, I’m not that bad of a skier, considering. So she’s making me think I can go do the Olympics, which I completely can’t. But the other split side, and Lindsay, I didn’t read the article you’re talking about, but I do want to, is the idea of when we talk about what it takes to get there, a lot of it is money. She is actually a rich kid who has the facility and resource to make it there, when there’s other people that are completely struggling. So I can’t shake that. I’m sure she’s earnest and she’s probably lovely, and she probably so passionate about skiing. But I can’t help but be a little bit jaded about the whole thing because of the stories we hear of the athletes that struggle day in and day out to actually make it there. And it’s almost like she waltzed in.
Lindsay: But she didn’t.
Shireen: Backwards to the Olympics.
Lindsay: She raised all this money and worked all these small jobs to raise all this money to go and travel to these competitions. I’m not saying … she might have come from a place of privilege and I’m sure she comes from a place of much more privilege than a lot people, but I’ve read stories about rich people basically just buying their way into the Olympics, and that did not … This didn’t seem like that, exactly. This seemed a little bit different. Although, I want to be clear, we can still all laugh at it.
Jessica: Well, yeah it’s silly, and I just want to add, to her credit, I could never ski as well as she does. So I just want to leave that out there.
Brenda: Well, that’s a perfect segue to our first segment. The Olympics in PyeongChang have trained through another week, chugging along, and brought all kinds of fascinating stories. Shireen, do you want to give this a highlight?
Shireen: Yeah, I initially thought about coming into this and came in with a lot of sweat and sort of, smack talk, about my hockey team. It’s not a mea culpa. It’s not exactly me eating humble pie.
Jessica: It’s a little bit. [crosstalk 00:06:35] It’s not that? Maybe just-
Shireen: First of all, you three are lovely. You are lovely and would never have me subjugated to any type of national shame, even though we also lost in Men’s Curling and what the fuck? I will deal with my identity crisis later, but just revel in the fact that we have strict gun control and universal healthcare. Yes, I went there. The thing is the closing ceremonies are actually recorded Sunday morning and they’re happening right now. Or they’ve just finished. Jessie Diggins, American golden girl, surprise gold medalist, was the flag bearer. Kim Boutin from Canada is three time medalist, is the flag bearer. I think it’s very exciting. Every loves this parade of nations and the closing ceremonies it’s a little more casual. The end of the Olympics saw Norway completely slaying with 39 medals over all. Germany with 31. Canada with 29 and then US, six behind Canada, with 23.
I think it’s just been really incredible. There’s been a lot of joy. Just quickly, Kim Boutin, the Canadian flag bearer. She was not selected as that, because she kind of went through a bit of a drama when she won the bronze beating out a South Korean speed skater. She was actually given death threats because she won. So her joy was short lived. They took the threats quite seriously. So just as a support-
Jessica: Why was she given death threats?
Shireen: Because she beat out a South Korean athlete. [crosstalk 00:08:05] And what happened was angry fans felt that there was something called quote, unquote interfering and it wasn’t judged properly and that she shouldn’t have got that. Although her race, it went over review. It was clean. She won medals in two other events, competitions. She’s fine, but it really rattled her, obviously. Because you’re there. You’re giving your heart out and then this happens, especially with the home crowd. And that’s not what you want. Most Olympians talk about the love they feel from the crowds that are there. That was really unsettling. So I think it was a wonderful gesture that she was given the opportunity to be the flag bearer.
Then we could do a whole episode on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. We just love them. The ice dancers. They did a piece to The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, Canada’s beloved national poet who passed away last year. They did a piece to Long Time Running, one of his most famous songs. And that … everybody just cried. The whole country just cried.
Jessica: That was in the gala at the end.
Shireen: That was in the gala. It wasn’t for judging. It was just literally just a showcase. It was beautiful. It was very, very personal for the country and sort of a nod. Another thing that I think everybody loves and we’ve talked about this, is the South Korean curling team that scored silver. They call themselves Team Kim, because every player on the team, the women’s team, the South Korean team, their last name is Kim. So they call it Team Kim. There’s this beautiful, beautiful quote that I got from their coach, Peter Gallant, who is a Canadian and has been working with the team. He said, “Two years ago, this team didn’t believe they were good enough to win a game, and this week they believed they were the best in the world.” That … I’m like tearing up.
Brenda: Me too.
Shireen: It’s just these beautiful, beautiful athletes are coming and it’s not a big sport in South Korea. In fact, one of my favorite things about the Olympics is watching the world falling in love with curling and nobody thinking I’m absolutely off my rocker for loving this sport. And it’s riveting. It’s really a riveting sport. And seeing folks and I really hope this continues, this love for curling continues, and goes on and people support their teams locally and nationally.
Lindsay: Well, the United States is a curling country now. So we’re all good, cause we won the gold. Beat Canada.
Shireen: You did.
Lindsay: It’s now our national sport. So that’s good.
Shireen: Yeah, absolutely and I think that’s really important, particularly the way that it was done. Even the players themselves were extremely … The American men were elated. They couldn’t believe that they knocked Canada out. And Canada couldn’t believe they were knocked out. But just the fact that the humility from those players was really important and I think that’s something that can really touch us. I’m absolutely going to talk about the women’s hockey game. It was unbelievable the amount of players in Canada, alone. The stats were 3.7 million were watching. And keep in mind, this game started at 11:10PM at night, Eastern Standard Time.
Lindsay: Yes it did. Yes it did.
Shireen: And it did and it went into shootouts, which is the first that … We’d never seen in a hockey final, which the IHF has said that will now be implemented. It won’t go into extra time, like they do in the NHL and Stanley Cup playoffs. It will come down … and there’s a lot of debate about this whether putting the medal, the gold medal, on a series of breakaways is actually fair. But I think Shannon Szabados, who is the Canadian goalie who was actually given the title for goalie for the entire tournament, it showcases their skill too. It’s part of the game. That’s the reality. I can’t say I wasn’t heartbroken. I think I was more upset about Canada losing than I was about my divorce, but that’s okay, because this is our game. This is our thing and it’s part of the process.
I keep reading stories about the Canadian women’s reactions as well, and how this is their Stanley Cup and this gets back to talking about women’s hockey in general. The NWHL, CWHL, the women don’t have … The Olympic final is really their culmination and it’s only once every four years, so this is a really big deal. Jocelyne Larocque, there was this big thing about her removing the silver medal for which she later issued a statement and apologized. She took it off after she was given the medal and there was a big fuss about that. I have my own opinions, but that’s just a summary. I absolutely have to give props to the Americans. Usually you quietly and hustled and really, really came up front and following in the footsteps of the superior Canada in many ways has been beneficial for you.
Brenda: You can still talk to trash. That’s something so amazing about you.
Lindsay: Shireen has found a way to still-
Brenda: You’re amazing. I love you so much and even more that you just will not concede anything to the US.
Shireen: We got two gold medals back to back. Don’t come at me, okay?
Lindsay: You guys, we were supposed to talk about this earlier this week and Shireen literally sent us a message: “Not talking about this.” And I was like you’re not getting away with this, this easily.
Shireen: The American woman … I actually said to a friend of mine here, David Rudin, who’s a dedicated listener, I said to him, “I’m very nervous,” when Canada beats US in the pool play, I said, “This isn’t good.” And I was nervous then because American women’s hockey is incredible. They are tenacious. Lindsay, your piece was amazing about them and their fight pay equity and recognition and support. You don’t do that. I was nervous going into the final, because I said they will be motivated so much.
Lindsay: Well, the thing is, I mean, the US team has beaten Canada in seven of the last ten world championships. It had just been at the Olympics that they hadn’t been able to get past Canada again. It seemed every Olympics Canada got the best of them. So I think it was important for many reasons for the US to win this. I think it helps their rivalry on a bigger stage, for both teams, and I think it just fuels the fire more. It was an incredible game. The physicality. The intensity. There were so many shots, so many moments I was holding my breath. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s goal in the shootout that ended up clinching it, was one of the most beautiful hockey shootout goals I’ve ever seen. It was gorgeous. Stunning. I just want to … I want to figure out how to frame a GIF of it. I don’t know how to do that, but if somebody could tell me, that would be wonderful. It was so incredible.
You know, like Shireen mentioned, this US team a year ago, almost exactly a year ago, decided they were going to boycott the World Championships which were being held in the United States, because they were only receiving $6,000 every four years. $6,000 every four years for playing on the national team. They had been trying to get USA Hockey to give them a better contract for basically since 1998, since they won their first gold medal in the Olympics, and until this year, their last. The boycott was so impressive. They made sure that every single person up and down the USA pipeline was in on this. The USA Hockey ended up calling scabs. We’re talking high schoolers in some cases, elite level high schoolers, college players. People who would never have a chance to play in the World Championships and every single one of them said no, I am not crossing this picket line, because they believed that securing this contract was what was needed for the future of USA Hockey. They finally ended up reaching a contract two days before the World Championships began. Up to this point, USA Hockey … the women had not even gone to the training camp. They were standing firm for their boycott now.
At this point now, they’re making $70,000 a year plus bonuses for Olympic medals and things of the like. They’re getting training stipends. There’s funds now devoted completely to developing and marketing the girl’s and women’s hockey game. They also have travel accommodations that are on par with our men’s team. In other words, they are allowed to bring a guest. USA Hockey comps a guest for them for travel, for when they travel to competitions, which they did not before. If the men are traveling in first class, the women have to travel first class, and that’s just the rule from now on and that’s incredible. It was really meaningful to see them come together for that, and then to see them be able to earn this gold medal that I know they all wanted so bad.
If you talk to any member of that team, they said since Sochi, because they blew a lead in Sochi in the gold medal game. Most of them said they replayed that every single day for the past four years. Every night before they went to bed, they thought about that game.
Brenda: No, baggage there.
Shireen: I think, just to go back to what Lindsay was saying about calling up the high schoolers, I remember that because I was so … The amount of solidarity the hockey players, at every level, were showing the national team was incredible for me. It was really profound and at a level even beyond US Women’s Soccer, when that happened with them, their struggle for pay equity. Because women’s hockey in Canada is not as popular as soccer is. Sorry, in the United States, not in Canada, so I think that was really significant that the younger girls, the high school girls, college girls, were like we’re not gonna go up. We’re gonna stand for our heroes and for our sheroes. And the whole thing … I love women’s hockey.
Brenda: I do too. Jess?
Jessica: Yeah, I just wanted to add really quickly that this is a really good example of what happens when a media, like an NBC, puts their force behind women’s sport. Like from the jump of the Olympics, they said that this was the rivalry. This was the rivalry of the Olympics, USA and Canada in women’s hockey. People cared about it because … I mean, people already cared, but it does matter when the media gets behind it and uses their hype to make it even bigger. It was really exciting to see how many people cared so deeply about this game. And then the women showed up and they were, on both sides, just spectacular. As a fan of women’s sport, all of that was just really, really fun to see.
Shireen: Just one last thing as we’re talking about this, I just really want to encourage our listeners out there. Go support the CWHL. Go support the NWHL. This type of brilliant hockey doesn’t only occur every four years. It happens every year at the World Championships. It happens in your local leagues. Like, support … and if you don’t live close to a team, in the United States or Canada, you can still support them financially. Can support them on social media. These are some of the most brilliant athletes in the world and they’re here. So let’s please, please, please, the takeaway is please support women’s hockey.
Brenda: Shireen, do you want to intro your interview?
Shireen: Yes, thanks. I had a really great time talking to Kelly Lindsey, who’s actually a retired US National Soccer player and she is currently coaching, the US, sorry, the Afghan Women’s National Soccer team.
Today I’m so excited to have Kelly Lindsey, former US Women’s National Soccer team player who is now coaching the Afghan Women’s National Football team. She’s right now in Chicago and also I have on the line from Copenhagen, Khalida Popal, who is an activist, a footballer, and a student. She has dedicated her life to elevating the game and elevating the beautiful women’s game, and being a supporter and advocate for women in Afghanistan. So thank you both for being on Burn It All Down.
Kelly Lindsey: Thank you so much for having us.
Khalida Popal: Thank you.
Shireen: Just before we started this conversation, the two of you were so excited to know that you’d be on the line with each other. There’s this friendship, and sisterhood, and camaraderie. Can you tell me how that came? ‘Cause like Kelly, where did you come from and how did you get involved with Afghan Women’s Football? Can you just give us a little bit of background on how that happened?
Kelly: I don’t even really know. No, I actually met a few of the players over the years working for the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. The last academy I worked at in 2015 I believe, I met Hajar, who is the current captain of the Afghan Women’s National team. After hearing the story of team and how it was created, and where they were at, and the challenges and the drama and the lack of support, all I wanted to do was help support the team in some way. I wasn’t sure exactly how, and I quickly moved to Hong Kong after I met her and I noticed the team went on a trip to Japan. So my first thought was, “Well, I don’t know that I could really help them being in the US, but now that I’m living in Asia, maybe I can bring them to Hong Kong and provide a safe place for them to train.” Provide them a different point of view from a coaching or sports leadership. Just support the team in whatever way them and the federation wanted.
So I reached out to the federation and started the conversation of just trying to host a camp for them. Fundraising for them. Paying for the camp, and taking care of them when they came to Hong Kong. About a year later, Khalida came into my life. Gave me a call, said, “I heard you’re trying to help the team.” We hit it off right away when I heard her story. We just sort of decided it was time to do something serious for this team. We discussed a lot of options and she asked me if I’d be willing to step in and coach and lead; and we started this crazy journey, where we started traveling the world trying to find players and building camps and fundraising, and it’s lead us to where we are today.
Shireen: So Khalida, I’ve read, in fact it was my friend Stephanie Yang did a beautiful piece about you for Unusual Efforts, which we will link to the show, and just your story about how much you love football. You were, you are a refugee to Denmark and how much that football was an inherent part in your life. And you are now using your platform to talk about gender equality in sport in Afghanistan. What was it like for you to find that Kelly was going this work? What was that moment like for you?
Khalida: Well, as Kelly said to me, I just explained before, how actually we contacted. When I left Afghanistan, I was the captain and also the leader of women’s football community, but then things change in my life. I had to leave my country. Then I skipped to Denmark and seeked asylum. I was away for almost one year from all activities that was with Afghan Women’s National Team and Afghan Women’s Football, so the team almost died. The team didn’t have almost no activities. So my former players in Afghanistan requested me to help them coordinate some of the programs. We started planning and then I was actually searching for a strong team to build the national team from scratch. To have a strong national team, new strong national team, with a mix of players coming from Afghanistan and outside Afghanistan, because I wanted to give an opportunity for the women who lived outside of Afghanistan who are immigrants and refugees. Myself, who actually had a lot of dreams, still have a lot of dreams to do something for their country, to give them opportunity to give back to their country.
So I was searching for a strong team who could help me to build this. I hear about Kelly and then I was searching for her contact, but then I found it. I didn’t know, really, a lot about her because she wasn’t social media queen. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I was searching for her. I was like, “Man, how I can find her?” Because she’s not active in social media. She doesn’t have any account there. So finally I found her and we had talk and I said to her, like I really want you to join the team and this is how actually the situation. We don’t have money. We don’t have support. We have almost nothing, but are you willing to join and help us?
Of course, I was not expecting that she would say yes, because I said, “Oh my God, we have a lot of challenge.” We actually don’t have any team, like the team was totally de-active. We were searching for players. We were searching for staff. We were searching for money. We didn’t have anything. When she said yes, I was like, “No, man. It’s a dream come true.” From then there we start together. We started campaigns. We started recruiting the players. Everything actually changed. It was very fast. We managed to have a great team. Of course, there is a lot of challenges. I’m still so surprised at how … I know how it is for a coach to coach a team that there is so much drama. So much problems. So much like … I mean, no support from their country, from their federations, from even most of women. Most of women from Afghanistan, we don’t talk about men. But even the women are against … So there’s a lot of challenges, but I’m really, really happy and I feel so proud that I could manage to find this great people who wants to volunteer or work for my country, for the women in my country.
That they want to empower those women. To help them … dreams come true. This is so amazing, that I’m really proud to have them, especially Kelly. She is a role model for me and I really admire her work and her leadership. Since we know each other, I have learned a lot.
Shireen: That’s really important. There’s two things I wanted to ask, and you’re talking about, and I think it’s really important that you do say it’s not just sort of men that are preventative sometimes. Very often, rather, women are actually objecting to this in whatever way. The fact that you’re out there and you’re still continuing to do it despite threats, despite situations in Afghanistan, that you’re still pushing and encouraging other young women to get involved. I think this is incredible.
But also on the comment about federations aren’t supportive, I think this is a really important point you’re making. Afghanistan is not the only federation in the world where the federation is actually not helping the women at all. In fact, it happens so often. But just very recently, the team was invited to Jordan to play, so do you find unlikely support in places? I mean, the games were … the team didn’t win, but that exposure and that opportunity to play at that level is really important. Have you found a lot of support like that? Either one of you, either Kelly or Khalida, you can answer this.
Kelly: I think that, if I can start, I think that’s the beautiful game of football, because really how it all got developed was below the federation. It was … I’ve know Mike for many years. We connected when he went to Jordan. We talked about his journey of being there. We’ve talked about my journey of being with Afghanistan. We’ve compared. How do you build these teams? How do you build these countries? We really took the year of 2017 as a relationship building year. I didn’t have that many contacts across Asia and the Middle East. Most of my contacts were in Europe and the Americas, so it took a little bit of time to start connecting, but all of our camps, that are gonna happen this year, are really from coaches who reached out to each other and said, “We gotta help each other out.” And then we went back to our federations and we worked out the details.
I give the Jordan Federation a lot of credit. They’ve really stepped up. They’re really trying to do something different for women’s football. They also have a long way to go, but you gotta start somewhere. The fact that their president set up a U-17 World Cup, the Asia qualifications. These are huge events in their country that will start to change the foundation of women’s football there and start to show people that there’s hope. There’s belief. There’s a country that’s supporting git. So whether or not the federations fully support us all, I think that’s what really beautiful about our story right now, is the coaches and the people on the ground saying let’s make this happen. Let’s just find a way to make it happen together and help each other out. I give AFC a lot of credit. I give the Japan Football Association a lot of credit. They hosted a women’s coaching course last year, where I met a lot of contacts, and that’s how we kind of spread the word. Football breaks all barriers, and all languages, and we all want to help the women. It just takes people getting on the ground and doing the dirty work.
Shireen: So just on that note, you’ve both talked about challenges at different levels. Societal, federal. What about the technical stuff? I’m a footballer, too. So Kelly, you know Khalida was obviously captain and is more skilled. What was that like to take the variation of different skill level and bring it up to that level? What’s that like? Particularly when the players are not actually in one place. I read this really great article on BBC, which we’ll also link to the show notes, talking about how you sent packages and training instructional videos so that everyone is on point, technically with game IQ and stuff. That must be an impossible task as a coach, to manage those different levels of skill. How do you do that?
Kelly: A lot of work behind the scenes and a lot of patience. I give our girls, actually, a lot of credit for that because they have to do the work on their end. No matter what we send them, they have to go out and do it. I think the one thing that I really noticed from this group of women, it’s always changing. The girls that come through camp are always a little bit different. We don’t have just a core team that is always there, because they’re all in completely different parts of their life. Different countries, different areas, so it’s hard to always get the timing perfect with school, or with other competitions, or with family affairs, whatever the case might be. But what I’ve really seen, especially in Kabul in Afghanistan, is the girls who come into camp, they see what training should be like at the international level. I think they can admit, and we would be very honest, that yeah, their technical ability is not there. But the only way to get it there is to teach them, and show them, and break the game down, so that they can go back and practice it.
So I give our entire team credit that they’re patient. They’re understanding. We can say there’s two or three distinct levels of play, but we all gotta figure it out together. The fact that they go back to Kabul and they train on their own and they bring the next group that comes in are at a little bit higher technical level, a little bit higher technical level gives me a lot of hope.
Shireen: Khalida, for you, just too as we wrap up the interview, what would be your message to young girls all over the world? Not just in Afghanistan, because you’re a role model for so many different reasons. What’s your advice to them if they want to pursue football?
Khalida: The first thing I would say is that we have to support each other. Women have to start supporting each other. If women don’t push each other up and support each other, we will never be successful in our lives, in our career, in nothing. We have to help each other. We have to be united as women to fight for our goal, to stand together for women’s rights. In order to play football, playing football is a game. It’s a united game. It’s a group game. You have to be mentally united, physically together to achieve the goal. So being united is the first thing the girls have to learn. They should support each other and not stand against each, because at the end of the day, nobody will be the winner.
Shireen: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Kelly, Khalida, for coming on Burn It All Down. Your story is amazing and we wish you all the best. If there’s anything we can do to support and amplify. Where can we find more information about your project? Your initiative and the team?
Khalida: I will send you the link for our website, so you can actually follow there. Thank you so much for interviewing us.
Shireen: No problem, it was a pleasure. I would … A dream of mine would be to come and watch you play and to kick the ball around and you both can teach me some stuff. That would be amazing. I mean, you both are just phenomenal. Much love and respect to the entire team.
Kelly: You are welcome any time to come join us.
Shireen: Thanks so much, ladies.
Brenda: For our next segment, we’d like to do a little discussion on NCAA violations and paying players or not paying players. Jess, you want to start us off?
Jessica: I’m here to blow your minds. Did you all know that top basketball programs pay money under the table to some of their players? It’s hard to believe. I know, I know. So I’m gonna back up a little bit. In September, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, laid out findings from an FBI investigation that uncovered mass corruption, bribery, and wire fraud in some of college basketball’s top programs. The investigation includes wire taps, surveillance video, undercover agents, and cooperating witnesses. Federal agents executed search warrants at the offices of ASM Sports, which represents 30 current NBA players. That led to the arrest of four assistant coaches from Auburn, Oklahoma State, Arizona, and USC, all accused of taking bribes from Christian Dawkins, a former recruiter at ASM. I mention Dawkins specifically because he’s important to this. Also arrested was James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for Adidas.
The scheme, if you want to call it that, was that the high school basketball players would go to the colleges sponsored by Adidas; they’d sign with Dawkins, who would get a lot of money when they joined the NBA; and then those players would ink a sponsorship deal with Adidas when they went pro. This is why they’re doing all this. Okay, so that leads us to last week when Yahoo published a report based on documents and bank records obtained in discovery during the federal investigation. These include the expenditures of prominent former NBA agent, Andy Miller, his associate Dawkins, and the agency ASM sports. The list of schools implicated is simply too long to read off here, but it includes Alabama, Duke, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, North Carolina, Seton Hall, Texas, USC, and Washington. Whew.
So I’ll just say at this point, it’s really hard for me to care about this because we’re supposed to get upset, I guess, over stuff like Dennis Smith who played at NC State getting $43,500. Or that Markelle Fultz, who played at Washington and was last year’s number one draft pick, got $10,000. Former Wichita State player Fred Van Vleet received at least $1,000, and current Texas player Eric Davis got a whopping, hold on to your hats, $1,500 apparently. ESPN has separately reported that Sean Miller, the head coach at Arizona who makes over $2 million a year, discussed with Dawkins of ASM Sports, paying $100,000 to freshman Deandre Ayton in order to get Ayton to commit to playing at Arizona.
Who cares? I mean, the NCAA, a nonprofit organization, generates about-
Lindsay: That was a funny joke.
Jessica: Ha, ha, ha.
Lindsay: A nonprofit organization.
Jessica: It generates about one billion, with a B, as in boy, in revenue annually. Right? Most of that money comes from television and marketing rights during the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. They make nearly $800 million and then they get ticket sales from various NCAA championships. Just over $123 million that way. Mark Emmert, the president of the NCAA, who makes nearly $2 million in salary annually, gave Yahoo a statement that read in part, quote, “These allegations, if true, point to systemic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”
Oh my gosh. So that’s where we are now. Next month is March Madness, my hope is that this ends amateurism for good. I think the NCAA is going to have to choose, really, between fining and punishing a whole host of top teams and coaches, or finally relinquishing some of its bags of gold to the players it has been making money off of this whole time. But really, is it too much to hope that the NCAA is destroyed all together by this? What are you guys thinking at this point?
Brenda: I’m grossed out, as always. I feel dirty and I need a shower just hearing that kind of hypocrisy. I mean, think about the kids looking at their coaches and what their coaches make.
Jessica: Yeah, I know.
Brenda: Part of it is the inflation of these top programs salaries too, because you see the revenue that’s being generated and then it’s thrown in their face in a very real way. How would you on Earth expect these kids not to be able, or not to want to have some of that? It’s just shocking to me, and I don’t understand why it can’t be like work study. We have students all the time making money while they’re in school, you know? So I don’t understand why they can’t fall under that category, except that the NCAA has no other real purpose than scamming student athletes.
Jessica: Right, yeah. Part of reading the Yahoo report when I saw it and I opened it and I started reading down, there’s literally bullet points in there of these examples. When I got to the ones that were … There’s a point when they’re said … because Dawkins has an expenditure report or something like that. It’s like, “Took $400 out the ATM for so and so’s mom,” and I was like, “Really?” We’re upset about this? This is the thing, the $400 ATM expenditure versus the millions, almost billion dollars they’re making off the backs of these kids.
As I’ve said before on this program, there’s really good evidence that a lot of these guys aren’t even getting very good educations out of this. We’ve talked about UNC before and all of their academic scandal and the way that these schools set up sham degrees, basically, for these guys. They don’t even care enough about them to teach them at these schools. And now we’re supposed to get upset that they want a tiny piece of the gigantic money pie? Oh God, it just breaks my heart that this is how it is and that it works. That people actually get upset that these players are getting paid at all.
Shireen: Jess, I have a question.
Brenda: Go ahead, Shireen. Sorry.
Shireen: Sorry, I have a question just about where did the endorsements come into play? Are companies, Adidas, Under Armour or whatever, are they allowed to actually have college athletes be sponsored? Are they allowed to amp their products? Because those teams get a lot of free gear, depending on who sponsors them. What’s the line there? I mean, I don’t know.
Jessica: I think it has to do, Lindsay might be able to answer this too, but I think it has to deal with the school can have endorsements, but the individual players cannot. So part of this whole thing is that the idea is that Adidas is getting these kids to agree that one day, if and when they go pro, at that point, they’ll sign on with Adidas. But the schools themselves, their departments are actually sponsored by Adidas. We see this all the time. I think it’s Michigan might be sponsored by Nike and they recently agreed to … Michigan agreed to hand over the bio date of their players to Nike because of this deal where Nike’s gonna pay this school $160 million or something like that. I think the school gets endorsements.
Shireen: But the kids get nothing, right? The kids get nothing.
Jessica: They get an education and they get some swag. Yeah, I don’t know how much beyond that.
Brenda: It’s just a contract with the university. They can’t get direct payment from those places, for sure. Linds, did you want to add here?
Lindsay: Yeah, one of the stats of the many stats, of the many stats that are ridiculous in this, but this really proves what a fraud this whole thing is. Sean Miller, who’s a coach at Arizona, who they found, FBI wiretaps apparently found him offering $100,000 to a player … Is he gonna still have a job? He didn’t coach the game last night. There’s all this drama, because he’s a very profile coach. But then, an ESPN report came out that if Sean Miller is fired, he actually gets more for getting fire with cause, than without cause. So if he’s fired with cause-
Jessica: Oh my gosh. [crosstalk 00:41:47]
Lindsay: Be owed $5 million more than if he was fired without cause. Just let that settle in. So this guy could make double if he gets fired for breaking these rules that are ridiculous anyways. Meanwhile, these athletes still get nothing.
Brenda: And it’s amazing because now the US taxpayers are not only bankrolling some of the largest salaries in each state, but they’re also funding FBI investigations. Literally, the public is being asked to do all of this incredible work for these private companies to maintain this veneer of amateurism.
I just want to pause a little bit on that bio data that Jess was talking about. That is disgusting. What? Can you explain a little bit more?
Jessica: What’s not disgusting here?
Brenda: No, it’s all disgusting, but the bio data seems like a new disgusting.
Shireen: But aren’t there rules about confidentiality in terms of when they work with doctors and stuff like this? I can’t even believe this is legal.
Jessica: Yeah, so it’s complicated right now and it’s not clear how it’s going to work out, but yeah, there was a New York Times report in 2016 and as part of that … I’m just gonna quote the New York Times. Nike paid Michigan $170 million dollars, and it says, quote, “A clause in the contract could in the future allow Nike to harvest personal data from Michigan athletes through the use of wearable technology like heart rate monitors, GPS trackers, and other devices that long myriad biological activities.”
I’ll say, this is a complicated thing. Athletes really like to know a lot of this stuff. It helps them be better athletes, but the idea that they’re gonna hand over this kind of information to Nike for all this money. Again, these young men aren’t getting anything out of this. It could impact, you know, your draft prospects. What if those guys get a handle on your data and decide it’s a reason you shouldn’t be drafted, or something like that. Who knows? It’s just a very slippery slope. One that makes me very nervous. So yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah, I just want to make sure we don’t forget to mention how racist this all is, in that-
Jessica: [crosstalk 00:43:55] Yeah, thank you.
Lindsay: If these weren’t primarily black men and in some cases women, for the women’s sports, which are involved in this, though not as extremely, but we wouldn’t be having this argument. We wouldn’t having this, this would have been fixed a long time ago. Shaun King actually reported for The Intercept this week. He looked into one of the amateurism cases, legal cases where the NCAA is defending amateurism, and found out that one of the reasons … One of the statutes that they are using in their case law to argue why it’s okay to not pay athletes, is parts of the 13th Amendment, which allows unpaid prison labor.
So it’s a bit convoluted and I will link The Intercept article because the exact legal-ese here is a stretch, but it just if there’s anything that kind of really stresses how much this is another form of exploitation of black bodies, that it is in plain writing.
Jessica: And they know it. Right?
Jessica: They’re well aware.
Lindsay: They’re well aware. Yes.
Brenda: Yeah, there was a wonderful Reddit by Victoria Jackson in the Los Angeles Times that said NCAA sports are the new Jim Crow. And she had this great quote, I think it would be perfect to end on where she says, “Non-revenue athletes are mostly white, while revenue sport athletes are disproportionally black. This college sports system contributes to the undervaluing of black lives in American society and our institutions. The predominantly white privilege of playing college sports while earning a quality degree, comes at the expense of, is literally paid for by the educationally unequal experiences of mostly black football and basketball players.”
So this is the segment where we throw everything we’ve hated this week about sports, patriarchy, and racism on the burn pile. Lindsay, do you want to start us off?
Lindsay: I would love to. So this burn pile item actually comes courtesy of reporting from our very own Jessica who teamed up with the great Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated for an investigation into the culture of harassment and sexual misconduct by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks employees. It’s important to note that this is not the players or the coaches. These are employees within the front office of the organization, which is where this harassment is said to have happened. There is a lot to unpack here and you should definitely read the entire investigation because I can’t do it justice in a minute, but the main takeaway is that the former president of the Mavs, he … multiple current and former female Mavs employees have said that he harassed them, among other things in conversations. He told one of these employees that she was going to, quote, “Going to get gang banged that weekend,” just in casual conversation he said that.
One other woman, other women, excuse me. Not one other woman. Other multiple women have accused this former CEO of repeatedly and inappropriately touching them and propositioning them for sex. One of those women said she reported this to HR countless times. There’s also the case of Earl Sneed, who became a full time beat reporter for Mavs.com. So he was covering the team for their own website, which is a weird arrangement, but not an uncommon one in professional sports. During the 2010-2011 season, Sneed was involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend that’s extremely disturbing. He threatened her. Fractured her wrist. Bruised her arms. The police were called and he please guilty to misdemeanor charges. He kept his job after all of this. Then in 2014, Sneed hit a coworker who he was dating. That woman told HR and her supervisor, but once again, he still kept his job. He wasn’t fired until Monday, right when this report came out.
So there’s a lot to talk about here and you know, I think we probably will get into this more later on in this show as more reporting comes out. Thank you so much, Jessica, for bringing this to light. But first of all, this is just another example when people ask why don’t more women work in sports? Or just suck it up? Or just speak up when something bad happens to you, then nothing bad will happen to you. This is yet another case that proves why women don’t feel safe in these environments. Why we don’t feel safe speaking up and why this is just a culture that continuously puts women down and lifts up these men under the guise of masculinity and athletics and money and power. It’s gross. The NBA is launching an internal investigation. They seem to be setting up hotlines to deal with things like this in the future. I think we have reason to believe that the NBA might make significant steps here, although we always should be hesitant to really believe in any of these organizations.
But this is gross. We need to burn down cultures like this and men who continuously not only harass female employees, but men and women who cover up for them. Burn.
Brenda: Burn. That’s amazing work, Jessica. We’re all so proud of you and impressed. Shireen, what do you want to burn?
Shireen: My burn is in related to actually my interview with Kelly Lindsey, it’s about something that the Afghan National Women’s Team experienced while they were playing a series of frenziedly matches in Jordan. Jordan invited the Afghan women’s team to go and play, which I think is really important, because it gives them some exposure. The women on this time, we’ll find out in the interview more, as you’ve heard, live all over the place. They live … they’re from the Afghan Diaspora and they’re all over the place, so they don’t actually get to train regularly as you would think. Now my problem with what happened was that they played and one of the reasons I love the visual, the optics of them playing, is because some choose to wear a scarf, many don’t. Some wear shorts. Some wear tights underneath their shorts. Some wear pants. But the idea, for me that is so critical particularly around Muslim women’s bodies, is that they choose themselves. I’m a firm proponent of women choosing what they wear. Whatever what’s safe for them.
Choice for me is optimal, even within the spiritual context. Now the thing is that the president of the Afghan Football Association came out and actually made a statement that he was embarrassed that some of the women on the Jordanian team did cover. Not all of them do, fully. Not all of them do. Some do, but then the Afghan women, they didn’t. That really bothered me, because the issue wasn’t about them and it shouldn’t be about that. You all know my position about what men say about what women wear. There’s no place for it. It shouldn’t be an issue. That’s actually my perspective on this.
It was really problematic and I mean, this is the president of the football federation saying this. I don’t think it’s okay, so I’m really angry about that. I don’t ever want … I want me who are listening to understand that the best time for you to talk about women wear is actually never. So that’s important along sports line, along societal lines, especially when this is a team that’s in the margins. These are players in the margins. I just have no time for it and I’ll be happy to say that. Muslim men come at me. Just no. I’m gonna burn it.
Brenda: Burn. Jess?
Jessica: Yeah, so low hanging fruit here this week, but I want to throw Rae Carruth on to the burn pile. So Carruth, for those that don’t know, he’s a former Carolina Panther who was convicted in 2001 of ordering a hit on the mother of his son. Her name was Cherica Adams and she was seven months pregnant at the time. Carruth didn’t want the child born. He didn’t want to have to pay child support for him. Adams died, but her son did not. Chancellor Adams, now 18, was hurt in utero by the trauma on his mother’s body and has cerebral palsy. His grandmother, Saundra Adams, has raised him.
Later this year, in October, Carruth is scheduled to be released from prison. He has recently sent a 15 page letter to a local Charlotte TV station. It was an open letter to Saundra Adams. He sent it to the media because Adams never responds to him. He then called the station and said to them over the phone, quote, “I feel like if I did it in the open it would put an end to the lies. If I say publicly, Miss Adams, I apologize. Miss Adams, I take responsibility for what happened, then she could no longer get on television and do an interview and say Rae has never apologized to me.” He seems nice.
Anyway, in the letter Carruth wrote, quote, “I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son. Miss Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back. I feel like he might not ever have his mother in his life, but he could still have me and I could still make a difference. I don’t think that’s anyone’s responsibility when I’m still here.” He does thank Adams for caring for his son and he takes responsibility for it all. According to WB-TV, the station, Adams is open to Carruth and Chancellor having a relationship. But my God, it’s very hard not to see Carruth going to the media as a move to force Adams hand. As him trying to control the situation in whatever way he can. As an attempt at a yet unearned public redemption. Who can blame Adams for the radio silence? It’s not her job to ease Carruth’s way back into this child’s life. Everything about the situation is horrible, except for Chancellor Adams, who by all accounts has lived a very happy 18 years so far because of his grandmother’s love and care.
Until Carruth proves through action that he has changed, I’m going to, as Brenda says, metaphorically toss him on the burn pile. Burn.
Lindsay: Burn. Torch.
Brenda: So my burn pile this week is Ann Coulter. She’s a horrible person anyhow, quite honestly. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for her to end up on our burn pile. It might actually speak to her real insignificance. After Lindsey Vonn, who we love, failed to medal in the Super G, the right wing fact contorter and racist trolled her. Coulter said, “Well, you won’t have to worry now about your visit to the White House, because you won’t medal.” And right wing media site … and this refers to Lindsey Vonn trying very elegantly actually, to separate herself and her trying to … I don’t know, distance herself from the Trump administration, in some elegant way and still represent US people.
So right wing media sites glommed onto to this and have actively celebrate Vonn’s injuries, wished upon her death, and all other types of terrible things. They’ve now said because of this tweet and this happening that the Trump curse is real. That celebrities and athletes that defy Donald Trump will pay the price. And I agree that the Trump curse is real. This is where we dovetail. We’re all subject now to people who feel validated that climate change isn’t and that immigrants are a bad thing and whatever racist thing they want to spew.
So Lindsey Vonn did medal. It’s a bronze medal, and it may not be what she’s hoping for, but it’s one more medal than Ann Coulter will ever have. So I would like to burn Ann’s comments and metaphorically burn her all together.
Brenda: Moving on, let’s celebrate some wonderfully badass women who have accomplished things this week. Honorable mentions go to Jessie Diggins, who came from behind to win the first … America’s first ever gold medal in Women’s Cross Country Skiing. Yeah. Also Tessa Virtue the gold medalist from Canada in pairs Ice Dancing. Shireen, I’d like to hear a reaction please.
Shireen: I love them.
Brenda: I just want to get a woo-hoo. Other Olympic feats include Ester Ledecká, the first athlete to win events in both alpine skiing and snowboarding at the same Olympic Winter Games.
Brenda: That is so amazing.
Brenda: This week is chock full of great people. Coach Barbara Stevens of Bentley University, a long time Division II basketball champion, well, good competitive program, became the fifth women’s college coach to win 1,000 career games this week. And Melissa Harville-Lebron who became the first African-American woman to win, to own a NASCAR team. Oh, and one more thing. Marit Bjørgen, for her fifteen Winter Olympics in the 30km Cross Country event. It really just goes to the point of Jessica that these Olympics have been a women’s, amazing women-
Brenda: Amazing women’s Olympics. Sorry, Jess, what?
Jessica: I just said 15! 15!
Brenda: 15! And Ann Coulter doesn’t have one. Oh my gosh.
Shireen: Yeah, but Ann Coulter is the world champion many times over in absolute racist bitchiness, so.
Brenda: That’s such a big competition. She’s really fought off evil people. All right, let’s drum roll for the final winner. The winner goes to friend of the show Stacey May Fowles.
Brenda: Welcome to the word sweet Georgia. Stacey May Fowles is our friend and writer extraordinaire who can make anybody love baseball who doesn’t already. She gave the world a new human being and we’re in awe. We wish the family all kinds of love and happiness.
Shireen: And baseball.
Jessica: We love you Stacey.
Brenda: I’m not keeping that one in. Just kidding. What’s good? What’s good? So in the dark times that is the curse that hangs over us can please talk about some things keeping us happy and upbeat? Lindsay?
Lindsay: Yeah, it’s been a good week for my coworkers. If you don’t know, I work at ThinkProgress, which is a newsroom that primarily reports on politics and then I’m their one sportsperson, so I was removed from this work. But at the beginning of the week, our investigative reporters reported on a list of companies that did business with the NRA by offering discounts to their company. So they looked through taxes and websites … They did their whole investigative reporting thing and found all these companies. They just reported on it, but then the media and our readers started to really get really mobilized from this and started calling all these companies and tweeting at these companies. By the end of the week, more than two thirds of those companies have now split ties with the NRA. So it’s just been really exciting to see … I love my coworkers and I’m honestly only saying this to see if any of them are actually listened to this podcast, because this is a test.
But I will say, I work with a lot of people who work really, really, really hard and a lot weeks it can seem to me, I know, that nobody is reading or paying attention or listening, so it was an exciting week to see a lot of my coworkers to get the credit they deserve. I think it was a reminder to all of us here reporting that, you know, keep it up. Keep going. Keep going. And also I’m happy, honestly, that the Olympics are over so that I can get caught up on The Bachelor now in the evenings and you know, maybe see a friend every now and then.
Brenda: All your demands. Jessica?
Jessica: Yeah, so this week I want to talk about Kara Swisher. I have a total crush on her. She’s a tech reporter. She’s been doing it for decades and she’s the co-founder of Recode. She has these two podcasts I really like. Recode Decode and Too Embarrassed To Ask. The reason that I really love her is the way that she interviews people. It’s like she has no time for people’s bullshit, and so she’ll be interviewing these top people in tech and she’ll be like, “The product that you make is terrible for human beings mental health. Why do you work on this terrible thing?” And that’s literally how she will ask the question and then laugh.
They come on her show because she’s such a big deal and she just doesn’t … I just love listening to her and how much she just doesn’t care about all the shit that people say. All the PR speak, and all that stuff. She’ll just cut right through it and I just love, I love listening to it and it always makes me very happy, so Kara Swisher is my what’s good this week.
Shireen: I am prepping to do … have a busy week ahead of me. I’m doing a talk at the Department of Justice downtown on March 1st, pre-International Women’s Day stuff, so I’m excited about that. Just talking to a new audience of bureaucrats about life as a woman of color in sports media. And then I am off to the UK on Saturday, where I’ll be going-
Brenda: Oh, wow.
Shireen: I’m doing a panel, hosted, hosted … moderated by Michelle Moore and with women in football and I’m really excited about that. It’s a great organization in the UK and they’re advocates of the women’s game. Then I will be off to Manchester for a conference on women’s football called Up Front On Side. This is actually how Brenda and I met.
Shireen: And how we, so I’m sort of sad Brenda’s not gonna be there. She’s not able to come, but I’m looking forward to that and I’m going to be presenting on moving forward towards the Women’s World Cup in France. And talking about politics and hijab and women’s bodies, and I’m really excited about that. I haven’t been to England in 35 years. I have some family there. I’m gonna meet some amazing friends there. My friend [Sirtach Sococoglou 01:01:50] who is, she’s one of the first people to encourage me in this field. She has finished her PhD at Cambridge. I’m gonna meet her. One of my best friends of the LSE. I’m really excited. I tend to eat a lot. I’m gonna meet my friend [Ravathar 01:02:06] and just sort of collaborate and bring all my friends to this women in football event. So I’m really excited. A lot of really good energy, so I’m so excited about that. I’m going to miss my babies for a week, but they’ll survive.
Brenda: Oh, I’m gonna miss that conference too and all the wonderful people that are involved with it. But while you guys are doing that in Manchester, I will be off the pod and attending the Estudiantes de la Plata game in Argentina, to see the women take on El Porvenir. So I’m in Argentina in part to teach a doctoral class at the Universidad Nacional, but I’m also there to do research on amateur women’s soccer in the 1950s and 60s. So I will be there in spirit for sure.
Okay, that’s it for this week’s episode. Burn It All Down lives on SoundCloud, but can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Tune In. We appreciate your reviews and feedback, so please subscribe and rate to let us know what we did and how we can improve. You can also find us on Facebook @burnitalldown, or Twitter @burnitalldownpod, or on Instagram @burnitalldownpod. There’s a theme there. You can email us at email@example.com and check out website www.burnitalldownpod.com where you’ll find previous episodes, transcripts, and link to our Patreon.
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On behalf of Jessica, Lindsay, and Shireen, have a great week!