Episode 52: The NFL Draft, and the IAAF’s racist and sexist regulations
The whole gang’s together this week! Amira, Shireen, Lindsay, Brenda, and Jessica talk about the NFL draft (some of the good, some of the bad). Then Brenda interviews fellow flamethrower, anthropologist, and bioethicist Katrina Karkazis about the International Association of Athletics Federations’s new, terrible regulations for female athletes with naturally higher testosterone levels. Then the gang responds to the interview and has a discussion about all that is wrong with these racist, sexist rules.
As always, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, Bad Ass Women of the Week, and what’s good in our worlds.
Intro (1:37) FIFA vs. Trump (4:08) NFL Draft (17:36) Brenda interviews Katrina Karkazis (34:40) our discussion of the IAAF’s new regulations (47:15) Burn Pile (58:50) Bad Ass Woman of the Week (1:00:41) What’s Good (1:05:21) Outro
For links and a transcript…
“FIFA refers to ethics rules after Trump tweets on US World Cup bid” http://thehill.com/policy/international/385224-fifa-refers-to-ethics-rules-after-trump-tweets-in-support-of-world-cup
“Here Are Your 2018 First-Round NFL Draft Picks” https://deadspin.com/here-are-your-2018-first-round-nfl-draft-picks-1825588221
“Marcus Davenport had to learn to see his own enormous potential” https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2018/03/27/marcus-davenport-nfl-draft-2018-texas-san-antonio/463376002/
“Is the criticism of QB Lamar Jackson rooted in racism?” https://theundefeated.com/features/is-the-criticism-of-qb-lamar-jackson-rooted-in-racism/
“As NFL draft approaches, excuses won’t cut it for QB Josh Allen and those racist tweets” https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/columnist/bell/2018/04/26/nfl-draft-approaches-excuses-wont-cut-qb-josh-allen-racist-tweets/555146002/
“Mike Hughes telling teams about sexual assault accusation at North Carolina” http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/04/20/mike-hughes-telling-teams-about-sexual-assault-accusation-at-north-carolina/
“One-Handed Linebacker Shaquem Griffin Drafted By The Seahawks, Who Employ His Twin Brother” https://deadspin.com/one-handed-linebacker-shaquem-griffin-drafted-by-seahaw-1825626658
“The treatment of Caster Semenya shows athletics’ bias against women of colour” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/26/testosterone-ruling-women-athletes-caster-semanya-global-south
“Caster Semenya targeted by track federation with racist new guidelines based on faulty science” https://thinkprogress.org/caster-semenya-iaaf-target-1be64705e3c6/
“Condoleezza Rice’s Useless Commission On College Basketball Gives Useless Recommendations” https://deadspin.com/condoleezza-rices-useless-commission-on-college-basketb-1825527239
“This Video Shows an Ex-NFL Player Being Slammed to the Ground By Georgia Police” https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a20093327/police-violent-arrest-desmond-marrow/
“Golf club apologizes for calling cops on black women members” https://apnews.com/95e02521b2884a2abd1470fd9b6fecbb
“Fracaso inexcusable de la Selección Colombia femenina” http://www.eltiempo.com/deportes/futbol-internacional/fracaso-inexcusable-de-la-seleccion-colombia-femenina-208362
“What Is WWE Doing In Saudi Arabia?” https://deadspin.com/what-is-wwe-doing-in-saudi-arabia-1825506325
“The female boxer with cerebral palsy” http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-dorset-43843170/the-female-boxer-with-cerebral-palsy
“Clinic to train female umpires a home run for Nova Scotia, official says” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/female-umpire-clinic-baseball-lisa-turbitt-women-in-sport-1.4635271
“Cricketer Sana Mir Just Slammed Ads That Body Shame Women And It Is GLORIOUS” https://www.mangobaaz.com/this-pakistani-cricketer-just-shut-down-every-pakistani-ad-ever/amp/
Amira: Welcome to Burn It All Down It may not be the feminist sports podcast you want, but it’s definitely the feminist sports podcast you need. I’m Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University. I am here with the entire Burn It All Down crew, back in action, together again. Insert High School Musical, “We All Are in This Together” song here.
I’m happy to welcome Jessica Luther, freelance journalist, checking in from Austin, Texas. Brenda Elsey, Associate Professor of History at Hofstra University, but currently Fulbrighting in … Where are you? Argentina. And Shireen Ahmed, journalist from Toronto, Canada. And Lindsay Gibbs, ThinkProgress’ sports writer in Washington, D.C.
On today’s show, we’re gonna chat about the NFL draft, in all its horribleness, happenings, and a little bit of a recap for what went down this past week. Also we welcome back to the show Katrina Karkazis, who Brenda chats with about the new IAAS rulings on testosterone in women athletes.
Lastly, the group will come together and recap that conversation, and add our own opinions on the ruling passed this week. Of course, we’re always gonna be burning some things and shouting out badass women of the week. Did y’all see FIFA’s tweet to 45?
Jessica: All of our favorite people, all of our favorite people gathered together around. [crosstalk]
Amira: It’s really the end of days.
Shireen: It’s almost like that happened just for a specific thing that we could talk about it on Burn It All Down. It was so tailored for us.
Jessica: It’s always something when FIFA’s the one telling you that you are too corrupt for them, or not ethically sound enough for them, whatever it was, exactly.
Shireen: Yeah, I think the interesting thing is Donald Trump, much like everything, has no clue of how the bidding process works for, in this case, the 2026. For listeners who missed this absolute exquisite Gong Show. It was Donald Trump just tweeting out about “U.S. putting together a strong bid with Canada and Mexico,” and then he’s basically slipping in the fact that other countries were to support the lobby against the U.S. bid. It’s not a U.S. bid, it’s a co-bid, first of all. And “why should we support these countries if they don’t support us?” Then, slyly added, “Also at the United Nations.” What the fuck? Where did that come from?
Lindsay: I’ve had a really, really, really intense week where I’ve not been focused on the news cycle. Some of you, who might know what I’m talking about, and others will be confused, but anyways. I haven’t been as tuned into the news cycle as I usually am, so it feels like the fever dream that, all of the sudden, I have glimpses in my head of Kanye and Trump tweeting at each other, or Trump and FIFA tweeting at each other. It feels like I must be making this up, but apparently not-
Amira: I wish you were making it up.
Lindsay: Apparently, this is really what’s happening in the news cycle.
Shireen: At the end of the day, John Legend comes through with Magical. That’s all you need to know.
Brenda: I just wanna say, I think, in this case, that Trump has no idea who he’s screwing with. I think FIFA’s actually just the slimy PR machine that can take on Donald Trump. I think he has no idea about global soccer, and who can come up with a worse global reality TV show. I don’t think this is gonna go his way.
Amira: All right, so, on to another thing that is wonderful: NFL draft. It’s back, as it comes every year.
Lindsay: On one hand, it is easy to see the fun of watching the NFL draft. In theory, I can tune into ESPN or one of the 10 other networks that now air the draft, and watch 32 dreams come true. Maybe not in the exact order these players wanted, but they’re becoming a pro. Look, it’s great to see dreams come true. There’s always a lot of tears.
I can’t be the only one who, yesterday, found myself maybe sobbing at the video of Shaquem Griffith [sic], a linebacker, who only has one hand, and he was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks, which not only meant that he gets to become a pro, but it means he gets to play alongside his twin brother, Shaquill Griffith, who was drafted by the Seahawks last year, and started 11 games for them.
If you’re not familiar with Shaquem Griffith, and you want a reason to feel hope again, you should go to YouTube, look up his highlights. He’s an incredible athlete. He’s fun just to watch. And then the fact that he’s the first player in the NFL with only one hand. It’s really remarkable.
But, there’s always a “but” when it comes to the NFL, at the same time, all of the really bad stuff about the NFL is on egregious display. This year, we had Baker Mayfield go first to the Cleveland Browns. I’m so sorry, Baker. That must be awful. I just can’t even imagine being drafted to Cleveland, at this point. But also, congratulations, because that is a dream come true, to be picked first, overall.
We had four quarterbacks go in the first 10 picks, I believe. Unfortunately, the fifth quarterback to be drafted in the first round was also the only African-American quarterback to be drafted in the first round. That was Lamar Jackson and he was drafted 32nd out of 32 picks in the first round. He’s also the quarterback who everyone had tried to make into a wide receiver, which has, of course, horrific historic implications because black quarterbacks were routinely turned into wide receivers or running backs throughout the long history of professional football.
That was uncomfortable to watch. He was drafted as a quarterback, but 32nd and it was tough to see him wait. There were analysts who thought that he was the best quarterback in the draft. That wasn’t a consensus, but he wasn’t 22 spots worse than the other quarterbacks.
Amira: As it happened, it didn’t even look like he was gonna get drafted in the first round. You might have seen the image circulating of him at the table with, I think it was his mom beside him, kind of empty table, consoling him. Because it was assumed that the Eagles would have the last pick in the round, and they weren’t looking for a quarterback, clearly, that once the Patriots were off the clock, it seemed like, okay, they’re not … He’s not gonna go in the first round.
People started tweeting about him not being even in the first round. And to have cameras on you, and sitting there at the table, and all of that stuff, before the Ravens traded in to the 32 spot, to draft him. So it was almost like a last-minute thing, as well. It looked, for all intents and purposes, that he was gonna fall out of the first round, entirely.
Lindsay: Yeah. There were a couple of other things going on. You had Josh Allen, who was a quarterback drafted in the top 10, who, the day or two before the draft, racist tweets from when he was 14 years old came up. I think we can have a brief discussion about what’s the playbook here, with these athletes are now so young that things can start coming out from when they are 14. What is the playbook here? He did profusely apologize for them. He was drafted.
You also had Josh Rosen, a Burn It All Down favorite, who has always been good about speaking out against the NCAA. He says he wants his big cause to be climate change, because climate change helped cause the war in Syria. So I’m a big Josh Rosen fan.
Shireen: Wow, all right.
Lindsay: But he also dropped…
Lindsay: 3.77 grade point average?
Lindsay: Yeah, he dropped a little bit lower, to number 10. Then some people thought a lot of it was he’s so outspoken about politics. People wondered does he really care about football? You also had some players being asked-
Shireen: Oh, my God. You can be good at school and love football?
Lindsay: Yeah, of course not.
Amira: Oh, no. We know this because Myron Rolle, who was a Rhodes scholar, literally had his draft stock drop so much because they were like, “He’s split between football and being a Rhodes scholar, pre-surgeon person. So we must not like him despite the fact that his brain can hold all of this fascinating stuff.” He was a tremendous player. Yeah, no, you can’t like school.
Lindsay: You also had … Just a couple other things I was gonna say … Mike Hughes was drafted by the Vikings, late in the first round. He was a steal for the Vikings because of old sexual-assault allegations against him. He dropped and the Vikings got a great deal. That was something else that was happening.
It’s just all of these things. You had players saying that they were asked, once again, in the draft process, “Do you sleep with men?” It’s just I hate this and there are some things about this I love. What do you guys think?
Jessica: I’d like to mention Marcus Davenport, who is a defensive end from UT-San Antonio, who went to the New Orleans Saints. He’s a good one, which is why … He’s one of the silver linings, here.
I’m just gonna quote from this USA Today thing about him. Davenport, “He journals, writes poetry, watches anime, and is excited to wear the T-shirt his girlfriend bought him that says, ‘We should all be feminists.’ He devours books …” I know, right? “He devours books on philosophy, and scours the Internet for motivational speeches. He graduated in three-and-a-half years with a degree in multidisciplinary studies.”
My understanding is that … I didn’t watch the draft, but on the screen, one of their top five facts about him was that he loves his ‘We should all be feminists’ shirt. That was part of the broadcast. Good for the Saints, and I hope that Davenport does well. That was one of the little silver linings.
Amongst all the other shit, stuff like … One thing I wanted to mention was … Someone correct me if I’m wrong, it was the Steelers, it was Ryan Shazier who came out. He walked out to announce their pick, and he had been severely injured on the field, so it’s a big deal. I’m happy for him, personally, about his recovery here. But I just have a hard time with the sort of we’re supposed to be happy that this … The whole framework of it is that NFL broke him, and now they use this stage and this moment to celebrate that he is able, on his own, to fix himself, right? I have such a hard time with that kind of celebration, even though I am, of course, very pleased for Ryan, himself.
Amira: Yeah, I think, personally, around here, everybody was tuned to the draft to see Saquon Barkley go number two overall. First Nittany Lion to be drafted that high in a really long time. I personally really like Saquon. I think he’s a really good kid. He welcomed his first child the day before the draft, so he’s had a big week.
But certainly, I think the draft, in particular, is, as Lindsay talked about, this display of the grittiness of the business, and how you’re valued. It turns you into … It’s a meat market. It’s interesting to see how your stock can drop, how your value can be impeded upon because you have a political opinion, or because they’re worried about you being a “distraction”. Or how stock dropping for something like sexual assault can work out benefit for the team because they can see, “Oh, this is bargain shopping, now. Really glad that you had that assault allegation. It’s better for our pocketbooks.”
I think that’s one of the things about the draft is that you have all this stuff is on display. I’m completely with you, Lindsay. You know me, I’m a crier. I love the tears and the happiness when folks are drafted. On a personal level, for them, I’m really happy. I’m really happy. And I wish that everybody who gets promoted, or into an entry-level job they want, or shit, if somebody had cameras on me when I got my first professorship, it would’ve been a lovely moment. But I think that a lot of the pomp and circumstance, and narratives around it, you can feel really squeamy when you walk away from it.
Brenda: Did anybody agree with Josh Rosen’s assessment that they made nine mistakes before picking him 10th? I love it, I love it, because I just love his moxie. But I wondered, technically, do you guys agree with him that it was a mistake?
Lindsay: I think that the quarterback class … I’ve listened to a lot of experts, some who thought Lamar Jackson was the best quarterback, some who though it was Baker Mayfield, some who thought it was Josh Allen, some who thought it was Sam Darnold. Do you know what I mean? There was no one overall consensus, best quarterback. Of these, all five of these, there were arguments for why you would pick them first.
I do think that Josh Rosen, I think he made some people in the NFL uncomfortable and fell a little bit, but overall, he was drafted 10th. He’s in a good spot with the Arizona Cardinals. He’s gonna be fine.
Brenda: Do you think his “Fuck Trump” headband is what got him a little bit stock-lowered? I’m curious. It seems like he thinks that.
Lindsay: I don’t necessarily think it had nothing … I’m not sure that it was the defining factor, but I do think in general, his outspokenness … He was on the cover of a recent ESPN magazine issue. And the interview was pretty much all about religion, and politics, and climate change. The NFL, look. Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. The NFL doesn’t wanna be in this business, right now, of politics, in theory, so-
Amira: As you can see, if you read the behind-the-door transcript of the players and coaches meeting, owners meeting that happened in the fall, that was just released this week, which is very illuminating. As you can see owners continue to pivot, and dodge, and figure out … Essentially, it’s just a lesson talking past somebody. The players are saying, “This is why we kneel, and this is what we think, and here’s the issues,” and the owners are like, “How can we get a black player to be the spokesperson, to come out as a unified front, so that our pockets are protected?” Read that.
Shireen: I have a question. As somebody who doesn’t follow this, is the national anthem before a thing? Is that a new thing, or-
Jessica: Yeah, what is that? [crosstalk] They played the national anthem before the draft, like why?
Lindsay: Because it’s in Texas. It was at the Dallas Stadium, because Jerry Jones and the NFL. I don’t think there’s any other reason [crosstalk]
Brenda: Because the State Department is probably still paying the NFL for halftime publicity [crosstalk].
Shireen: About the guy wearing the headband that says “Fuck Trump”. See, that’s a line in the sand, Josh Rosen. That’s a line in the sand. And I like that guy. I’ve never heard of him before, I’m not gonna lie, but I’m going to pay close attention. Thank you, everyone, because this is interesting to me.
Brenda: Well, Shireen, I would just like to say that the reaction to his saying that he was drafted 10th, and I did see scouting reports that worried about him being the new Kaepernick, or whatever, which, obviously, because he’s white, has a whole different, strange dimension. Like they don’t get that or something. But Stephen A. Smith’s comments about Rosen saying that were horrible. I don’t know if you’ve seen his tweets. [crosstalk]
Jessica: I actually didn’t see it.
Brenda: He called Rosen stupid and dumb, that he had to shut up, and that the only reason he was drafted 10th is because he’s had two concussions, which, by the way, Stephen A. Smith, tell me one person in the first round that hasn’t had two concussions after playing football their whole life. He’s just willing to talk about about it. I actually think Stephen A. Smith is dumb and should shut up, just by the way.
Lindsay: We should say there has been anti-Semitism. There’ve been shades of anti-Semitism when discussing Rosen, too. I know he is white, and obviously gets a lot more privilege than a guy like Kaepernick, but it is interesting to watch the anti-Semitism come out. Interesting is the wrong word there, but you guys know what I mean.
Shireen: That’s horrific and unnecessary. This Stephen Smith … I can’t even.
Amira: As I said earlier, Brenda sat down with Katrina, and check out this interview now.
Brenda: I’m thrilled to welcome back to the show, today, Katrina Karkazis, a senior research visiting fellow in the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University. This week, she, along with Rebecca Jordan-Young, wrote an incredible piece in The Guardian to try to explain to readers the pseudoscience and politics of new, or perhaps better said, revamped, IAAF regulations about testosterone. Katrina, could you please tell us a little bit about these new, or revamped, regulations?
Katrina Karkazis: Yeah, and thank you for having me, again. I love our conversations-
Brenda: Me, too.
Katrina: Me, too, exactly. We called it revamped because it’s essentially the 2011 regulation with a couple of differences. One of the differences is that they’ve restricted the events to which this regulation applies. It’s a regulation that basically says women with higher levels of testosterone, who are intersex, have a performance advantage over women with lower levels. And in order to keep competing in their category, they should lower their levels.
It used to apply across all track and field events, and now it basically applies from … Not yet, but as of November 1, from 400 meter to 1,500 meter. They also lowered the testosterone threshold. But in looking at the regulation, I think it broadly has the same contours as before. Obviously, there are gonna be differences, but the general argument about why it’s there and the general contours are the same.
That’s where we’re at. And just one more piece I think that’s important, is that when we last left this case, Dutee Chand, from India, had brought a case where she won her case. The regulation was suspended, pending further evidence around this idea that there was a performance advantage for women with higher T. This decision to limit the events to which it applies means that it no longer applies to the events that Dutee runs in, which effectively closes her case.
So what would’ve happened had it applied to her events is that the IAAF would have had to have returned to CAS to have this evidence evaluated. Once again, we have a regulation that’s been released in advance of impartial assessment of the evidence by interested parties.
Brenda: If I understand your piece correctly, the events which it doesn’t apply are actually the ones in which testosterone has been shown to have the most advantage. Still not conclusive, but more than the other events. Is that right?
Katrina: It is right. One of the paradoxes and the illogics here is that IAAF sat around doing its own study to prove and provide evidence for its regulation. And it looked at 21 track and field events, and found that there was a correlation between testosterone in pole vault and hammer throw, interestingly. And that … Sorry, that the performance advantage was highest in those events, according to their study. Those events aren’t regulated.
And alternatively, the lowest significant result that they found was 800 meter. That is included. And 1,500 meter, for which they found no significant advantage, is included as well. When I first read this and saw the mismatch between their own study and the regulation itself, I felt like that was really a window to revealing what some of the politics of this regulation are, and really have always been, but at least they’re more transparent now.
Brenda: When you take off the rose-colored glasses, that some of us may have had growing up, about sport and equity, what are their politics behind this?
Katrina: Well, I think there are longstanding politics. One of them is scrutiny of women athletes that has been in existence since women entered elite sport. What I think is happening right now, as well, is that there is an overlay here, or another piece to this, which is around the way this brings scrutiny and targeting to particular athletes from the Global South.
I’ve made an argument, in a very long paper that would be pretty impossible to summarize here, that that’s known and intentional. I think, even if we don’t read that long paper, I think it becomes evident when you consider the events that are being selected. In other words, hammer throw and pole vault are largely events that are dominated by women from the Global North, not so much with the events that are regulated. And certainly, the cross-section of … When you triangulate the 800 meter and the 1,500 meter, the person who has been excelling in those events is Caster Semenya. And so there’s been an issue, really, with the IAAF seeking to remove her from competition since 2009.
Brenda: This seems, the timing of this, given Caster’s performance in the Commonwealth Games, seems particularly painful. Do you think there’s a connection between those two, or is this just their longstanding desire to exclude her?
Katrina: It’s hard to know when you’re not in someone’s head or those decision-making circles. But I will say that on the eve of Semenya running in Rio, the IAAF made multiple statements about returning to CAS in order to reinstate a regulation. It’s not as though this is new, for it to come on the heels of the Commonwealth Games.
It does come on the heels of that and a pretty spectacular performance by her, but there’s another piece. Part of what the regulation says is that there’s a six-month window in which women’s testosterone levels have to be below the threshold. So when you take into account that this goes into November 1, we’re at the edge of that six-month window. My guess is part of the reason for the release now was to ensure that women complied for November 1.
Brenda: What would a person have to do? What would she have to do to lower her testosterone?
Katrina: There are two ways to lower testosterone. One is pharmacologically, with drugs, and the other is via surgery. It really just depends on the woman’s physiology about which way will effectively keep the testosterone level at a particular threshold. Lowering testosterone is not straightforward. It’s not quite like turning a dial. It’s a highly dynamic endocrine system. The levels fluctuate based on all kinds of things, including social context. Basically, they would need to find out which pharmacological agents can do that, or else, surgery.
I did an article in 2014 with my colleagues, where we pointed out the harms inherent to each of those ways of lowering testosterone, and they’re not benign. But even without going through those harms, I think the most important thing to remember is that it’s a regulation that requires women to undergo medically unnecessary interventions in order to continue competing in their own events, in the category in which they’ve been competing.
Brenda: Just is infuriating, infuriating to hear. I wanna react in an intelligent way and keep asking you questions, but the other part of me wants to just scream. [crosstalk] How can they continue to do this to these women? What do you say? And I hate to even put this question forward, because I see it on social media all the time. What do you say to people that present the argument that somehow this is making things fair for the rest of the field?
Katrina: Oh, my goodness. Well, I just sent out a really snarky tweet around this. [crosstalk]
Brenda: Sometimes, you can’t help it.
Katrina: Your timing couldn’t be better. I’m always struck by people who somehow think that because there are more women with typical testosterone levels that we should make this quantitative argument that their rights matter more. I can’t figure out how people get here, because the majority does not get to abuse its power to violate the basic, inalienable rights of the minority, right? That has been something that’s happened through history that has been a disaster repeatedly pointed out.
So even is there was only one intersex person, they would still have basic human rights. I never understand … But the other thing I think that is … In order to ask that question, you have to accept something that I’m not willing to accept. You have to accept that the women have advantage. So it’s kind of a two-part issue, right?
Katrina: Do the women have advantage? And then a separate, secondary question: is that advantage unfair? What the IAAF said is it’s not any advantage; that, in order to exclude women from the male … sorry, from the female category, they had to have male-typical advantage. And they were tasked with coming up with a percentage of advantage that approximated 10% to 12%, and they’ve not come near that.
Even in their latest evidence, they’re trying to make an argument about that, but they’re doing it through proxy measures. They’re not actually looking at performance; they’re talking about muscle difference. But that’s not performance and you can’t compare that. That’s also a little bit sneaky.
It’s not any advantage. And if we’re really gonna talk about any advantage, then we need to think about what we mean when we talk about fairness. The way that I like to explain this to people is this is a regulation that was created primarily, and overwhelmingly, by policymakers from the Global North, with their own understanding of what fairness might be. I can guarantee you that if we had a room full of policymakers from the Global South, their notion about what’s fair to female athletes would be completely different, and it would likely not center at all on testosterone levels, but any number of other things.
It’s a notion of fairness that I think ends up reflecting the worldview, if you will, of the policymakers, and ends up creating harm to a minority group of women that we should actually be trying to protect.
Brenda: It also seems to me, and this is an even more simplistic way to think about it, that every elite athlete has an advantage. I mean you wouldn’t ask someone to get shorter, or [crosstalk] their body in other ways. This is a naturally occurring part of their bodies, and their make-up that actually changes. All of our hormones, and other things, change throughout any given time period.
Katrina: Right. I think one of the things that’s interesting here is the notion that there is a level playing field. People have argued that this creates a level playing field, but that’s a fallacy, and even the policymakers have argued that that’s a fallacy. I think the reason they focus on testosterone, and they view it as different from height, is that there aren’t height categories in sport. They view testosterone as being sex-dimorphic, meaning that male levels and female levels don’t overlap, which is not true, but they make that argument.
For this particular argument, any muddying of that line, to them, creates a problem. They would rather that there be a sort of no man’s land between male athletes and female athletes. But you talk to any sports scientist, or anybody, and you say to them, “Do male and female testosterone levels overlap?” So I talked to a sports scientist from the Clippers, and he said, “Well, absolutely.” I said, “Give me a citation,” and he said, “I can’t. Everybody knows it. It’s like saying the sky is blue.” I talked to the head of U.S. doping for decades, and it was the very first question I asked him. He said, “Of course they do. We all know this.”
So male and female levels overlap. This is not a good criterion by which to separate where we use testosterone levels to differentiate between male/female. It’s not anywhere else. They will argue that that’s not what they’re doing, but if you don’t have the evidence for performance advantage, then what are you doing?
Brenda: Just to get back, and to close out, or come full circle to the question of race and the Global South, the two most famous cases have to do with South Africa and India. Is this also a case of their federations just not being strong enough to stand up to the IAAF? I remember that terribly painful photograph, and I’m sure you do, too, of the British white athletes after Caster Semenya’s victory, kind of huddling up against or away from her. I don’t know if you remember that visual? Is this to placate … [crosstalk]
Brenda: … those voices? Is this a combination of the weakness of those federations?
Katrina: I don’t think the federations are weak. I saw some pretty spectacular statements coming out of South Africa the last couple of days. And I was on a South-African radio program, where, whoa. The power of the South Africans’ analysis about what’s going on, I didn’t even need to be on that program. They knew what time it was. I’ve seen the sport minister and others … Now, the question is, sort of, are they in power positions in terms of policymaking. [crosstalk]
Brenda: Yeah, that’s what I kinda meant. The weakness vis a vis IOC and IAAF-
Katrina: Yes, absolutely, in terms of they’re not represented. Insofar as I’ve known, the policymakers have never included individuals from the Global South. Now I might be wrong in the latest conversations about this, but historically, that’s not been the case. I was told, through the grapevine, that there was resistance from countries, I don’t know which ones, in the IAAF council meeting, when this was being discussed. I think there’s resistance. I don’t know exactly where it’s coming from, from within the federations, but there are definitely public signs of it, as well. But they absolutely don’t have the power and they’re not represented on these decision-making boards and bodies.
Brenda: So, if we keep our eye on this story, where should we be looking?
Katrina: Well, I think we should be looking for a couple things. We should be looking for an athlete who wants to challenge it. That’s where we’re at right now. I think, originally, there was a thought that I had that this case would go back to CAS, and that won’t be the case now.
What’s required is for an athlete to go back and raise a complaint, and file a case that would go back to CAS. I think that’s where we’re at right now. It’s a very hard place to be, because for people who haven’t been following it, the case that I’ve been talking about has been playing out over four years, and has involved extraordinary scrutiny of the athlete who brought the case. So, this is not a small thing that’s being asked of an athlete.
The unfortunate piece of this is that the burden now, because of how this was done, the burden is on the athlete to prove that they have a right to run in their event and in this category, versus the IAAF having to prove that they have a scientific evidence in order to mount a regulation like this. That’s also deeply unfair.
Brenda: Katrina Karkazis, thank you so much for being on Burn It All Down. Once again, you’ve enlightened us and enraged us in proper measure.
Katrina: Well, thank you so much for having me. It’s always just a real treat to talk to you.
Amira: Brenda, you had a great conversation with Katrina, and I wanna expand upon the conversation you had and open it up to the rest of the crew. What was your biggest takeaways from your conversation with her?
Brenda: My biggest takeaway is that she’s a genius and she translates things so well for me, scientifically. The thing she translated was the IAAF actually has no proof or consistency that what they’re doing is leveling any kind of playing field, but instead using very selective techniques to punish certain athletes, especially from the Global South, especially women of color. That’s my takeaway.
Shireen: I absolutely love Katrina. I don’t do science-y things, and she’s explained this situation so many times in a way that’s accessible, and the knowledge needs to be accessible to people. She’s incredible. Also, how the root of the issue, like her piece in The Guardian, yesterday, when she tweeted out her paper again, the issue of this does come back to race. It comes back to specifically targeting women of the Global South, black and brown bodies, and the “management” of that.
There is a place for that in science. I think there’s a conversation that needs to be … that people want to have. That, “Oh, no, no, no, that’s sociology” or “That’s not this …” But no, it’s very … Science, itself, has been incredibly racist and continues to also be so. And people use that against marginalized people, particularly women of color.
Amira: Science has been racist and extremely sexist. Women were not admitted into colleges because of the idea that their brains were smaller. It’s definitely been wielded in ways to protect the powerful and exclude marginalized communities.
Jessica: Yeah, whenever I hear Katrina talk about this, and I’ve been lucky to actually hear her in person talk about this a couple times, one thing I always think is important, in thinking about this, is what is fairness? What does it mean? Fair for whom? The other thing is what do people mean when they talk about an advantage?
The thing that really gets me with this is the science is out on whether or not this is actually an advantage, but even if we concede that this is an advantage, having a naturally higher level of testosterone, why is this the advantage that is bad? All of sport? Brenda, you brought this up in the interview. All elite athletes have some sort of advantage. That’s what makes them elite compared to all the just-below, not-quite-elite athletes, right? Everyone has something physically that makes them a better athlete.
You have to drill down, and talk about why this advantage is the one that deserves this level of policing over, and over, and over again. Especially, then, when you layer on top of who’s, actually in practice, the one being punished for this advantage.
Amira: Right, Lindsay?
Lindsay: Yeah, I think one of the things that just always strikes me about this … I was on NPR’s Only Game talking about this, this week. And I’ve been talking to people I work with because I wrote about this this week at ThinkProgress. Whenever I’m trying to disseminate this information, one of the things that sticks with me is when we watch Katie Ledecky crush her competition, race after race, we are just uniformly in awe of her talent. We don’t find it threatening and look for ways to bring her back down to a fair level, which is exactly what we do when we … I’m sorry, I’m using a very universal “we”, but when people watch Caster Semenya. They’re threatened by her greatness. They look for ways to figure out what her “advantage” is, and figure out a way to quelch it. And that’s just … That’s racism, right there. That’s just what that is. That that’s because she has a black body and Katie Ledecky doesn’t.
I loved hearing Katrina talk about this, because she does do a good job, a) showing that the science isn’t even there. The science isn’t proving what they think it … what people think the science is proving. I also appreciated in this interview how she talked about how common knowledge it is, for at least people within the scientific field, that there is a lot of overlap between men’s testosterone and women’s testosterone. I found that to be very illuminating that that is such common knowledge.
I also love when she talks about human rights. I love her quote about even if there was only one intersex person, they still have basic human rights. And about how the majority doesn’t get to abuse its power to violate the rights of the minority. That’s what we have to keep in mind here.
Amira: This happened on the heels of me wrapping up my Gender Sexuality in Sport class. And the last week, we were talking about intersex and trans athletes, and then this really came out. We revisited our discussion and my students were just absolutely aghast about how transparently targeted this seemed to restrict the events to the 400, to the mile. Especially, as you highlighted in your interview, Brend, that Katrina teed off on that shot-putting, and what was the other one? [crosstalk]
Amira: Right, were-
Amira: Hammer throw, hammer throw [crosstalk]. My students were like, “What?” We basically had a 10-minute period in which they were like, “This is the most ridiculous thing.” We read the IAAF’s pinned tweet. It’s now their pinned tweet, their tweet thread, that was basically like, “We’re seeing people saying this really is racist and sexist …”. And literally, they’re tweeting, “This is not, because …” And they keep citing their one … that one Guardian article written, or citing the doctor that they commissioned on the behalf to uphold their science. It’s like a 10-tweet thread that starts of with, “If we didn’t sex-segregate sports, women would never win any medals.” So that’s where it starts. If that’s how you’re starting, then it’s just not gonna get any better. [crosstalk]
Jessica: It wasn’t even women, it was females.
Amira: Oh, yeah, females. That’s right.
Lindsay: Whenever you have to start a tweet thread with, “I’m not racist, but …” you know you’re probably not-
Lindsay: It’s not gonna go good places.
Amira: Exactly. Personally, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a hormonal … it’s a hormonal thing that women can have. It comes with cysts on your ovaries, but it also comes with elevated testosterone levels. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in this last week, because I am not winning gold medals at world championships. I did run track, and I was fast, but I think that there’s, again … There’s many people who have elevated testosterone levels who are not world-class athletes. That’s what I was returning to this week. Shireen?
Shireen: Yeah, I just wanted to sort of piggyback off something Lindsay said just about with Katie Ledecky, and how we treat them very differently. We saw this in Rio. We saw this at the Olympics. Even the way that Caster was being … I call her Caster, because she’s my best friend, in my head … Just that the way she was being spoken of.
And I remember tweeting angrily to the CBC, because they were absolutely pathetically racist in their commentary. I was sitting there aghast. It’s almost like society feels like it’s okay to treat … Like for media. We’ve seen this with Serena. We’ve seen it before. We saw it with Dutee Chand. But Dutee Chand was less on international media than the other two, but this is just sort of how society feels it can treat brown and black bodies, and it’s absolutely, absolutely not okay. And particularly when people who were experts are coming out and saying the science isn’t there. This is ridiculous.
It’s almost like it’s a very easy … I don’t understand why the entire athletic world is not up in arms about this. Have I missed it? Have the predominant athletes coming out to talk about it? I know that Caster gets a lot of support from South Africans. She always has. But are there other athletes coming out to say stuff? Have I missed that?
Jessica: Yeah, I just wanted to say one last thing. While this is very clearly targeted at Caster Semenya, this isn’t only about her. I go with Shireen here. All female athletes should be wary and fearful of additional rules to exclude female athletes from sport. There is no greater desire, in certain sports circles, especially those at the top of these power structures we’re always talking about, to keep women as marginalized in sport as possible, if not completely out of it. Any rule that is trying to keep more women out of sport, we should be critiquing, and questioning, and really coming down hard on.
Amira: Yeah, Brenda?
Brenda: Yeah, just also, straight to that point, one of the most painful photographs, and I mentioned it in the interview, and I went back and looked at it, is after that race, where the British … Lynsey Sharp came in, in third, and it was the 800 meter. And you see these three white women … Well, first, it’s two, and then the third … White women hugging each other, and Caster Semenya going over, and them sort of in this hug, and her so outside of it.
Their whole body language, and just, as a feminist, it was a perfect example for me of how horribly hierarchical and racist that feminism can be. It just was so obvious, and clear she was trying to make a gesture, a sportswoman-like gesture, and they closed her out. I feel like every time Lynsey Sharp comes out and says something shitty about how stuff is not fair, it’s just a slap in the face. I just can’t believe it when other women do that to each other. Of course, I can believe it, but it especially hurts, somehow.
I expect the IOC and IAAF to be horrible, but other women, you know, athletes that know the work that she’s doing, and … Anyway, that picture, I went back to it, and it just hurts me every time I see it.
Amira: I agree. Lindsay?
Lindsay: On that note, I wanna make sure we’re being inclusive about our language. We say the term “female athlete,” but obviously, that includes people who identify as gender non-binary. I know that with intersex traits, particularly, there’s a spectrum of how these athletes identify. And we want all of that to be welcome in women’s sports. That should be the goal that women’s sports is aspiring to.
I do, however, just wanna praise Caster, who I’m also in this BFF Roundtable with Shireen … She’s been posting … She hasn’t given an official statement, as far as I know, but she has been posting some amazing quotes on her Instagram this week. One is, “How beautiful it is to stay silent, when someone expects you to be enraged.” Then she posted a photo of LeBron James flexing his muscles. Then she posted a clip of … that just shows all the races that she has won since the 2009 World Championships. Then she posts, “I am 97% sure you don’t like me, but I’m 100% sure I don’t care.”
But anyways, she’s handling this with the grace that she always does. You can’t squelch her greatness with rules. It doesn’t work that way. Her greatness transcends. I’m not as much worried about her as I am worried about all the other women who this will impact, who come after her.
Amira: Now it’s time for my favorite segment, and probably your favorite segment, too. It’s time to Burn Some Stuff. Jess, what are you burning this week?
Jessica: Yeah, I was thinking of burning the image of Mitt Romney gloating on the sidelines of a Jazz game, while wearing a jersey over a long-sleeved, collared, buttoned-up dress shirt, but I’m gonna be more substantive than that. This week, we heard from the NCAA’s commission on college basketball that was formed in the wake of the FBI investigation, and arrest last year, around agents, apparel companies, and paying players or their families. The chair of the committee, Condoleezza Rice, announced the commission’s recommendations in a press conference, and they are … Well, whatever, to be fair, some of their ideas are good, including advocating for the end of the one-and-done policy, allowing student athletes to have contact and rely on advice from agents, and to let players who go into the draft, but don’t actually get drafted to come back and play, to remain eligible.
But there are a whole host of things that they recommended. I’m not gonna go into all of that right now. Instead, I want to burn one single thing: the commission didn’t address the thing we knew. They weren’t going to address the very thing that undergirds all the corruption that the FBI is somehow involved in, this policing; namely, that they didn’t address paying the players. Instead, they reaffirmed a commitment to the amateurism model. They wouldn’t even take a position on athletes getting paid for their use of their image, or likeness, which is probably the easiest thing to get behind, in terms of implementation and fairness.
Perhaps, worst of all, though, this framing of accepting amateurism as a good positions the NCAA as morally right, and you know that we cannot have that. That is simply unacceptable and untenable at this point, as the organization continues to rake in over a billion dollars a year, and won’t even let players have a tiny piece of the pie made off their labor. So, please, burn it.
Lindsay: Yeah, I’d like to burn this video, well, the actions in the video, that shows former NFL and college-football star, Desmond Marrow being tackled by police officers, when he is unarmed, and standing in the parking lot in Georgia. If you haven’t seen this video, we’ll put the links to Deadspin, which does a detailed back-and-forth of what the police are saying happened versus what Desmond is saying happening.
You can guess that these are different accounts, but what this video shows is them … He’s already handcuffed. He doesn’t appear to be resisting arrest in any way. They still fight against him, throw him against the side of a truck, and then tackle him onto the ground so hard that he appears to briefly lose consciousness, and apparently had some teeth knocked out.
This has to stop. We have to stop. Police cannot keep doing this to black men and women. This is ridiculous. This is an abuse of power. And this police brutality? This is why players are taking a knee. This is why these protests are happening. And these are why you’re not getting someone who’s able to quickly make this go away with a PR statement by a black player that speaks up for the owners. This is ridiculous and I just would like to burn the actions of these police officers in Georgia, because I certainly do not feel safer after watching this video. Burn.
Amira: Along those lines, I wanna burn this golf club in York, Pennsylvania, just a short hour-and-a-half drive from where I am, who called the police on a group of black women who were playing on the links. One of them said, “I feel like we were discriminated against. It was a horrific experience.” Essentially, these five women were playing golf, and they were part of a group called Sisters in the Fairway. It’s been around for a little over a decade. They’ve golfed all over the world, across the country.
On this particular day, they were golfing in front of one of the owners of the club and his son, who decided that they were playing too slowly, and thus, that warranted calling the police. The police arrived and luckily it didn’t escalate past then. The wife of the owner has since then called the women, personally, to apologize, saying, “We’re sorry for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview. That’s not our intention. We want all of our members to feel valued”, etc., etc. The women said, “Listen, there needs to be something more substantial to understand that they don’t treat people in this manner.”
I wanna burn this down, and particularly, along the lines of what Lindsay just mentioned. It goes on a long list of what black people apparently can’t do in this country, which includes sitting in Starbucks waiting for a friend. It includes walking through a parking lot. It includes looking at the police the wrong way, showing lack of deference. We know that many of these encounters that might seem benign, knocking on the door and asking for directions, or whatever, having an interaction with a police officer can have really catastrophic results, whether it’s being assaulted, like Lindsay just mentioned, or whether it’s losing your life.
And so it may seem ridiculous and kind of cringe-worthy, and maybe you roll your eyes at it, but calling the police for slow-moving on a golf course is not only ridiculous, but it could be life-threatening for these particular women. I’m glad that it didn’t go further than what it did, but I definitely wanna burn down the fact that their presence was so threatening, their black bodies, their black female bodies, within this golfing space, which has been an area that black people, since the turn of the century, have really tried to integrate into these kind of clubhouse sports: tennis, golf, especially. And they’ve been places of some of the most resistant in sports, because it’s about status and image. These women are part of an organization that tries to combat that, and unfortunately, on this day, in this golf course, had the police called on them for being there. I wanna burn that.
Brenda: Last week, the Copa América Femenina, the South American Women’s Quadrennial Tournament ended. We covered it a lot on Burn It All Down. I bothered people at parties, we’ve discussed it. What ended up happening is that Brazil and Chile qualified number one and two for the World Cup, Pan American Games, and the Olympics. That meant that Colombia, who made it to the final round, came in fourth, because Argentina grabbed third.
And when they went home to their supposed fans and supporters, the main newspaper, called El Tiempo, wrote a couple of incredibly mean-spirited editorials, and their sports editor tweeted out that the women had gotten everything they wanted over the past couple of years, and that’s because Colombia has had a professional women’s league for all of one year. That league pays poverty wages. They get approximately $300 for the games that they play during the Copa América. It’s the only tournament that CONMEBOL hosts for national sides every four years.
So, that’s their only opportunity to make money off of their football careers. So, that’s every four years. Okay, just gonna say that over and over again. And basically, the editorial called the loss, the fact that Columbia would not go to the World Cup, which they have the last the two iterations, 2011, 2015, an inexcusable failure. That’s their main newspaper. So, these women that get no attention during the season … And El Tiempo, I looked at their coverage of the women’s professional league, and it is perfunctory. It’s there, but it’s perfunctory. So I would like to call their shitty coverage inexcusable. And to consider that a women’s program can be built on one year, whereas the men have had 68 years of a professional league, at least, is so ill- … It’s just ill-conceived, it’s mean-spirited and it totally sort of ignores what these women have tried to build over the last year, which is a real, viable program. They didn’t even have a coach between 2016 and 2017. So them getting all that they want is just patently sexist and I wanna burn it.
Shireen: Well, as usual I had ten things on a list that I wanted to burn. And then I was like, “Can we do a whole segment on burning maybe?”, because that’s just what it is. I decided against burning the idea of white female sportscasters asking Twitter if they should use the N-word, because I that’s completely inappropriate and I’m gonna deal with that by writing about it.
So, what I’m actually going to burn is the WWE is now headed to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now we’ve seen WWE go to the United Arab Emirates. And we’ve seen things like Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks actually compete. And what they did was they used full body suits. This was okay with the athletes because of the amount of crowd, the sellout crowds and it was great. And they were being very respectful to local culture, which, I mean, I’m all for women choosing what they want to wear. And men and local culture, notwithstanding, not saying anything about it? That’s my dream.
But that happened in the Gulf states, in Abu Dhabi. But in Saudi Arabia, not only are the women not being given that opportunity, they’re being excluded completely from this thing called the Greatest Royal Rumble. I just find that completely appalling. I don’t know why organizations, particularly like the WWE, the group of women wrestlers are thriving. They’re the most exciting. I read this on Twitter. I follow a lot of wrestling folks. There’s this really great article on Deadspin by my friend Carin Sedan with David Bixenspan and they talked about it. What is the WWE doing in Saudi Arabia? And like all Deadspin articles the lead is amazing, most of them anyway. It’s reflecting on what’s going on. And when organizations, and sports federations are organizations, literally hold hands with patriarchal places that don’t support women and women in sports, they’re propelling the problem. They’re complicit in the problem and not a solution.
And I’m sick and tired of it. We’ve seen it with all these sports federations centered on with their exclusion of women. Now we’re seeing it with WWE. It’s unfair and the women have gone online and said, “This is unacceptable.” Now what ends up happening is sometimes the criticisms of Saudi Arabia laced with racism and Islamophobia, which I have no time for either. But there is a way to absolutely call out this type of toxic masculinity and this sexism without being a racist jerk.
Now I’m really disappointed and unsurprised. And I really hope that this burn is an emphatic burn and I hope it’s sufficient. So burn.
Amira: After all that burning, let’s honor some badass women of the week. First for the Honorable Mentions. Kate Farley, a boxer with Cerebral Palsy, who punches from her knees. That is badass. The Aman Group, a collective of South Asian women, mostly Punjabi, in the United Kingdom, who usually meet in the Smethwick library. But now they’re venturing to West Bromwich Albion and they’re changing the face of what football supporters look like. Lisa Turbitt, a softball umpire, who also works with Sisterhood Softball in Toronto. She umpires at the International and National events. And now she’s heading to Nova Scotia to teach an entry-level clinic for female umpires in a province where only 3% of the umpires are female. So kudos to you.
And a return honorable mention honoring Captain of the Pakistani Women’s Cricket team, Sana Mir, who was an honorable mention last week. But this week we’re honoring her for calling out unrealistic and shadeist beauty standards. Also Iraq’s first all-women weightlifting team, who are based is Sadr City.
Can I get a drum roll please for our badass women of the week?
Amira: This week it goes to Jenny Cavnar, the Colorado Rockies’ announcer became one of the first women to call the play by play for an MLB game. Since 1993 no woman has called this and I think she becomes the first to call it on a television broadcast. Jenny has been with the MLB for 12 years. She has a storied career. And it was particularly fitting because the Rockies were playing the Padres and she had worked for both organizations before. So kudos to Jenny. Continue to break those barriers on behalf of all women who are trying to get into the broadcast booths. You are our badass woman of the week.
All right folks. What’s good in your life? Shireen?
Shireen: I’m so excited about a bunch of things. First of all, Andres Iniesta retired this week. I think I mentioned this last week. But in celebration of that my friend David Rudden and fellow flame thrower, created a gif that’s basically giving me life right now. And it has me and the dawn in it. [crosstalk] And you’ll just get joy out of it. David’s a genius.
But in addition, just something I’m really looking forward to. I’m part of a group of women, five women. We’re based in Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and I’m in Canada. It’s the Muslim Women in Sport Network. It’s basically a group of women who are Muslim, who identify as Muslim. Some cover, some don’t. We’re from all over the world. And we have next weekend the International Sport Global Summit. It’s an online digital platform and these women are unbelievably creative, ingenious, and industrious.
It’s going to be streamed live on You Tube. I’ll be moderating a couple of sessions. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who has been on Burn It All Down, is our keynote speaker. You can go to www.mwisn.org and register for it. We’re on Facebook. I’m really looking forward to it. There’ll be some really awesome conversations with women from around the world, from Jordan, from Somalia, from Kenya, from the UK, from Australia, all over the place, and talking about things and centering ourselves. And the point of this? Was for us to share our own stories. So, I’m really excited about that.
Amira: That’s awesome. Brenda what’s good with you?
Brenda: What’s good with me? It’s been a hard week. I’m not going to lie. But what’s good with me is that I’m going to Chile to give a couple of talks this week. So May 1st is a holiday here and that a) is good because it commemorates workers from the 19th century in the US that the US government decided to not commemorate and to make our Labor Day this thing I can never remember what the hell day it is. And so I’m going. I love Argentina but Chile is kind of my intellectual home. I’m going to be doing a couple of talks there about women’s soccer and the politics of women’s soccer. And I’m really looking forward to it.
Amira: Great. Lindsay?
Lindsay: Guilty, guilty, guilty. Bill Cosby. Just want to take a moment to thank his survivors who came forward and continue to fight for justice. There’s obviously a long way to go and we can … There’s an in-depth conversation to be had here, but he’s guilty. And that’s … What a moment for those women who have fought so hard.
And also I just would like to give a shout out to unions. It has been quite the week for me and the benefit, the bright spot in my week has been being a member of a union. I would like to just encourage people across media to unionize your workplaces. All right.
Jessica: Yeah, so since I was on the show last, I went to Cal State East Bay in Hayward, near Oakland. And I got to share the stage with WNBA all-star Layshia Clarendon. That was just … yeah, and fellow flamethrower
Amira: And Burn It All Down guest.
Jessica: Yes, episode eight. Go check her out. It was just lovely. It was just a cool experience. I also got to visit Saint Louis University and talk on campus there and that was great. And then I have found, and become absolutely obsessed with, The Great British Baking show on Netflix. I can’t stop watching it and I can’t stop baking. It makes me very happy. And it’s just really nice right now in this moment to have something that makes me that happy.
Amira: That’s great. So, I’m really happy ’cause classes are now over!
Amira: Really happy about this. And my students in my Gender and Sexuality in Sport did podcasts of their own topics [crosstalk] and they are so badass. I’m in love with them. They’re so good. I’m gonna miss this crew. They have been wonderful to hang out with this semester and their podcasts are fire.
I want to give a special shout out to my friend Sarah, who turned 30 yesterday, but who is defending her dissertation at Hopkins on Monday. [crosstalk] So it’s a big week for her. And I am so proud of her and her journey thus far. And also I have a new niece, Olivia Faith Rucker was born this weekend. So, it’s been a cool weekend.
So that’s it for this week in Burn It All Down.
Burn It All Down lives on SoundCloud, but it also can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn. We appreciate your reviews and feedback. So subscribe, rate, let us know what you think, how well we did, what you want us to improve on. You also can find us on Facebook at BurnItAllDown or on Twitter @BurnItAllDownPod or on Instagram at BurnItAllDownPod. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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And next week we have a very, very, very exciting special anniversary show coming at you. That’s right. Burn It All Down is turning one. [crosstalk] We’re all very excited here at the Pod. And we can’t wait to bring you our anniversary episode and just celebrate our birthday with the community that has brought us this year, has been with us as we have built this podcast up over the last year. So it’s really exciting times here. And I invite you to check out our website or follow us on Twitter. Get updates about that. And certainly tune in next week for what’s sure to be a fantastic show.
So, that’s it for me, Amira Rose Davis, Jessica Luther, Brenda Elsey, Lindsay Gibbs, and Shireen Ahmed. See you next week flamethrowers.