Episode 53: Happy Birthday to BIAD, with special guests Wyomia Tyus and Elena Delle Donne
Happy Birthday to Burn It All Down! We turn one this week, and yet we feel so old.
First up on the show, Brenda, Shireen, Lindsay, and Jessica reflect on this year and look forward to the next one.
Then, Lindsay interviews sure-to-be-a-legend Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics about Adam Silver’s recent comments about the WNBA, how WNBA president Lisa Borders is doing, and EDD publicly coming out.
Up next, Wyomia Tyus — a two-time olympian, track legend, and author — joins Amira to talk about Tyus’ experiences playing sports in the Jim Crow South, the 1968 Olympics, and athletic protest. They also preview Tyus’ memoir, Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story.
Then the BIAD crew, once again, talks about diversity in sports media (or lack thereof).
As always, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, Bad Ass Women of the Week, and what’s good in our worlds.
Intro (1:37) It’s our birthday! (7:50) Lindsay interviews Elena Delle Donne (18:26)Amira interviews Wyomia Tyus (37:44) Diversity in sports media (54:03) Burn Pile (1:01:01) Bad Ass Woman of the Week (1:03:20) What’s Good (1:06:56) Outro
For links and a transcript…
Adam Silver: One of the WNBA’s problems is that not enough young women pay attention to it https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/04/20/adam-silver-one-of-the-wnbas-problems-is-that-not-enough-young-women-pay-attention-to-it/
Delle Donne’s books:
My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall https://www.amazon.com/My-Shot-Balancing-Standing-Tall/dp/153441228X
Elle of the Ball https://www.amazon.com/Elle-Hoops-Elena-Delle-Donne/dp/153441231X/
Four-time Olympic medalist Wyomia Tyus reflects on Coach Ed Temple and becoming “more than an athlete” http://www.usatf.org/News/Four-time-Olympic-medalist-Wyomia-Tyus-reflects-on.aspx
Study: Diversity remains low in sports news departments https://apnews.com/a45d1d2abc7746aaa4dbeaa7f7987923/Study:-Diversity-remains-low-in-sports-news-departments
Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/tigerbelle/
Women’s Media Center’s The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017 https://www.womensmediacenter.com/reports/the-status-of-women-in-u.s.-media-2017
Media coverage of female athletes is getting more sexist https://thinkprogress.org/sexist-racist-sports-media-coverage-d93267bfe8ae/
Most Sports Coverage Of Sexual Assault Is Written By Men https://thinkprogress.org/most-sports-coverage-of-sexual-assault-is-written-by-men-1a8edd7087ec/
Women In Sports Coming Together Is Just A Start https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidberri/2018/05/03/women-in-sports-coming-together-is-just-a-start/#603aaeb64af1
Martha and Bela Karolyi sue USA Gymnastics, USOC over failed ranch sale, lawsuits https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2018/05/01/martha-bela-karolyi-sue-usa-gymnastics-usoc-over-failed-ranch-sale-lawsuits/570699002/
Male Gymnasts Come Forward About Sexual And Physical Abuse In Brazilian Gymnastics https://deadspin.com/male-gymnasts-come-forward-about-sexual-and-physical-ab-1825659864
The FBI still hasn’t interviewed Bela and Martha Karolyi about Nassar crimes https://thinkprogress.org/fbi-karolyi-interview-626be2ab705d/
Racism at the rink: Kitchener Rangers winger Givani Smith targeted with slurs, threats https://www.therecord.com/sports-story/8589574-racism-at-the-rink/
At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives
AJ Mleczko making her mark in NHL broadcast booth http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/23383257/2018-stanley-cup-playoffs-aj-mleczko-making-mark-first-woman-work-booth-analyst-nhl-playoff-history?sf188807130=1
Diamond League: Caster Semenya claims 1500m victory in first event of season https://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/44011102
¿Quién dice que a nadie le interesa el fútbol femenil? https://news.culturacolectiva.com/deportes/podria-registrarse-nuevo-record-de-asistencia-en-partido-femenil/
Spurs Assistant Becky Hammon To Interview For Bucks Head Coaching Job https://deadspin.com/spurs-assistant-becky-hammon-to-interview-for-bucks-hea-1825797446
Buffalo Bills’ Kim Pegula making history as first female team president in NFL https://www.buffalorumblings.com/2018/5/2/17310390/kim-pegula-making-history-as-first-female-team-president-in-nfl-amy-trask
Brenda: Welcome to Burn It All Down, the sport and feminism podcast you need. Today we’ve got Shireen Ahmed, freelance sports writer, cat lover, in Toronto, Canada. Jessica Luther, independent writer and author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, in Austin, Texas. Lindsay, the hardest working wordsmith at ThinkProgress in DC and I’m Brenda Elsey, Associate Professor of History at Hofstra University, currently on a Fulbright, in La Plata, Argentina.
In spirit, we also have co-host Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State, who unfortunately, cannot be with us today at our happy birthday episode.
Brenda: Happy Birthday.
Jessica: Happy birthday it’s been one year, one year old.
Brenda: Weird, since Burn It All Down began. We are one year old.
Lindsay: I feel much older than that.
Brenda: Before we even get to that, we want to thank all of our listeners for this year. This podcast has truly been a labor of love and at the same time, sometimes it’s a costly one. I also want to shout out and express our undying gratitude for all of those who perhaps first supported us in the GoFundMe and now have contributed to our Patreon Campaign.
If you’re interested, check out the patreon.com/burnitalldown. Subscribers get extra content, including a monthly newsletter, extra segments, interviews, and more. It’s a cool community and I just, before we even start, want to just say how much we’ve appreciated the support and there’s no way we would have gotten here without it. This week we’re going to talk about our birthday, ourselves, the state of sports media.
We’ve got two special interviews. A soon to be an already legend. Lindsay interviews WMBA’s huge talent Elena Della Donne. Amira chats with Wyomia Tyus, a two-time Olympian. We’ll burn some awful things in sports, celebrate badass women, and find some good in our worlds. We’re not babies anymore.
Jessica: We’re not babies. Well, are we not? Isn’t one still?
Brenda: I guess we’re not infants.
Jessica: We’re not toddling yet.
Brenda: No, I guess yeah, we’re barely walking?
Lindsay: I don’t know, I felt like we’ve been in our terrible twos for a while now personally.
Shireen: I’m wearing a party hat. You can’t see me. But I have a party hat on.
Lindsay: Shireen, I always picture you with a party hat on just FYI.
Jessica: It’s really been something. It’s really amazing to me when I think about it, that we do this every week, every single week, for one year, we have produced an episode of this podcast and I’m just so proud of that. When I really think about what we’ve accomplished, it’s quite amazing.
Lindsay: I completely agree.
Brenda: It’s a lot more than I think we started out with. In terms of a vision and a goal.
Shireen: But, we’re so good.
Jessica: So true Shireen.
Lindsay: I can’t talk about this without sounding just so cheesy, but I really do learn so much every week from all of you. Our guest list is probably what I’m most proud of, no offense. I look back at the women and non-binary people we talked with over the past year, and they’re just the most remarkable group of people.
We set out a year ago, and we talk about this sometime and I think people misconstrue this as being an exclusionary thing, but it’s not at all. We just said there’s no #banmen here, but we just said if we can find a woman or a non-binary person to talk about a topic that we’re interested in talking on that week, let’s look there first. That’s just what we’ve done, that’s the motto we followed and it’s been easy.
Jessica: Yeah it’s possible.
Lindsay: It’s been easy to find people.
Jessica: You can do it.
Lindsay: It’s so possible and that’s what’s remarkable. I keep saying “Look, if LeBron James wants to come on and talk about feminism, there’s always a spot open.” That’s just what I want to tell people, it’s not that hard, you just have to be purposeful about it.
Brenda: Okay, so to wrap up our birthday celebration should we just really quickly, dream guests, this was in the newsletter this month but I think worth visiting really quickly. Who is your dream guest for this coming year?
Jessica: I’m so obvious in my answer of Serena. I think everyone predicted that. I also would love to talk to Doris Burke. I think having Doris Burke on this program would be spectacular.
Brenda: Okay Shireen?
Lindsay: She was so good calling the game last night.
Shireen: I think that of course Nadia Nadim is on my list of tops, you know this. I echo Serena, obviously. I also would really be interested in getting Christine Sinclair, Captain of the Portland Thorns Canadian women’s national team.
Jessica: Would you just cry the whole time Shireen? Would you just be crying?
Shireen: I would have muffled sobs. I believe I would try to compose myself in that way. I also just, there’s so many but those are the ones that really pop out at me. Also, and I think this is very obtainable, hopefully, I’ve been talking a lot about Moya Dodd and we have talked a lot about Moya Dodd’s podcast.
Shireen: We actually haven’t had Moya on, and this isn’t a logistics thing, it’s just that there’s so much that she contribute, and she’s a wonderful friend of the show and a flame thrower, and I think just to have her on as a chat would be brilliant, and I’m so excited for that.
Lindsay: Yeah, I mean Billy Jean, we’ve tried and we might need to get a hashtag campaign going one of these days, but she’s our patron saint, I feel comfortable saying, and I would just love, love, love, having her. I’d also love to really go out in left field and say Venus Williams.
Lindsay: She’s been another trailblazer in the fight for equal pay in women’s sports and definitely doesn’t get the credit that she deserves. That would be great. Look, another man that I would love to have on is Colin Kaepernick.
Jessica: Come on, Colin.
Lindsay: We want to get that big exclusive. There’s so many that I am just so excited to talk to and really just want to have on. I just feel like we’re just never going to run out of options and that’s what’s exciting about this work.
Shireen: I just want to add in here really quickly. Tim Duncan did not to reply to my emails when I cold emailed him and that’s okay because he wasn’t my first choice. Becky Hammon is someone else I would love to have on the show.
Jessica: What about you Bren? Who do you want on Bren?
Brenda: I want Orlando Pride to answer my desperate emails to interview Marta. I can do it in Portuguese and obrigada and I want them to answer. It’s been a one year, one way relationship between me and Orlando Pride. I’ve gotten a few emails out but it’s never worked out. I think Marta should be on our show. I think now that she’s playing in the US, she needs to join the flame thrower community so yeah.
Lindsay, do you want to intro your interview with Elena Della Donne?
Lindsay: All right, friends. This week it was the Washington Mystic’s media day, WNBA training camps are open and everything’s getting started. I ran down to the Capital One Arena on my lunch break and was able to grab an interview with Elena Della Donne. I was so excited.
First of all I want to shout out her two books that she has out right now, because she really took it easy this off season: Elle of the Ball, which is her children’s book series that she’s started and it’s really cool. She said that she has five more books planned in that series. Once again, she’s taking it easy. But, she also has an autobiography called My Shot: balancing it all and standing tall, where she really talks about some of the tougher times in her life and her family and how she’s gotten to be this really outspoken, confident person that she is today.
The main topic of our discussion was her reaction to NBA commissioner, Adam Silver’s remarks over the past. I think it was last week or two weeks ago, on an ESPN show, Adam Silver was asked about the state of the WNBA and he made a few negative comments. He said that “We’re still trying to figure out a winning formula. All these teams lose money. Maybe we will switch the WNBA season until so that it’s more like the natural basketball season. So, it’s in the fall and winter instead of over the summer.”
He also expressed a lot of disappointment with the fact that demographically, a lot of WNBA fans are older men and he really wants to get more younger women and he doesn’t understand why aren’t more women in the 21-34 age range who watch the WNBA. Overall it was a pretty dim and disappointing interview.
Della Donne pretty much immediately issued a statement via a tweet after this aired. I joked with her that she must have had it already drafted and I think unfortunately it’s just because she has to make these statements so often these days. But, we talked about that. We talked about her response, we talked about how she feels about Lisa Borders, the current WNBA president and how Lisa’s doing. We also talked about her experience coming out and the legend that she inspired on the way. And she gives us all some advice at the end so I’m super excited for you all to hear that.
Hello everyone, this is Lindsay and I am here with 2015 WNBA, MVP, all-star Olympian et cetera, et cetera, and Washington Mystics, Elena Della Donne. Elena, welcome to the show.
Elena Delle Donne: Thanks for having me.
Lindsay: You have been over the past couple of years really transformed into a very outspoken advocate I would say, for injustices of all kinds. Whether it be for LGBTQ rights, whether it be things that the president is saying that, or tweeting, and also for the league as a whole. It’s unfortunate reality that WNBA players or female athletes in general really aren’t allowed to just be athletes. We’re just not at that point yet.
Elena: We’re not.
Lindsay: When did you start deciding that this was something that you needed to start speaking up for yourself, for the league, for female athletes everywhere?
Elena: First of all, just kind of growing up and getting comfortable. Realizing that my voice can carry and it can impact people. But, more than that, just getting pissed off about things and angry and when something is not right, you gotta talk about it and state your opinion and maybe not everybody is going to agree, but I truly believe in my heart that it’s coming from the right place.
I’ve been living this life of being an athlete. Unfortunately everybody will say “female athlete” before just calling me an athlete. But it’s a fight that we’re going to have continue to speak up and just not let people just put us in a corner. I’m grateful for all the amazing WNBA athletes that are also speaking up and women athletes across the world. I think we’re just tired of the way it’s been and we’re ready for more change.
Lindsay: Adam Silver. It seems like every year or two, there’s another statement out from the NBA that is negative about the league and this time it was, “They’re just aren’t enough women fans.” Women just aren’t watching this. You released … You wrote that up very quickly.
Elena: I read it and I was like …
Lindsay: Instantly. But, you turned it back on him. You said “Yes, the NBA supports us, but does it truly invest in us and does it give us the media that we need? What would you like to see changed?
Elena: First of all, the negativity in those comments need to stop, because there’s enough trolls out there. We need our leaders to be showing the brightness of the future of the WNBA. Right after that statement was released, I had analytics run on my Instagram account because that’s where I’m definitely most active, and 50% of my followers are women in the age group where he said they’re not interested. So, I don’t believe that.
I believe that it’s hard to be a fan of the WNBA because you can’t see us. It’s hard to know when our games are on. You have to be a really dedicated fan to find us and to know to go on Live Access to watch our games and there’s just so much behind it. For me it’s like, “Okay NBA, even not just investing dollars but you have huge platforms. You’ve got the play offs right now but even more important, you have NBA All-Star. What are you doing with us in those moments to capitalize and to show us and to promote the league?”
It’s just not there and that wouldn’t cost that much money. Even to have some of the WNBA players sitting court side during All-Star, that’s simple and that’s visibility that we need.
Lindsay: How do you feel about the job that Lisa Borders has done?
Elena: I love that Lisa is a fighter. She’s fighting the fight for us and just trying to find different ways to connect with fans and get us players out there. I feel like we’re in such a great position having her as our leader.
Lindsay: One of the other thing that Adam Silver said, and I’m sorry to bring up his comments but it was that, “What if we played … What if we did the season through the right normal basketball season?”
Elena: That’s like, yeah, no. Because, we wouldn’t have our superstars in the league, because unfortunately, people can make way more money overseas and that’s when that season is during the winter. That’s not going to work. We have to find a way to be able to do it in this time frame and we can. I just don’t think there’s been enough of a push and we can do it.
Even just from the media standpoint, I feel like there’s such a high percentage of men in the media, so we’re getting their story and we need more women like yourself. But, when would they ask a question about the NBA’s future to Lisa Borders? Why are you asking that question to the NBA commissioner? Let’s ask the WNBA commissioner how she feels about the future of the league. I’m sure they’re not asking Lisa about the future of the NBA. So, that’s got to change.
Lindsay: In 2016, you decide to publicly come out and talk about your personal life. I talked to Sue Bird last summer, and she actually said that watching you at the Olympics do that inspired her to talk.
Elena: That’s awesome.
Lindsay: What does it feel like to hear a legend like that, that you’ve been able to inspire her in that way.
Elena: That just gave me chills. It’s just so great to hear that. It’s just important to be you and to be it unapologetically because you can so impact other people that might be going through the same thing. But if you keep your voice quiet and keep your feelings inside, you can’t help others.
To inspire someone like Sue who has inspired me so much and really made my transition to USA basketball easy because she’s just such an amazing leader and teammate, it’s pretty cool that I was somehow able to get back to her.
Lindsay: The league sets this interesting intersectionality of, you have a lot of African American players in the league so it deals with a lot of racism. There’s also a lot of homophobia in the league and there’s the sexism. You got this fun triumph rant that the league sets at the center of. Do you think that more than just sexism, that these other factors play into media, and especially a lot of the men in the media. Not knowing how to talk about you, as like athletes, as people, as competitors?
Elena: I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s out of their comfort zone or what, but come on now. It’s 2018, we’re living in America, it’s a melting pot. This all needs to be celebrated, all these incredible women that come from all different areas of life and you can learn so much from different types of people. Instead of being scared and shying away from it, let’s talk about these amazing stories and let’s get into actually the nitty gritty of people’s lives and interesting things.
We’re not just basketball players, we don’t just come to the gym every day, play basketball, go home, lay in bed and wait for the next day to come. We all have great stories, cool interests and we’re cool, I don’t know. That comment where Adam said we’re not reaching our age group basically. I’m sorry, there’s some awesome people in this league. Like Cappie Pondexter is like a fashionista, making clothes and doing all this cool stuff.
Same with Steph Dolson, Mone [Seimone Augustus] has a collection of really cool cars. Nobody’s seen that, but if it was an NBA guy, there’d be a show on her with her cars. It’s not that we’re not cool or not fun to follow, it’s just people don’t know this about us.
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. The last question, a lot of our listeners, do you feel like we’re all in this together? The fans, the media, the athletes. It’s up to all of us to play our part to bring us forth. What advice do you give to fans or aspiring professional athletes or even collegian athletes who want to make a difference and really push for the course of women in sports?
Elena: Just continue to use your voice. Luckily we’re at a stage now where we can have social media, we can have a platform where we don’t always need somebody to come to us to tell our story, we can push it out ourselves. So, continue to use your voice and never shut up.
Brenda: Also this week, Amira chatted with Wyomia Tyus, a two-time Olympian, track legend, and now author. They discussed her experiences playing sports in the Jim Crow South, the 1968 Olympics, and the history of athletic protest.
Amira: Thank you for joining me today.
Wyomia Tyus: Thanks for having me.
Amira: I’m really excited because your memoir is coming out. It’s called Tigerbelle, and I was wondering if you could let us know what should we expect from your memoir? What is it going to talk about?
Wyomia: It’s pretty much my life a little bit, but mostly it talks about from childhood on and a lot of it is dealing with being a Tigerbelle and it’s being on the Tennessee State at school, they own a track team there. It tells all my great times and my struggles. I think that it is a book that children could have, from age young to old and that it talks about a lot of my struggles and talks about a lot of my non-struggles and just what it takes to live a good life, a happy life and being strong, being a strong black woman, I like to think.
Especially with the time I was trying to be that. That in the ‘60s, living in the South in the Jim Crow era, and just being very, feeling good about who you are as a person and I think as a woman. That’s the key part that we weren’t always not encouraged to feel great about who we are and that it didn’t matter whether you were in sports or whatever you were in, you were not always given that encouragement.
I would like to think my book shows that no matter how hard the struggle, you can win it. I like to say all the time, you always stay in the fight.
Amira: Right. That’s wonderful. I’m very excited to read it. It’s been a long time coming and I think we should amplify the voices of these tremendous athletes. So, at the time that you start getting involved in sports, was it permissible for girls to be running tracks like you were? Did you come up against obstacles?
Wyomia: You have no idea. You absolutely you had to. I know you’re talking about the ‘50s and the ‘60s and young women just were not encouraged to do that. If you play sports, okay go out there and play, don’t sweat seriously. Don’t be good actually. The boys are taught, you fall down, you get up and you try it again. Women, “You got hurt, well you don’t have to do that anymore.”
That was what was going on when I was growing up. I was just, I feel really blessed and happy to have parents like I did. because my dad, he was like, “You can do whatever you want.” He would say, “Baby, you can do whatever you want. All you have to do is try and if it pleases you, if it makes you happy, then that’s great.” He would tell my brothers, I had three older brothers, “Let her play, what do you mean she can’t play because she’s a girl? We’re not having any of that. Not only that, she is good enough to key. You want somebody good on your team.”
Not so much like I played the boys, I could, but it was more that, he made that come home to my brothers that, “She’s good. You want people that are good on your team. You got something you want to do it.” They got that message. You’re thinking in the ‘50s and the ‘60s that was not a message for every young person, especially men and not for women at all, to be good at what you want to do and be proud of it. Go out there and be the best. Some people say, go out there and do your best, but be the best was a different thing.
Amira: Right. ESPN the magazine just put out a list of the dominant, so they’re doing dominant athletes, dominant teams, and I think that Tennessee State is one of the most dominant teams in the college history or overall. You talk about being a Tigerbelle and actually a new documentary just came out of Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles. I recommend everybody to watch it, you’re talking head in it. But, what do you wish people would know and understand about Tennessee State University and their dominant track team?
Wyomia: I just think for the Tigerbelles, they have been around for years. Being around, we’re talking from the early ‘50s and putting over 40 people on different Olympic teams and bringing home 23 medals and 13 of them gold. Something countries don’t do.And here you have this small school. When I was in school, I think it was maybe 1200 students there and that produces all these great women.
Amira: Black women.
Wyomia: Black women at that. Nobody honors … One thing that really bothers me, that Mr. Temple who was coach, some people called him, but I always call him Mr. Temple. That he really never got his due. He never got his honors. For a person to do as much as he had done for women, black women-and nobody says very much about it, I don’t think I used to have a team.
When you talk about great coaches, I don’t ever hear anybody speaking of how great he was. You hear people about, “This coach was so good at basketball.” Nobody has ever said how great he was. Not only did he put us on Olympic teams, he made sure all his girls graduated. I’d like to know how many people can say that.
Amira: We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic games, which is your second Olympics. They were in Mexico City. Like I said, you won gold medals there and a lot of people that I have said this to you before, I think it’s one of the best. It’s not the best track teams we’ve ever filled, it’s just the power on that team was remarkable. But, it definitely was overshadowed of course by Thomas Ethan John Carlos medal stand protest, that come after proposed boycott of the games.
One of the things that both Thomas Smith and John Carlos as well as Dr. Harry Edwards has commented on, is that their regret is not reaching out to the black women that year and including them in the pre-planning of the proposal and the boycott. I was wondering if you would talk a little bit about what ‘68 meant to you and what you decided to ultimately do at the game, which was including wearing black shorts and dedicating your medals to Tommy and John after their protest and after there was action taken against them. But, I would love to be able to write black women back into the story of the 1968 moment.
Wyomia: I think they should be, there were two things that happened. One thing especially that bothers me most a lot is the fact that Madeline Manning, Mims now, won the 800 meters, a black woman had never been done before. She won the gold medal. It’s 50 years later and no one in America, I should say, has won a gold medal and no one talks about that. That is an amazing feat.
Amira: It was very important because there was an idea that black women couldn’t run distances.
Amira: That was a big deal, precisely.
Wyomia: It is. She went out there and she did it. Then for me to go and I went back to back 100 meters, nobody has ever heard of that, nobody had thought about it and I guess they didn’t think, we know they didn’t think about it. They still don’t think about it, that I did that. I think if it was a male figure that did that, we would still be talking about it.
I just think that it takes a lot for people to say, I think about being included with the whole boycott, we’re never talking about it, what was happening at San Jose State. To me, how do you leave out a group of people and not only that, these are the people, the group of people you’re going to leave out are the black women that, and black women have always supported all the causes and they would say always right there with them and not so much behind them.
Right there with them sometimes, or in front of that. We were not just even called upon to even make a statement or say what we thought. Whether it was the same thing they were thinking or not. The press also had a lot to do with that. They would call and just talked to Mr. Temple, “What do your girls think about this?” But, it could have been handled another way. Also I just felt that we should have been included. I think that when you have a woman’s point of view, it is more inclusive. I feel that way.
Especially with a project like that. You need everybody included. It’s what you were thinking, who you are on the right track. I just think that’s something that needed to happen, needed to change, and we should have been right there with the change. We were, just that nobody wrote about it, nobody said anything about it. From us wearing black shorts, for us dedicating that, and nobody … Even on the victory stand, there were pictures where we were given the black power salute, but nobody talks about that.
Papers say, “What did you do? Did you do anything?” Guys, 50 years and nobody knows that these things happened and that the women would just, they were there, it’s just that what they had to say or if they were asked, was never printed.
Amira: I think that has a lot of lessons for today as we’re watching this renaissance of athletic activism and we see that the WNBA players being particularly active and I think that there’s a lot of lessons in that and remembering women are athletes too but have something to say.
Wyomia: Yeah, I think so and I think too the other part I’m really loving in this day and time, you have so many women of color being a part of sports that we would never even dream of them being a part of. It never was thought of or they would never allow us to be a part of and we have so many.
It’s just the fact that change had to start somewhere and to me change started in ’68. It’s moving on and it’s just now women are getting more empowered and being listened to a lot more and that, I think that’s great. I think it’s not just on the athletic field, it’s everywhere and that’s what we need in order to make a change.
Change is good and then Title IX Came and that made a whole big difference, but it also made a big difference in black schools too. Colleges and universities and that a lot of the … You were getting, Mr. Temple’s program could never happen in ever because nobody else was doing it when he was doing it and then now all schools they have women sports that you have to be equal in that.
Now our schools are great, recruiting, you can see that all the time. A student is going to say, “I don’t want to be in Tennessee, I prefer being in California,” that thing. That to me, what happened with the women sports, not that it’s a bad thing.
Amira: But it’s definitely a legacy that we don’t, but as much as we have this idea about the cost of integration for black college football for instance, that when they start integrating colleges, black college football started declining. We don’t realize that for women sports, you have that same legacy happening after Title IX and for black programs, especially these programs like Tennessee State and Tuskegee that were vanguards and were the first to get scholarships and do all of these things, this was really the start of the decline for them, because of resources and racism and all of this stuff. I think that’s really important to talk about.
Wyomia: I think so too and I think it should be talked about a lot more, because I don’t think everybody gets the gist of it. I think what we are saying here is just a little, the touch of the iceberg. I think a lot of times people might hear this little snippet and go “Wow, wow, they’re saying that,” It is true. It is true in the sense that, if you look at it, you research it, it will tell you right there.
We all want progress. It’s not that we’re not wanting that and we’re not seeing. You think about … I know people that are really at Tennessee State, I know most of them would say, “I just can’t, my program I can’t compete. I can’t give what these big schools are giving, I can’t.” People want to go to the schools and that’s great, they have the grace to go and that’s the other thing.
You just can’t want to go and go, but you have to have the grades to go and all of that. When it was just Tuskegee and Tennessee State, they had a monopoly on it and things have changed, but that change, we’re losing a lot of what we call history. Our history.
Amira: Great. I just have one last question. You talked about the importance of pay equality, and there has been a lot of conversations in recent years about pay equity in sports for women and then also about amateurism within colleges and we talked about your work aid scholarship, providing $10 a week.
Wyomia: A month.
Amira: A month? Oh that’s right. $10 a month. I think that we are at a moment where a lot of labor issues have come to the forefront and women athletes aren’t paid as much as men. College athletes, particularly black college athletes are caught in this exploitative system, where schools are making billions of dollars off their back. But, a lot of times when people try to defend against this, they say, “Oh, but if we pay men athletes to women sports are going to disappear.”
This week my coworker wrote a piece that said, stop using title nine as a shield and really just pay everybody. I think that I would love to hear your thoughts on issues of pay equality within women sports and if you thought, have we made progress, what work is there to be done, where are we about paying women athletes?
Wyomia: A long way away. I know that, that’s number one. I retired after ’68 and then about five years later I decide to go back because they started a pro-track tour and I thought athletes should be paid, because I know what a struggle it was for so many athletes to … I was okay because I got three meals a day in college, I got all my stuff paid for. But, people that were not in college, it was very difficult for them, for them to have a job, especially if you’re a woman.
To have a job, to be able to work a job and get the person that they’re working for. Because, I had to go to Europe for three weeks and as well, you don’t have a job when you get back. I’ve always felt that athletes should be paid. Why is it that because you run track, or why is it because you want to be in the Olympic games you should not be paid? That means if you’re in an Olympic games, you’re the best in the world. You should be paid for your talent. I’ve always felt that.
Now that’s it’s starting to come around, but when the kids started to come around, of course women were way, way, way on the back burner and it’s like, when are we going to see equal pay when it comes to that? I can think about athletes, I don’t know how it is now but I’m sure it’s like in track and field, I would hope that they get the same amount. But, from what I hear, that doesn’t happen. The same thing, I just think that, why wouldn’t you?
You want the best, you pay the best basketball player, you pay the best baseball player, why is it you can’t pay the best woman if they’re showing you entertainment which you’d want, you’re coming out to see. I can remember when UConn was winning all those games all the time and people started saying, “Oh God, that team always wins. I don’t really want to see basketball because they always win.” They never said that when the cowboys were the ones winning all those championships.
I never, I want to see more of the cowboys. I want the cowboys to be the one. I don’t understand the difference and I think people need to take a bigger, look at the big picture, because as they look at it, and to me it goes back to women are so weak, they’re not on the data. They’re weak, they don’t give us a good show. But, I don’t know why not. If anyone looked at the final four this year.
Amira: Exactly. We had a field day. We were talking about that last week.
Wyomia: Yeah, then I guess the people that were so upset with UConn not wining, they must be very happy now. It’s UConn not winning two years straight now.
Amira: But, they don’t even know and we need to increase coverage for women sports so that people can see this great talent.
Wyomia: Great talent, yeah. I think too that, I do think in these past Olympics and all that and with the emerging of a lot of women in color coming to the forefront, and women in many things you have not seen like in gymnastics and all that. Just the fact that people are looking at that and saying, it used to be of somebody who was like, Simone, that is just too muscular.
They’ve seen now that that’s what, it’s not too muscular, that’s being athletic. But, when men are doing it, it’s “Oh yeah, good show, that’s how you have to be.” Why does it make a difference whether you are a man or woman? You want to, as I go back to … You want to see the best, you want the best to be there. In order for that to happen, we have to encourage our women to do that and we have to insist that the press cover it differently.
Only when women do something and they don’t say. We have to educate the announcers because some of the things they say about women and certain sports, it’s like, and I mentioned this in my book. That’s something I talk about in my book so please go out there and buy that.
Amira: Go pick the book.
Wyomia: Tigerbelle and why we tell you a story. I talk about that and how there’s such a big difference and I don’t understand. When you’re looking at sports, you want to see the best. You want to see who’s doing and if it’s females that are better, that’s all the best. It lets you know what the world is all about. That’s what the world is.
Amira: Exactly. Well thank you so much for taking the time and talking with us today.
Wyomia: Thanks for having me.
Amira: Go get the book.
Wyomia: Oh yes. Please do.
Brenda: Apparently why we started burning it all down was, we thought sports media sucked at diversity. It’s sexism. Shireen, do you think it’s any better this year?
Shireen: Oh Brenda. Let’s talk about diversity in sports media and I just want to give a warning to the listeners not to die of non-surprise. This is from the EP May 2nd, 2018 and I’m just going to read a little bit of this from the article quote. “The number of jobs held by people of color and women in sports departments at newspapers and at websites has improved slightly, but remains low with most positions dominated by white males according to a study released Wednesday.”
Now this report was actually by the Florida’s Central, Central Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. What ended up happening was overall, it was a B for racial hiring, a D+ for overall hiring practices, and for the fifth time, a Fail for Gender hires and jobs. That includes sports editor, columnist, reporter and copy editor. Now we’re like, okay, we see this and every person of color I know in sports media is like, “This is not a shock, we can tell you by looking at our own. The board rooms, we can look at the stock, we can look at freelance, we can look at publishing.”
But, it’s interesting because the woman’s media center, and I’m actually listed as one “experts” with the women’s media center which seeks to diversify and amplify women in marginalized communities in different fields. They did a media center report and the one that they actually, on journalism, and the most recent one 2017, they say that the number of female assistant sports editors at 100 US and Canadian newspapers and websites fell roughly by half between 2012, 2014 from 17.2% to all such editors at 9.8%.
That actually fell. Then again when I do public speaking and I refer to this, I refer to the other, they do an annual report and checkup in 2014. In sports journalism they reported the women’s media center, 90% is male, and 90% is white sport editors. These aren’t quotes that we’re making up. I think it’s really important to recognize here that other than the women’s media center, these reports that come out, like the one from Central Florida’s Institute don’t actually have statistics on women of color.
They’ll just have people of color and women, because the women of color stats are non-existent or so low. I think that’s something to keep in mind as we look at this and unpack it, that that’s how sad it is. I live in Toronto and I have a really good friend, friend of the show named Morgan Kimball and he works for Toronto Star which is Canada’s biggest sport, like biggest daily. There’s one person of color in the entire sports department.
Jessica: Oh wow.
Shireen: We live supposedly in one of the diverse cities in the world. That’s just why we can delve into that and then, rightly so. There’s other, I know that Jess here had mentioned that Barstool is getting bigger with warm like man.
Jessica: Yay, everyone’s favorite sports site to talk about. Yeah, Barstool. Apparently, twitter sports announced they are going to bring a twitter only monthly sports show called Barstool Live, featuring the host of Part Of My Take and maybe you all remember that those hosts tried to have an ESPN show and that got booed off the air. But, now twitter is going to give them a space, which twitter sports in general is pretty garbage when it comes to diversity as like, they barely cover women sports to begin with, so I guess it’s not that surprising.
One of the interesting thing about the AP sports editor stat is how much ESPN squeeze the whole thing. I think that’s really important to recognize that as bad as the stats are, they would be so much worse if ESPN do not do the hiring they do. They found that 82 people of color who are either sports editor or assistants sports editors, 53 of them work for ESPN.
Of the 89 women who are assistant sports editor, 75 work for ESPN and of the 44 women who are columnists of what the study calls A newspapers and websites, 38 worked for ESPN. I always think about that any time I am criticizing ESPN and they deserve criticism for their coverage, this is a big part of what they do well. They stand alone in it and it’s really striking to think if they didn’t do such a good job, what these stats would be like.
Brenda: It brings us to Britt McHenry’s claim this week, that she was demoted at ESPN for being white. I think it’s worth, I think it’s worth talking about that.
Jessica: Can we just laugh at it? Can we just laugh?
Brenda: Yes, yes, yes.
Lindsay: I just don’t like giving her any attention.
Brenda: We deserve it. In our year, Britt McHenry has been on the bumper at least twice, maybe three times and she’s pointedly discussed hating the show. So, I would like to ….
Shireen: That’s one of my proudest moments actually.
Brenda: Me too. Me too. Linds, you wanted to jump in here?
Lindsay: Yeah, I refuse to give her any attention. I know that’s really, I just can’t do it. I can’t do it. I’m just so over that nonsense.
Shireen: Lindsay, clearly you don’t care about reverse racism.
Lindsay: Yes, that is the truest thing you’ve ever said.
Brenda: It’s hard to care about something that doesn’t exist, ever.
Lindsay: It doesn’t exist. It doesn’t. I have often been persecuted, so no. It’s just so bad, so bad. But, I have these wonderful moments so I just … I was at the Washington Mystics media day and you will hear in a little bit an interview from that day. But, I love the media there because it’s so many women of color and women. It’s incredible, and they’re so young and a lot of them are working for smaller independent sites, but there’s also the Washington Post.
A reporter Ava Wallace, who we’ve heard on the show before is there, and it’s just a reminder that I hope that the future of this is bright and that we have to keep giving people from all backgrounds opportunities in this. Of course Washington DC is more diverse. That is a nice bonus. But, the Washington Post is another place that we want to give a shout out to who has done a really great job. They have women, female beat reporters on all of their major sports beats right now and it’s a diverse group as well.
It’s lovely working in the city where that is much more the norm than the exception. However I’ll never forget last year going to the Maryland women’s basketball game during the NCAA tournament, was when they were hosting a game in the first round. I walked into the … I got a little lost trying to find the interview room and I walked in late and it was jam packed because it was NCAA tournament. But, I was literally the only woman.
Lindsay: It was the first time that had happened to me in a while and I was just taken aback. I was suddenly just super cognizant of the fact that I was wearing a dress and heels. I just felt super out of place. There’s still a long way to go and we have to lift up the places that are doing a good job and we need to keep pushing others to keep doing better and to say that “Look, this isn’t that hard” you just have to be purposeful about it and you have to think of it as something that is beneficial.
Brenda: Jessica, you’d talked a little bit earlier this week about a new initiative. The, She Is?
Jessica: Yeah, it’s a new initiative from the WNBA national pro-fast pitch, Canadian Women’s Hockey League, the National Women’s Hockey League, women’s professional lacrosse league and the USA tennis association. This groups have banded together. They want to create support at all levels of sport, from professional to grass roots, but beyond representation, they want to support each other and create bigger audiences for women sport, which is really great.
It’s interesting though that we’ve talked a lot about the lack of coverage for women sports and I do want to point Dave Berri, he wrote a great piece of Forbes about She Is, and talked about Adam Silver’s comments about the WNBA and how they need to do more work in order to build marketing. Dave pointed out that women’s sports leagues are simply different from men’s sports leagues because men’s sports leagues don’t rely solely on their own efforts or the efforts of other men sports leagues to create consumer demand for their product.
The league Adam Silver leads like all major North America sports leagues, relies on an immense amount of free coverage from the sports media and handouts from politicians to attract fans. I’m thrilled to see all these women dance together, it’s history repeating itself, women doing it for themselves. But, they also shouldn’t have to, but it does make sense when we talk about lack of diversity in the sports media, that the flipside of that is then women sports have to do all this for themselves.
Brenda: Historically I think women organizing collectively, independently of associations has been a lot more successful than we ever give it credit for. The idea is, “Oh FIFA is developing blah-blah-blah.” FIFA under-develops women’s soccer. Look at the tennis, what Billy Jean King had to do in the tennis circuit. It seems like it’s maybe an unfortunate truth, but it does seem like we need to accept the fact that women collectively organizing independently, have gotten themselves a lot further than waiting for men to get the picture.
Brenda: To get on board for that kind of a thing. Shireen is there anything you’re excited about right now in media and women sports?
Shireen: Actually thank you for mentioning that. I just finished this incredible war on the tail end of some women in sports network. We had a virtual summit that I talked about, it happened this weekend, it was a global conference and online summit and it was involving people. The organizers, co-organizers, are in London, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Australia, and then I’m in Toronto. So, you can imagine our conference call timings were ridiculous to suit everybody.
But, it was literally a dream come true for me and we have the you tube videos up. They will not stay up past this weekend but then by the time this goes to air, they’ll be up until we decide what to do with them. Hopefully make them accessible to everybody. But, it was just the idea of most of the women taking back their own narratives and speaking for themselves, which is a thing commonly expressed.
Everything from business, research, sportswear, update activism, we talked about it all. I was in a session with Hajar AbulFazl and Fatuma Abdul Kadir. Hajar is a former captain of Afghanistan’s women’s team and Fatuma runs Hodi Africa and she was on from Nairobi and she was talking about the work she’s done and as she was speaking, I teared up.
Then we had yesterday- this particular session on sports and development with Yasmeen Shabsough and Haneen Khateeb who are are part of the Jordan Quest, whoch we talked about as well, who played the match and the work they do in their local communities, and these are all women that do that work in different regions of the world but their stories overlap in so many ways. To hear that, it was really emotional for me. I kept it together. I moderated the panel. There’s these things that are popping up. There’s like sites for people of color and women of color. These things I find very important because the idea of, Jess, you said this many years ago, well not many, like three I think and it has always stuck with me. That, who tells a story is as important as what the story is. That’s something I will take with me forever as we keep marching forward.
Brenda: Linz, you want to wrap us up here?
Lindsay: Yeah, thank you. That actually is the perfect set up Shireen, because I wanted to show a few statistics about why this really matters. That this isn’t just to feel better for you, this isn’t just for bragging rights or so that we can look at these boards, look more like America. This matters who is telling the story. We’re not doing a good job right now.
There was a 2017 study by a Dr. Cynthia Frisby, an associate professor of strategic communications at the University of Missouri. I wrote about this at the progress and there’s a link in the show notes. But, she performed a media study to compare the ways that media talked about women in the 2012 Olympics versus the 2016 Olympics. She found that basically, coverage of these women got more racist and more sexist over that time period.
She actually found that the number of micro aggressions against female athletes and the media, increased by a staggering 40% between the 2012 Olympics and the 2016 Olympics and she unsurprisingly found that female athletes of color were subjected to more micro aggressions than white athletes and these micro aggressions relate to second class citizenship, restrictive gender roles and commentary that relates to their body shape and body image.
She also found that coverage of sports were considered to be more stereotypically masculine, such as basketball, weightlifting and boxing, were more likely to be laden with micro aggressions. That’s depressing. We’re going in the wrong direction and until we really boost up … A one way to help this is to boost, change who’s telling the story and that makes the other people who are telling these stories much more aware of the stories that they are telling as well.
In another study which was from a 2015 report by women’s media center, found that US plant media’s coverage of campus rape and sexual assault is significantly skewed towards the bylines and voices of men, particularly when it comes to sports. Overall, the study found that 55% of stories written about campus sexual assaults were authored by men and that disparity increased dramatically in the sports section where 64% of stories about campus sexual assault were authored by men and only 7% by women.
The remaining had staff byline so they couldn’t figure out the gender. From that, male sports writers sourced other men, 81% of the time in stories about sexual assaults in sports while they quoted women only 7% of the time and that was a stark difference from journalists overall, which means that the sports world is much worse at this. Female sports writers however quoted other women 49% of the time in their stories.
Lindsay: 7% to 49%. That’s a huge difference. That source breakdown makes a difference, because the study found that just 10% of men sourced in the story studied, addressed the impact that this assault had on the alleged victim compared to 22% of the women quoted. So, it matters. This is why it matters, because when we’re talking about things like sexual assault in sports or violence against women, when we’re talking about female athletes and their accomplishments, the story is not being told right and that is partly because it’s being told by the wrong people.
Brenda: Sad but true. Now it’s time for everybody’s favorite segment, where we burn the racist, sexist and otherwise awful things that have happened this week in sports. Jessica, do you want to light the first match?
Jessica: It was reported this week that Bella and Martha Karolyi have filed a suit against USA gymnastics in the US Olympic committee. USA gymnastics were supposed to buy the Crowley’s Texas Ranch but cancelled the sale after many gymnasts announced that Larry Nassar, who we’ve talked about repeatedly on this program had abused them there. That they felt the Karolyi’s didn’t do enough to protect them and that they never wanted to return to the ranch.
The Karolyi’s lawsuit, they’re seeking damages owed under the purchase agreement. “stigma damages” for the loss of market value of the ranch as well as punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The Karolyis were silent for a long time about Larry Nassar but now they say they didn’t know anything about his abuse. But, whoops. It was unearthed that in a 2017 deposition, Martha Karolyi said former USA gymnastics president Steve Penny told her in June of 2015, that Nassar had abused gymnasts at the ranch.
It also turns out that Nassar treated athletes at the ranch without having a Texas medical license. On top of all of these, multiple gymnasts are suing the Karolyis and have spoken up about the abusive behavior they faced from the Karolyis and that this abuse created an environment where someone like Larry Nassar could abuse without impunity.
When abuse is an integral part of coaching, how are these young girls and women supposed to be able to recognize that other forms of abuse as out of bounds? The Karolyis aren’t victims here and they need to just crawl back under whatever rock they finally emerged from.
I do want to quickly note that the way physical and sexual abuse coexists in gymnastics spaces is not only limited to female victims, or only in the United States. Dozens of male gymnasts in Brazil have recently come forward to report a fame coach for sexual abuse and about general abuse in this sport. I just want to burn all of these.
Lindsay: Yeah, building on the Karolyis a little bit, they gave a dateline interview on NBC News a couple of weeks ago. In that interview, which was their first big talk on the Nassar topic, they said that the FBI still had not interviewed them. Let me repeat that. Two and a half years after the FBI was first notified about allegations of Nassar’s abuse, it still has not conducted interviews with Bella and Martha Karolyi.
This builds on the fact that the FBI took nearly 10 months to really get their investigations into Nassar off of the ground. During those 10 months he was still abusing, seeing patients and abusing them at Michigan State. The FBI has done a terrible job investigating the Nassar case and the fact that they still haven’t talked to the Karolyi’s is a sign that it’s not getting any better, and we need to demand more from our institutions including the federal ones. Burn, FBI burn.
Lindsay: Not literally, please don’t arrest me, I love you.
Shireen: Yes, this actually is something that’s a little bit closer to home in Canada. We’ve talked about humble truce, only the tragedy and how much hockey means to this country and to many people in it. Unfortunately racism in hockey doesn’t mean as much. Now, Givani Smith of The Kitchener Rangers was suspended for two games by the Ontario Hockey League because this particular player, he’s a Detroit Red man’s prospect, was seen giving the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds bench the middle finger.
But, what the rest didn’t see or hear was the racial abuse he received and that he was responding to. After a link, and I’ll quote this from the link on the record, which we’ll have in the show notes. “After a late season game in Sarnia, one fan tried to get at Smith in the team’s dressing room. We had an incident during the regular season where a fan somehow got access to our tunnel. It was a game where he (Smith) had been sent to the room early because he had misconduct. Fan poked his head in and yelled a racial slur down the hall. I’m not going to repeat it but it wasn’t good”.
That’s Ranger’s Mike McKenzie. Now I don’t know of a racial slur that is good, but point taken. I just want to absolutely burn this, because not only did the Ontario Hockey League not recede that burn yet on him, that he’s been suspended. I think that this goes to a deeper issue that they’re not willing to address and I’m not here for it. He’s one of the few black players in Ontario Hockey League, incredibly talented with a good record. I want to burn it.
Brenda: My burn this week comes from listener Janine. We’d like to thank her for her suggestion. This week, new and awful details emerged about hostile sexist practices at Nike. The New York Times ran a really great story about it, we’ll put in the show notes. Basically while this isn’t about sports directly, Nike’s logo graces sports installations and athletic bodies, they are all around the world.
It should be a huge support story. If we’re wearing this on our bodies and we know what things are going on, it’s a really important story that isn’t somehow being picked up at all by sport outlets, not really surprising, because of the power that Nike has. This is all coming to the fore because of a covert survey administered by women inside of Nikes pivot in Oregon headquarters.
I’d also like to at the same time burn also, I don’t know, give a special shout out to their efforts in doing this. They’ve really pushed this issue and shown how terrible the human resources department is there and as a result, many top Nike executives are resigning. I would just like to say though, great for the New York Times, but I’d also like to burn the idea that people are surprised by this.
Nike traffics in child labor all around the world. We know this. We’ve known that there’s books and books. The fact that a company that actively exploits children, boys and girls, is also a terrible discriminatory place where sexual harassment is rampant, should be somehow connected in these reports. This is a corporate entity monster that’s done a lot of bad things for a very long time. But, I’m glad that this is getting new attention and am in awe of the women who are doing it. I’d like to burn Nikes, just kind of period.
Brenda: If that’s okay, if we can just throw Nike some burn.
Okay, onto a much happier topic. Our bad ass women of the week who have made great strides. Our honorable mentions for this week go to AJ Mleczko, the first woman to work as an in-booth analyst in the NHL post season. Caster Semenya who claimed a victory in the 1500 meters in the first event of the season of the Diamond League, and for her general grace, given the attacks she’s constantly suffering by the IAAF. Becky Hammon, who’s being interviewed by the Milwaukee Bucks for their head coaching job. Whoo-hoo.
Brenda: We can write a letter of recommendation anytime. Kim Pegula, for being the only and first female president of an NFL team and NHL team after Russ Brandon resigned after a “internal investigation into Brandon’s workplace behavior and allegations of personal misconduct.” Best of luck to Kim. Chelsea women’s football club who won the FA cup last Saturday in the final over Arsenal with a score of 2-0. Attendance smashed last year’s record with a number of 45,423.
And, can I get a drum roll? Oh man, something we’ve not gotten better at over a year.
Jessica: It’s charming. It’s charming.
Brenda: It’s rustic. It’s DIY.
Lindsay: Vintage. Vintage, you know?
Brenda: It goes to the Mexican women’s national league. I don’t want to say one team or one person. It has been a group effort from the beginning. They’re in their second year and the final topped 50,000 for a place where women have battled constantly to play football at all that has no support from the Mexican’s men federation, to have achieved its second year of professional football soccer.
We’ve covered it since the beginning. It’s exceptional. So, congratulations to the entire Mexican Women’s league.
Brenda: Hey, what’s good? What’s good? Jessica.
Jessica: Yeah. As I said last week, I’m super into the Great British Baking Show and it’s made me want to bake all the time. What’s been good in my world is Stella Parks. She has an amazing baking cookbook called BraveTart. It recently won the James Beard award for baking and deserts books category. It’s that good and so far I’ve made her pineapple upside down cake and honey roasted peanut butter cookies and you all, this week I’m making her homemade hoisters cupcakes, those chocolate cupcakes with the cream in the middle and the white piping on top.
Last night I made the homemade cool whip that will go inside the cupcakes, it’s amazing. BraveTart is a delight, it’s super delicious and it’s making my entire world very good.
Lindsay: Thanks for inviting me over Jess, I’ll be there at 10.
Jessica: Any time, okay.
Shireen: That sounds amazing.
Brenda: Why can’t baked goods stay good longer?
Jessica: I know, I know.
Brenda: You could find a way to get them to us. Shireen?
Shireen: Shireen’s what’s good. I already talked a little bit about the conference which I’m still really, really on a high on. Ramadhan is actually around the corner and so we’re trying to get focused on that and everything.
Right now I am actually really excited about Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and that’s something I never thought I would say in my life. That I’m excited about Liverpool football club. But, there’s a lot of really interesting discussions happening about him. I’m thinking about actually penning something about it. I’m not going to give too much away but just his effect and what he’s done in terms of, are there songs that are being sung by Liverpool fans about things like, “I want to be like Mohamed Salah, and I want to convert.” It’s just really interesting because I never in a million years thought that these would be songs sung by people in Liverpool about this Muslim guy. It’s just very interesting. So that’s good, and he brings a lot of joy. So, that’s always good.
Brenda: What’s good for me is actually not travelling this week or next week or the week after, and staying put for a little while in Argentina and getting into a routine. I love travelling but it’s going to be nice to stay here and it’s cooler. It’s the opposite weather, so it’s fall here and it’s cooler and beautiful and rainy and I love rain because there’s no pressure to pretend to be happy all the time. You know how you can feel like summer and you’ve got to go and do a million things because that’s it, it’s summer.
It’s not in Austin but in Argentina it’s nice to be rainy and feel like you can enjoy the fall and the cool down and fewer mosquito bites. That’s what good for me. And Lindsay? What’s good for you?
Lindsay: Us? This has been my refuge for the year. But also I guess the NBA playoffs have really been fun. I’m still buzzing from LeBron James game winner last night. Or Saturday night at this point at the end of game three and I’m just having a lot of fun watching them. Although I’m a little disappointed at how well Boston is doing because goodness, Billy is so much to watch.
I love Joel Embiid, but they just don’t seem quite ready for it and Boston’s sports fans are already, hi Amira, are already some of the most obnoxious sports fans and the fact that they are doing this well without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving means they’re just going to be even more insufferable. So that’s not good, but overall loving the NBA playoffs where they find escape.
Brenda: Well that’s it for this week. Our one-year anniversary on Burn It All Down. Yay.
Shireen: Happy birthday. No I’m not going to sing, I have a terrible voice as Brenda pointed out.
Brenda: What? I did no such thing. I would like to say for the record, that I reassured Shireen she can do anything, singing included.
Lindsay: I would like to say for the record that I vetoed singing.
Brenda: The last time I sang on the show it didn’t go well.
Jessica: That’s not true.
Shireen: You know the birthday song in Arabic is really, really good. It’s called “Sana Helwa Ya Gameel” and it’s not the happy birthday. It’s more like, it sounds like a belly dancing song. It’s so great. Maybe we can do a little you tube link to that, because it’s just really, really fun. It just makes you want to dance.
Brenda: We can do a Patreon segment with us singing that version.
Lindsay: I don’t want to sing it. I want to dance to it. I don’t want to sing.
Shireen: Okay, no singing.
Brenda: Although dance is even harder Shireen, okay. We’ll sing, you’ll dance.
Shireen: I love you all.
Brenda: Burn it all Down lives on Sound Cloud but can be found on ITunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Tune In. We appreciate your reviews and feedbacks so please subscribe and let us know what we do well, and how we can improve the show. We love your feedback and your contribution over the past year. You can also find us on Facebook at Burn It All Down, on twitter at Burn it down pod, or on Instagram at Burn it all down pod and you can email us at email@example.com.
Also check out our website, www.burnitalldownpod.com, where you will find previous episodes, transcripts, and a link to our patron. We would really appreciate you subscribing, sharing, and raving on the patron side as well which helps us to keep doing the work that we love to do and burning what needs to be burned. On behalf of Amira who unfortunately couldn’t be here today, Jessica, Lindsay, Shireen, I’m Brenda Elsey, and we love and thank you for the joy that this show has brought us.