Episode 58: World Cup Talk, White House Visits (Or Nah)+ NHL Finals Wrap Up w/ Jashvina Shah + Courtney Szto
It’s almost time for the Men’s World Cup!! This week Amira and Shireen talk international friendlies in the lead up to World Cup Action before also chatting about Women’s World Cup Qualifications and reviewing the new World Cup Song.
Then Shireen is joined by Jashvina Shah and Courtney Szto to recap the NHL Finals and talk about the Caps Championship.
Finally, Amira and Shireen slog through the muddy political waters of White House Championship Visits- the history, the ridiculousness, the rescinded invites and the current wave of athletes who say “Nah” to going.
Intro (4:12) World Cup (18:50) Interview with Jashvina Shah and Courtney Szto (37:25) White House visits (51:27) Burn Pile Bad Ass (55:14) Woman of the Week (1:00:25) What’s Good (1:02:46) Outro
For links and a transcript…
“Lindsey Vonn, P.K. Subban are sports’ newest power couple” https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2018/06/07/lindsey-vonn-pk-subban-dating/680527002/
“Ovechkin and Capitals overcome final hurdle to win Stanley Cup” https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ovechkin-capitals-overcome-final-hurdle-win-stanley-cup/
“Hard pass: Smith-Pelly will skip White House visit if Caps win Cup” http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/devante-smith-pelly-president-trump-white-house-1.4695235
“There are no women in Forbes’ top 100 highest–paid athletes list” https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/06/no-women-at-all-in-forbes-top-100-highest-paid-athletes-list-for-2018.html
“Shredding the Forbes 100 highest-paid athletes list (one player at time): On the WNBA greats” https://www.swishappeal.com/platform/amp/2018/6/7/17437358/2018-wnba-hoops-happening-forbes-100-highest-paid-athletes-maya-moore-diana-tarasi-tina-charles
“Four more women abused by ski coach obtain right to be identified by name” https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/06/05/four-more-women-abused-by-ski-coach-obtain-right-to-be-identified-by-name.html
“FSU claims the 2018 Softball Championship” https://www.ncaa.com/news/softball/article/2018-06-05/social-media-reacts-florida-state-softballs-first-womens-college
“New Zealand women make record ODI total against Ireland in Dublin” https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/44417009
“Simona Halep Becomes a Major Champion at the French Open” https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/simona-halep-becomes-a-major-champion-at-the-french-open
“Semenya Cruises to Diamond League Victory in Oslo” http://ewn.co.za/2018/06/08/semenya-cruises-to-diamond-league-victory-in-oslo
“Mumford will rename auditorium to honor ESPN’s Jemele Hill” https://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/2018/06/07/mumford-high-dedicate-auditorium-jemele-hill-graduation-commencement-speaker-espn-journalist/681404002/
“Ellyse Perry named world’s best female cricketer in inaugural Guardian survey” https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jun/08/ellyse-perry-worlds-best-female-cricket-guardian
Amira: Welcome to this week’s episode of “Burn It All Down.” It’s the feminist sport’s podcast you need. I’m Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history in women’s gender and sexuality studies at Penn State University. Joining me today is the one and only Shireen Ahmed, freelance journalist, our resident Canadian and all around bad ass. Welcome Shireen.
Shireen: Hey Amira.
Amira: It’s just the two of us today and we are as Shireen likes to call it #teammelanin. And while that’s in jest we definitely joke, it’s also real. And Shireen and Shakeia Taylor this week actually have a recent piece on the Shadow League about women in color in sports media or lack thereof. And I highly, highly recommend it.
Anyways, we got a fun show for you today. We will be talking Men’s World Cup preview, a little bit of update about the Women’s World Cup. We’ll talk about athletes visiting the White House or not visiting the White house. Plus Shireen interviews both Jashvina Shah and Dr. Courtney Szto on the Stanley Cup.
But before we get started with that Shireen learned very important news this week. And that is that one PK Subban is dating Lindsey Vonn.
Shireen: I am floored and excited and I didn’t know that I hadn’t heard this news. I think I was just so wrapped up in World Cup because you know, PK didn’t text me, so I was a bit thrown off. But wow what a … and I think they debuted at the Country Music Awards if I’m not mistaken.
Amira: Yeah at the CMA’s. So indulge us folks as we dive into our favorite sports relationships. Where do you rank this? I mean this took me by surprise too. Cause I was just like, “Where did they meet?”
Shireen: Where did they meet? And I think it’s a really interesting pairing because Lindsey Vonn has been really outspoken since participation in the Olympics about her disdain for Trump and this. I just think it’s really interesting because PK is not that way. He doesn’t speak up. He’s one of the few black hockey players that actually, he chooses the more “diplomatic approach” which I don’t understand. And so when I talk to him this is one of the things I want to ask him. Because I’m still holding out hope that he’ll e-mail back. He’s up there with Tim Duncan, never replies to my media requests.
But the thing is that in the age of JT Brown and Devante Smith Pelly, you know we have these hopes. Now there’s Lindsey Vonn out there who, okay the connection is winter sports, how ’bout that?
Amira: They met in the winter Olympic village somewhere.
Shireen: He didn’t go to the Olympics but maybe-
Amira: Womp womp.
Shireen: But maybe he was like I dunno just appreciating her effort and whatnot.
Amira: In the snow yes.
Shireen: I want to know where they met. I need to find out more about that.
Amira: It’s interesting. Well the other fun relationship in sports that we got to see this weekend is Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens. And Jozy was court side as Sloane was battling in the French Open finals. They’re so melanated and cool and they’re wonderful.
Shireen: I love Jozy and Sloane. I also, I’m in Toronto FC, like I really want to make him a Canadian. Like I need him to be Canadian.
Amira: No you can’t have him. We’ve already had this discussion.
Shireen: I know but even my kids are like, the only man they can name on the Canadian national team is Jozy Altidore. I’m like guys, he’s not Canadian, yet.
Amira: It’s funny that you say that ’cause the other couple that I wanted to, if we’re ranking our favorite current sports couples. The couple that’s at the top of my list of course is Syd and Dom and so again I totally claim Syd Leroux despite the fact that she’s very Canadian. So I guess you can kind of claim Jozy.
Shireen: Sid and Dom are another … and their family photos are like up among my-
Amira: The most adorable thing on the face of the earth.
Shireen: They’re beautiful and they’re support of each other in their playing is just incredible to me.
Amira: So the Men’s World Cup is just around the corner. It is almost here folks. So if you’re a football fan this is clearly just a wonderful time of year as the World Cup approaches and the Women’s World Cup is clearly on the horizon. So this weekend France played the United States, who as we all know will not be going to Russia. But they met in a friendly right before the French team board the plane to go over to Russia. And you can tell by Shireen’s groaning already, this friendly did not exactly go as fans of the French team suspected it would. And for much of the match the United States aided by Jeremy Green’s goal were up one zero all the way through 75 minutes of this match.
I was kind of gleefully watching this kind of young dude’s on the United States team, a lot of them super melanated, were really bringing to one of the best teams in the world and also watching everyone on my Twitter timeline who happens to be French national soccer fans, I haven’t worked out how everybody I follow is, but were collectively freaking out.
Shireen: Julian Green. It’s Julian.
Amira: Julian Green. So I know something.
Shireen: Is actually the first American to ever score against France. This boy was born in 1995 so he’s five minutes old basically and it’s just-
Shireen: That’s the year I entered university. It’s pretty incredible. But yeah I remember getting on Twitter ’cause I wasn’t at a computer to see the beginning. And I was like, “Wait, what?” Hugo Lloris, who is the goalkeeper just … I don’t know if he was asleep or he had drunk too much red wine. It was literally … and then all the memes came out like Lloris vs. Karius who as we know was the goalkeeper for Liverpool in the final. And that didn’t end very well because it was on two goalkeeping gaps that essentially they lost. But it was like “I can’t believe it.” And then someone did point out to me on Twitter as I was being really dramatic, that this squad is not the same squad for team U.S.A that didn’t qualify, it’s a fresh young-
Amira: Oh yeah. This is a fresh young squad. This is the squad that they should’ve put in at least. I don’t know what Bruce Arena… I have many thoughts about what the U.S. Men’s National Team is looking and going through. But I think that what this friendly showcased is that there is a kind of reservoir of young talent. This friendly made me semi hopeful that it could be utilized in a particular way. They need minutes. They need time on the pitch. And maybe friendlies like this will help them so that this is just a kind of transition moment and then they can get back on the world stage in the years to come.
I assume for you and other, our French fans who are watching the friendly it wasn’t the kind of send off to the World Cup that you would have wanted.
Shireen: Well Giroud actually ended up getting this massive head injury. I think this is really important. There’s a couple people I call my Twitter football family, one is Laurent Dubois, professor at Duke, one is Zito [Madu], he’s a writer for SB Nation, and there’s a couple more that I follow Sophia Azeb, Sanaa Qureshi, we have these banters back and forth, but my team hopeful for, obviously after Nigeria, Iran, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, is for developing nations, colonizing nations, is France. I couldn’t believe what I saw yesterday. There was so disorganized. And I can imagine Didier Deschamps, the coach, literally freaking out and cursing. ‘Cause I could picture that.
There’s another thought I had that, maybe this was a tactic to make everybody think they suck, and then they get there, because their draw is fairly easy. Their draw for the World Cup, their group is not the most arduous. They’re with like Peru, Denmark, and Australia. And in my opinion, Peru will be one of the most challenging, and the Socceroos as well, Australia will be challenging. Denmark, I think the women are superior, but it’ll be really interesting to see what happens. It wasn’t a great performance at all.
Amira: So speaking of friendlies, the other thing that happened in friendlies news in the last week was that Argentina canceled it’s friendly with Israel. Shireen what are your thoughts on this?
Shireen: There’s conflicting reports. Because then there’s some news started to come out and it said that there were threats against Messi. I don’t know who in their right mind except Ronaldo fans might want to do that. I don’t think, Messi is literally got more armed security than the president of the club of Barcelona. He’s guarded really well. I don’t know. I do know that the match was supposed to be played on stolen, occupied Palestinian land. That’s where the stadium is, in an old village that was historically wiped out. I don’t know there’s some other reports saying that people are shocked because Argentina has quite a large Zionist community. And people are conflating Jewish community with Zionist community.
That’s also a really important distinction. In terms of football, I would love someone to dig in deeply to the story but the Argentine football federation is very mum about it. They’re not engaging and they’re just saying that they’re just focusing on the World Cup. So I’m pleased it happened. Do I think it’s a success of BDS, Boycott, divestment, sanctions? Not necessarily because I’m not sure and I wouldn’t put money on it. But I do think that this kind of discussion is really important, particularly after what’s happening right now and the way that unarmed civilians, including medical personnel and children are being murdered relentlessly. This is not something that’s going unnoticed and do politics creep into sports? Of course because they’re inherently-
Amira: They’re already there.
Shireen: They’re already there. And particularly on the eve of the World Cup, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more murmuring in the upper echelons of FIFA just to sort of say, “We’ve got to quash this.” Because there’s a lot of people, a lot of people and lot of pro Palestinian countries that are entering the World Cup in bigger numbers. Like you’ve got five from African continent and then two Middle Eastern countries. So you’ve got some that are super, pro Palestine and like anti oppression. The whole thing is I really honestly did not expect it at all. I didn’t think that the Argentinians would pull out but I was very happy to see it.
Amira: Yeah. And it’s so interesting because I always joke, obviously politics are in sports and it just reminded me of, I’ll give a historical tidbit. In 1948 in the lead up to the London Olympics, it was kind of a victory lap for the Allies and the only Axis power that was invited to the games was Italy. And so because the IOC wants to cling to the idea that politics and sports don’t mesh, they couldn’t just say, “Oh Germany and Japan weren’t invited.” They had to say. “Oh their invitations were lost in the mail.” They didn’t get an invite. But the other thing that happened that year is that Israel in 1948 became Israel. And a lot of Arab countries basically were like “If you admit them to the IOC we’re not coming.” We just finished this long battle, we’re not doing it.
IOC was caught between these federations, didn’t know what to do. What they decided to do was tell Israel they were not able to come to the Olympics because when they had filled out their paperwork and all the documentations to come, they had registered as Hebrew Palestine right? They had done paper work in February and in May is when it becomes Israel. So in June the IOC is like, “Oh well the Olympics start next month but you can’t come because of a paperwork error.” So there’s all these ways that obviously sports have always been political. And these are the kind of lengths that people go to to separate them and be like, “Oh it just so happens that we lost your invite. Or there was a paperwork error.” All this stuff to try avoid dealing with actual kind of tension and conflict in the global world.
Shireen: And I think these historical tidbits are really important and I love that you add them because God I learn something every time. But historically there’s precedent for this and there’s precedent for exclusion and there’s precedent for colonial empires to put down a oppressive regime actually to exclude in sport, which is really unfortunate but there’s so many conversations about it.
Amira: So while the focus is immediately on the men’s cup as I mentioned, it should be noted that exactly a year from this weekend, the Women’s World cup with kick off in France. So far along with the host country of France, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand have already qualified. And just this week Italy and Spain also punched their tickets to the Women’s World Cup. The United States, for those who care will try in October to qualify. Obviously they are the apple of our eye for U.S sporting or soccer needs. So October, circle your calendars. As we are getting hyped up about the Men’s World Cup we should definitely draw attention to the fact that more friendlies and qualifiers are on the horizon. If you are a football fan and you are enjoying the Men’s World Cup, be on the lookout for these things because Women’s World Cup teams are hitting that one year period where they’re starting to get their rosters together and trying to getting their countries to qualify and World Cup years are wonderful.
And because we get the Women’s World Cup and the Men’s World Cup back to back it kicks off, ushers in, be a football frenzy if you will.
Shireen: Did you mention Canada? I thought I didn’t hear Canada in the qualifiers.
Amira: They didn’t qualify.
Shireen: Which is in the fall but also to be said, there is suspicion that is captain Christine Sinclair’s last World Cup. I know. She’s a member of the Order of Canada. She is, you know if one is into awards from the empire and whatnot, she is honestly, I think she should be our prime minister. But the thing is, in this process, and you mentioned this at the top of the show, that there’s constant neglect to mention that. And this is really interesting, this week the FIFA Women’s World Cup Twitter account actually released a promotional video, it’s beautiful, for France and we’ll put the link in the show notes. It’s really beautiful, but they’re pegging the World Cup next year in France as the World Cup. Not the World Cup Femmine or the Women’s World Cup. They’re just calling it the World Cup. Which I think is really interesting when we’re talking about gendered language.
The video itself is beautiful. It’s really, really well shot. They have a ton of money and it’ll be really interesting to see what happens next year in the lead up because previously Les Bleues, the women’s side of the French national team didn’t get a lot of support even when they were in Canada at the last World Cup. So it will be really interesting then.
More locally, I was listening to a radio interview and I’m so salty about this. On Metro Morning which is Toronto’s largest morning talk show on CBC, a radio show. There was a sports journalist named Nigel Reed and he was saying that in the lead up to the World Cup, just sort of talking about the excitement. And he’s an English man and he supports England, cough, gag. What he did was he explained that the World Cup, the Men’s World cup is actually the only legitimate tournament in the world. And I’m sitting here waiting for this man to say, “The Women’s World Cup as well.” Because the Men’s World Cup is not the only legitimate tournament. Of course, it wasn’t mentioned. And this just goes back to how often women’s football is forgotten in mainstream media conversations. Which is so enraging.
And it happens so casually and all the time. So I wanted to say that and I know it’s not technically in the burn pile, but I hate it all.
Amira: Yes, definitely. On that note before we move on I have a very important question for you Shireen. Please give us your thoughts on this year’s official World Cup song.
Shireen: Oh “Live It Up.” I just saw the video this morning. I think it’s honestly one of the most fun songs. It doesn’t have Pitbull so I’m good. I really do like, I can’t even get over J-Lo and Pitbull, I just, I can’t. It was traumatic to me. So we’ve got it’s called “Live It Up.” It features Nicky Jam, Will Smith and Era Istrefi. So we’ve got a Latino, a Black man and a Kosovar woman doing this. And it’s really, really, really fun. I’m kind of like, “Could they not get someone more current that Will Smith?”
Amira: Listen he’s making a comeback. He’s back in the studio.
Shireen: I hear you there. But I’m kind of like, I dunno, maybe they could have got Chance the Rapper? I dunno. It’s fine. Nothing against Will Smith, it’s all good. But the Vibe is fun and he’s a very uplifting fun person so I get it. It is no “Waka Waka” which absolutely loved. “Waka Waka” was really fun. I also really liked the video for waving flag with K’naan and the version with Nancy Ajram. I really love that video. So this song is fun. People are saying that the music is deteriorating progressively but I really don’t think we can get much worse than Pitbull and J-Lo performing. And I think it’s on an uprise.
But the hype itself. Music is great and it’s a fun accompaniment, but the reality is that the beauty and the artistry will come from the plays themselves. So we can put whatever soundtrack we want to that. And I’m sure we’ll see gifs and videos of plays to the Titanic theme. I’m expecting that. I’m excited about that.
Amira: Great so this week, Shireen sat down and chatted about the Stanley Cup finals.
Shireen: Hey flame throwers! I’m so excited about this interview. We are talking Stanley Cup playoffs with two of my favorite hockey people in the entire world. First we have Jashvina Shah. Jashvina is the editorial director for Neutral Zone where she covers amateur hockey. She first covered Boston University’s women’s hockey and then covered the men in college. After graduating she founded a website dedicated to Princeton hockey coverage and also began covering the Big Ten in it’s inaugural season.
We also have with us Dr. Courtney Szto she just completed her Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University in the school of communication. Her research explored South Asian experiences in Canadian Hockey as a way to better understand the intersections of race, multiculturalism and citizenship. She is also the assistant editor of “Hockey in Society,” a blog that examines critical social issues as they relate to hockey.
Courtney recently gave me a skating lesson and I think I did really well, but she can talk about that later. And Josh and I have yet to sit down and have chai with each other, which I’m really looking forward to. Welcome friends.
Courtney: Thank you for having us.
Jashvina: Yeah, thank you.
Shireen: Okay. So let’s get into this situation. So the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup. How are you all feeling about that? Court?
Courtney: I’ve been an OB supporter since he got into the league, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. If the Vancouver Canucks can’t win the cup, and obviously this season they did not deserve to win the cup or being anywhere near it, I’m very happy that the Capitals got to hoist it.
Shireen: Jash, what about you?
Jashvina: So for me it’s kind of funny because I grew up a Devils fan. And because I was a Devil’s fan I hated the Capitals my entire life because there’s bad blood between Ovechkin and Marty Brodeur. And I don’t know if anyone else knows this story, but it was made aware to me, I became a hockey fan right after this happened. But you know how players have visors? They actually used to have tinted visors but apparently, or it’s what I’ve heard, Marty Brodeur didn’t like the fact that the players had tinted visors, I guess cause he couldn’t see where their eyes were looking. And he particularly didn’t like that Ovechkin had it. So because of him they banned these tinted visors. There’s just been really ridiculous bad blood, as there often is in sports between the Capitals and the Devils. That was a long time ago and my loyalties haven’t changed but my perspective on hockey has changed obviously because I cover it now and I didn’t back then.
And I have a couple really good friends who are Capitals fans. And just knowing how good of an athlete Ovechkin is and how much people like to take credit away from him simply because he hasn’t won is very aggravating. So I’m really happy he finally got a Stanley Cup and I’m happier for two of my really good friends who’ve been Caps fans since the day they were born and I’ve watched them suffer. I’m pretty happy, I’m happy for everyone else I guess. I personally don’t really care, but I’m happy for everyone else.
Shireen: That’s good. And you went to Las Vegas to cover some of this didn’t you?
Jashvina: So I actually wasn’t there to cover it. I was there for my friend’s birthday and as soon as … the funny thing was is I looked at the schedule as soon as the Golden Knights made it and I would have gone to the game but unfortunately they were in DC the week that I was there. But it was such an experience. I personally have kind of been distanced from the NHL in recent years. I think since the last lockout but being there kind of reignited some of that passion because I’ve never seen a city go all in the way Vegas has gone in.
Everywhere you look there’s Golden Knight’s stuff. It’s like the song you keep hearing on repeat and you don’t like it, but because you keep hearing it you end up liking it. That’s kind of what happened to me.
Courtney: I agree. I was in Vegas recently as well during the playoffs. And it was, the city is sweating hockey, like literally sweating hockey. It’s pretty cool actually.
Shireen: But it sounds so bizarre. Vegas and hockey. This fairytale story of the team of players that they called “Has beens” getting together and don’t get me wrong Mark Andre Fleury, the little mascot the dog, what was his name again? It was so cute. Bark Andre-
Jashvina: Oh Bark Andre Furry.
Shireen: Furry. Okay that was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and admittingly I was rooting for the Caps. Well I hate the Penguins just because I’m so disappointed in Canadian homeboy Sidney Crosby, because he went to the White House and I’ll forever be salty about that. But anyway, I really liked OV and one of the reasons is because he’s like besties with Fatima Al Ali, the captain of the United Emirates Hockey Team. That story is so cool to me. That he just found nothing abnormal about this Emirate woman playing hockey and she’s just friends with this big bulky Russian hockey player which is completely normal. So that’s kinda why I was going for the Caps and also just the story of like you said, how he’s not credited and he’s a really incredible athlete.
But yeah Vegas? Hockey? That’s weird to me. Just like it was weird to me many many years ago. Many many many years ago when Las Angeles came, I was there when the Kings went to Las Angeles, like that franchise started. Also Nashville. I’m like what are these random U.S. towns doing with hockey teams? What is that about? But you both are saying that the excitement … so in your opinions ’cause you were both there. It wasn’t the traditional, was it very circusy kinda hockey vibe? What was that like?
Jashvina: I don’t know how I would describe it. I think for me the reason I thought Vegas having a hockey team was weird was just the perception we just have of Vegas in general. That people don’t, I mean obviously people do live there but just because it’s pretty much a city based on tourism, it’s kind of hard to imagine how this team could have a loyal following when their economy is built on people coming in and leaving. Or the perception for us is that it’s not as much built on the people who actually live there, which is why I thought it was strange. I think there are some aspects where it’s kind of circusy. Like went back to my hotel one day and there was, right before the game, there was a drum line leaving the hotel. And I was like “Alright this is strange and would not happen in any other city.” But I think it’s more just very deeply rooted is how I would say it.
Everybody is wearing Golden Knight stuff. There is Golden Knight merchandise everywhere. I was telling my friends that if I see another logo I think I’m going to lose it. And if you walk on the floor of the Casinos, it’s plastered on the floor of the casinos it says “Let’s go Knights,” or whatever. Everyone has their fancy whatever LED, what am I saying, what are they called? The display screens I guess outside, they now all say “Let’s go Knights.” It’s crazy. And I think there are a lot of people who are truly passionate like truly care to see the team succeed. So I don’t actually know how much of it I would say is circusy. I think it’s everywhere.
Shireen: Because the NHL commissioner said that they really wanted to hype this playoffs up NFL style and of course I recoiled because everyone wanting to emulate the NFL is like disgusting. Because they’re so problematic. But thin thing is part of the excitement about this also appeals to me. Introducing a new swath of fans to a game is great. I was asking Courtney if the fact that the hype in Vegas was so big and a really big deal and so authentic, did that make you nervous as a Caps fan?
Courtney: I think I was there in the previous round. So it wasn’t for the finals finals, it was the Tampa Bay? No not Tampa bay obviously, they’re on the east. But no I don’t think it makes me nervous. I think it’s nice as a Canadian to see other hockey cities really embracing this sport. It’s kind of a weird thing to appreciate as a Canadian but for some reason you’re like “Okay, we’re not the only ones that love this sport.”
Shireen: Yeah we tend to have, I sort of feel like we have this expected monopoly on hockey, which I will forever feel, but that’s okay. And you know, just being an American, I don’t fault you for that. Just this whole idea of these rivalries, which speaking of rivalries I’m kinda glad Amira’s not on this call ’cause she’s a hardcore Bruins supporter and she and I kinda go at it. So I was sort like, she’s like “Nah, you go ahead with the interview.” And I was like, “Oh okay good.” ‘Cause I don’t want her coming up here bringing her Bruins drama. ‘Cause there’s so much drama with the Bruins. And I’m a Habs fan admittedly and we’re also nowhere near the playoffs. So I could unabashedly support without too much emotional investment in this round and that was fun for me to be able to see.
There’s one thing I wanted to ask. The scores in these games were really high in the finals. Do you remember those games where it used to be like three, one, two, one? We’re talking like five goals, like what’s that about do you think?
Jashvina: I think on one hand the NHL is trying it’s best and hockey in general is trying it’s best to increase the number of goals because they seem to feel that the only a game is exciting is if everyone is scoring. Which is false. And everyone knows it’s false. I don’t know why they still think that but they do things. Like they make tweaks here and there to make it harder for the goalies. I think a few years ago, or a couple years ago they very, not a lot but they decreased the size of goalie pads and they do stuff like that. I think that’s part of it. But I also think it depends on, obviously, who’s playing and the goalies.
I don’t know if I’m going to get like ripped for saying this but I think Vasilevskiy a better goalie than Holtby. I mean Holtby’s a good goalie, don’t get me wrong. I just feel like from what I saw leading up to the eastern conference finals, I don’t even know if they still call them that anymore, but Vasilevskiy was much better. I mean obviously the Devils played Tampa Bay so I was watching every game of that series. And I think the Devils could of had a better chance if Vasilevskiy wasn’t in that.
And then with Fleury I think he’s kind of when he’s on, he’s the reason Vegas just got there but when he’s not on, it’s just kinda like no.
Shireen: Fleury is … how many years has he been in the league now?
Jashvina: A long time. I remember when he was just kind of becoming a thing.
Shireen: He’s old. He’s old enough ’cause I remember. What was your favorite moment of the entire playoffs? Do you have a favorite moment? Courtney?
Courtney: I mean I guess just watching OV every time he scores. I always enjoy watching his reactions because he just loves to play the game. He loves to score goals and I think we don’t see enough of that in hockey because we have this repressed idea of what masculinity is and what hockey culture should be. So yeah just watching somebody be like a big kid out there, I enjoy that.
Jashvina: That’s a tough one. I mean I think like a moment just like watching the Caps win. I cried when they won because not that I have a personal connection to the Capitals. I just am a huge hockey fan and I have a very deep connection to hockey. I remembered I was in Boston when the Bruins won. I was actually interning for Nesnet at the time. I remembered, I still remember what it feels like when you watch your team win for the first time in your life. And you think it’s impossible. You think they’re not going to do it and then they come back and they win and it’s like the most incredible feeling in the world. And I think because, like for me, like the Bruins. I am a Devils fan but I didn’t become a hockey fan until later in my life so I missed all the Stanley Cups the Devils won. So for me the Bruins were first like, yeah it sucks, but the Bruins were the first, my first hockey team to win a Stanley cup.
So I happened to be there that summer so it was like a really amazing feeling. And I think because it meant, I’ve felt lately and I felt when I covered the NHL that it’s devoid of a lot of emotion. So watching Ovechkin lift the cup and just knowing all the history that’s behind it and how much was riding on it, I finally felt a lot of that emotion that I had kind of been distant from. I felt it come back. So for I don’t know if that counts as a moment ’cause it’s technically after the playoffs. But for me I think just watching him with the cup was my favorite part.
Shireen: It definitely counts. We’re not hard and fast with rules with “Burn It All Down.” So you’re good. The other thing I was going to say is both being women of color in your respective fields and whether it’s just loving the hockey, do you find an increase of women of color and non-binary folk of color getting drawn into a game that’s absolutely the whitest, whitest sport, major league sport out there. Do you see an increase of people of color in that? I mean one of the happiest moments for me post win was when Paley saying he’s not going to the White House. That’s something I’m so excited about. That he’s already said it and encouraging his teammates not to go. So for me, that matters. Do you think there’s more momentum in there?
Courtney: Personally for me I think it’s different growing up and playing hockey in Vancouver because I’ve kind of been surrounded by women of color who play hockey the entire time that I’ve been playing it as an adult. So I don’t necessarily see it as a growth there but I think there is definitely a correlation the better that Canadian teams do, that the local cities certainly embrace it much better. And yeah speaking about Vancouver specifically, we’re a very finicky hockey city. So if we’re not doing well it’s like we never played hockey before and the Canucks don’t exist. So yeah it was a tough season to grow the sport in this area, at least through fan base.
Shireen: Jashvina, do you think that there is more people and/or non binary folks of color getting into hockey generally?
Jashvina: I don’t particularly think so. I think that’s very hard for us to know just because, there are so, we think about the other day, like hockey just likes to not get more fans. And I think just as it is, and especially now that we’re really starting to bring out the underline bigotry in hockey. And a lot of the problems the sport has. We’ve quietly kind of swept it under the rug now we’re starting to bring it out and have those open dialogues. And I think it’s just still a really hard sport to be accessible. Because I love the sport more than anything in my life and I’ve love it the past ten plus years. Even for me there are times when I’m like, “This sport treats people so badly I should go.” So I’m not really sure, honestly. But I would hesitate to say yes. I’m leaning towards no just because I think it’s still, for people who are minorities, I just think it’s still a really difficult sport to follow because it can be super unwelcoming at times.
Shireen: For sure. I totally agree.
Courtney: Just to add on to what Jashvina is pointing out. I think that it’s important especially in Canada participation numbers for racialized people are generally increasing, which is kind of helping to keep the overall participating stagnate. But we need to be very cognizant of the fact that what we see in grassroots hockey is not the same as what we will see in high performance hockey. So participation is split into two very different pipelines. A poorly funded grassroots program which in Canada we call the Timbit System or it’s better known as the Timbit System. And it’s very diverse. It’s more diverse than it’s ever been.
So you can go to ranks in Toronto, in Vancouver and Montreal, and it will look more like the Canada that we think we are. But if you’re looking at the hockey academy system and those that are coming out of the system that get to represent team Canada, it’s as white as we have been used to.
So I think when we talk about more people of color getting into the game, it’s probably a general truth but it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the future of the game.
Jashvina: That’s a great point. Kind of piggy banking off of it, we don’t have the numbers for U.S.A. hockey in terms of how many minorities are enrolled but also U.S.A hockey just hired someone who called a player the N word many years ago so I don’t really think that’s going to go in their favor but we don’t have the data accessible to us as it is. Something tells me that I don’t know how much that’s going to increase. Because U.S.A hockey is just …
Courtney: That’s actually the same as hockey Canada. They don’t collect hockey demographics. But we only know this from more like local organizations that a few of them have been doing numbers. So we know in pockets that the numbers are changing. But yeah you’re right, there aren’t hard fast numbers for participation as race goes in hockey.
Shireen: So just give me your predictions. I know this is early for next year. What do you think? I know it’s super early we just finished this season. I’m going to say Habs because I’m going to be hopeful and the last time I experienced joy with that team was in 1993. I think you guys were born, not sure. But the last time I enjoyed that was 1993. What about you Courtney?
Courtney: I am terrible at hockey predictions and my results in hockey pools, generally will support that. But I’m actually just really interested to see Vegas does in their second season. I think everybody was kind of taken aback by what happened this year and the playoff run really true surmise. So yeah I think their sophomore year will be really interesting to see. Whether it’s kind of like new rookies that come in and people figure them out and it’s not quite what we were thinking it was going to be. I think that will be the team that I will watch.
Jashvina: That’s a good question. Even when I know what players are coming in and what players are leaving I still mess up my predictions. But I think Tampa Bay’s really I think this year I had Nashville over Tampa. I’m actually really disappointed in how Nashville played cause they were a much better team on paper I think than what they showed at. So I’m going to go with Nashville kind of gets it together. Also Nick Bonino was my favorite player when I was at BU so I’m biased. But I would peg probably Nashville, I think I would still stick with Nashville over Tampa next year.
Shireen: Awesome well we’ll definitely have you folks on again. On “Burn It All Down.” I want to thank you so much for having this conversation. You’re two of the folks I look to for hockey information and opinion. And everybody should follow you. Jashvina what’s your Twitter handle?
Courtney: @Courtneyszto C-O-U-R-T-N-E-Y S-Z-T-O Szto rhymes with despacito
Shireen: Dr. Despacito, it’s my favorite handle. Alright thanks so much, love you both, much love. And enjoy the summer and the, you know, we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next year.
Courtney: Thanks very much Shireen.
Jashvina: Thank you.
Amira: So you may have seen the news this week about the NFL … I can’t believe we’re still having these conversations. The Philadelphia Eagles who were scheduled to go to the White House to meet with this administration and do the ceremony as folks do were dis invited because the number of Eagles going would have been so small it would have embarrassed this toddler in chief. And so they were uninvited and it was replaced with a patriotism ceremony that included lots of American flags. People who were reportedly supposed to be Philadelphia Eagles fans but there’s videos, you can check them out, we’ll link them in the show notes, of people being asked in the crowd who the quarter back was for instance of the Philadelphia Eagles and very very few people knew.
Also reports on the ground reported that mostly they were Republican National Committee interns on the ground waving the flags in this patriotism ceremony. I mean the depth … toddler in chief who wanted-
Shireen: Toddler in chief!
Amira: Keep professing all these things about patriotism were caught on video during his patriotism ceremony not knowing the words to “God Bless America.” So I mean the levels of ridiculous here are just beyond. But that was not the only news that happened this week. The Minnesota Lynx who were not even invited to the White House in the first place, took a page out of the Warriors book and went into D.C and instead spent their time in the local community. They washed the feet and gave shoes to school children in the D.C area. It was really a wonderful sight to see. And they definitely did their own thing. And kind of continued this precedence by folks who said “You know what, we’ll show you what is really patriotic. Patriotic is helping your fellow citizen. Patriotism is doing work in the community. Patriotism is loving the people who make up this country and treating them nicely. And it’s not standing and doing whatever display of nationalism that you think we should be doing.
Then of course just this week 45 also said that the Washington Capitals will be invited to the White House but there will be no invitations going out to the NBA champions, which is funny, because even before the Warriors won, both LeBron James and Steph Curry said it doesn’t matter who wins because nobody’s planning on going anyways.
Shireen: I think that’s really great in so many ways. And Steve Kerr is no stranger to the microphone when it comes to this kind of thing. Particularly one he was very vocal when the whole story broke about immigrant children. I should say when the story broke widely because people in grassroots activists have always known that children are being detained. But when photos of buses with car seats went viral, it was horrific. And his Twitter feed was just talking about that constantly.
On the subject of champions. I saw this photo yesterday that was going around on Twitter, of Ovechkin. A very very drunk Alex Ovechkin and the Caps wandered into a café in D.C where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were eating and they got like a picture together or something. I was just like “Oh come on OV.” But people were like “It’s okay he was drunk.” And the adventures of Alex Ovechkin being drunk with the Stanley Cup and kind of touring everywhere are really fascinating. But still I recoil ’cause just that her presence, her eerie, creepy sort of presence just generally around that and for me it, this idea of politics and the sport not being … you know that’s not true inherently but just the idea.
And already as far as the Caps go Devante Smith-Pelly already said that he wasn’t going even before the playoffs. So he’s encouraging his teammates not to go and I think he’s sticking to his guns. And I think that’s amazing. And we have to remember to that he was part of the Pittsburgh Penguins team that won the Stanley Cup and he did not go. Sidney Crosby took the team.
Amira: Well you mentioned Kerr and Kerr this week actually had a really great quote about, he was asked about the Lynx not getting invited. And he said “I think what you’re seeing is I think the athletes are showing patriotism through community service. The president is turning all this stuff into a political game and a ratings game. It’s a blatant display of nationalism. What patriotism is, is helping your fellow citizen. And whether it’s what K.D is doing or what we did when we visit Washington or what the Lynx are doing today. That’s what it’s about.”
And then he went on to say that he “was blown away by the irony of the Eagles being disinvited. When you read about the good deeds in their community. Malcolm Jenkins adjusting lawmakers. Really trying to the root of some issues that we have. And instead we just have these military sing-a-longs at the White House to show how patriotic we are even though we don’t know the words is just incredible. I’m really proud of the people in the country who are recognizing what’s happening and instead of turning this into a political game they’re just trying to do good deeds because that’s what it takes.”
Well it’s interesting when we talk about this. Some people might ask “How did we get here?” Like why is this a thing that even happens? I think that is a worthy question. There’s obviously there’s very long historical roots of doing this. Very unofficially you can find instances of sports teams visiting the White House in like 1865, right after the Civil War. In 1924 the Senators visited Calvin Coolidge for instance. In 1963 JFK welcomed the Boston Celtics. And so there’s a long history of this but it wasn’t really until the Reagan years that the practice of honoring championship teams at the White House became a regular occurrence. And of course through the year we know that this has gotten more attention. There has always been sports figures who skip visits over the years. Whether it’s for political reasons or they try to avoid saying it’s for political reasons even though it is. And this is happened through the Clinton years, Bush years, the Obama years and up till today. I think today because 45 keeps making it a story is definitely getting more and more eyeballs. More and more headlines. So my question Shireen is, do you have this in Canada? Is there a tradition of people going to the PM after they win championships?
Shireen: Yes. In fact it’s become more prominent with Trudeau actually. Because Stephen Harper did traditionally welcome champions like Olympic teams for sure. I know that Prime Minister Trudeau was the first Prime Minister to actually invite the Clarkson Cup Champions, the CWHL, the Canadian women’s hockey league champs the first time this past year. That was really a big deal. Because although I find him super problematic particularly when it comes to indigenous folks
Shireen: Yeah absolutely his track record is terrible despite his lip service. I think that it’s important to amplify, it’s also important to remember that Canada’s minister of sport and culture is actually a woman, and is sort of on top of that in her cabinet, sorry her portfolio and her team is really good about that. They invite the teams equally. It would have been lovely for a Canadian team to win this Stanley Cup. But that wasn’t going the happen and I hope it happens next year. Habs. Go Habs go. But that … and Trudeau’s also a huge Habs fan it’s really interesting. And the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team had been invited. Like he has a Canadian Women’s Soccer Team jersey. I mean the men never go anywhere and haven’t been anywhere and aren’t going anywhere so he’s not going to have them necessarily but there is definitely history of that. Mostly it revolved around hockey. He does go to the Olympic villages and meet the athletes, he invites them. So there is that flavor.
It is not, and I will be honest, not overly politically laced the way it is in the United States. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have systems of racial injustice, that’s not it at all. It just means they’re not spoken of in that very prudish conservative Canadian manner. Like we absolutely do have those systems. It’s not like racism stops at the border. But it’s not as political as it should be, I mean, sorry, widely spoken of as it should be in my opinion.
Particularly when we are talking about pay equity; I think that’s something that is generic to be able to speak of.
Amira: But I think that’s interesting because for so many years in the United States it hasn’t been even overly political. Even though you could read into it. But there is many cases of people not agreeing or not getting along with who’s in office and publicly knowing that but still relishing the chance to go to the White House, to see D.C, to do it as a team, to get celebrated and recognized. I think what we’re seeing in the last eight to ten years certainly like when Tim Commers decided not to go when Obama was in office. Although he didn’t say it was because Obama, he said it’s cause the federal government was overreaching it’s blah blah blah. So I think it started becoming more pronounced then but certainly now it’s been heightened so much because it’s become almost like a litmus test for athletes. And I think that has infused attention to it in a way that it hadn’t necessarily been certainly when Bush was in office. Obama kind of ruffled feathers.
But the other thing about it both Bush and Obama were very avid, publicly avid sports fans. So that’s the other reason why it became more focused on. And Certainly now because 45 sees this as easy bait. Like you can easily, black athletes in particular, you can easily celebrate NASCAR and have them at the White House and say “I know that you guys have no problem standing and being patriotic for the National Anthem right?” And always seeing as a easy way to scoring political points by discipling and publicly reprimanding black bodies through the NBA or the NFL or just completely ignoring black women athletes say like the Minnesota Lynx that this is what has made it fodder in particular.
I think you can see that with even this week, with 45 saying, “Oh kneeling players, I call on them, they think injustice is happening so tell me who to pardon and I’ll pardon.” And that’s just so transparent. This week he said he was going to pardon Muhammad Ali, who by the way does not need a pardon. But the idea right? And the same thing with Jack Johnson that your dad I can court good press or whatever by pardoning dead black folk even though you’d be pardoning Muhammad Ali for speaking up. The players that you admonishing are-
Shireen: The only pardoning that the greatest would need was to once be photographed with Trump. That’s the only …
Shireen: And the other thing too just on that note. The idea of, I mean this litmus test that you speak of is so true. Because previously there’s sort of this idea that when athletes are invited to the White House, it’s an honor. And you’re on your best behavior because you’re going to something that symbolically represents all of the United States of America and all people. But what has happened is 45 has made it so that it’s inaccessible and exclusionary and it doesn’t belong to the people anymore. It’s become like his corporate headquarters. And that’s where these athletes are sort of drawing the line and saying, “I’m not going. Because it’s not for me. I’m not part of that.” And don’t get me wrong, Bush’s foreign policy was terrible. But you’re right he was a sports fan and athlete still go and sort of the narrative spun was that sports will unite us. I mean we saw WMBA being invited to go hang with Obama and that was beautiful.
Even in Canada, I would love to see Athletes ask Trudeau about missing and murdered indigenous girls in Quarry. I would love to see them ask why indigenous communities don’t have clean water. I would love to ask police carding of young black men. I would love to see this happen. I would love to see questioning of his support of the pipeline. I would love to see that happen and hopefully it will. Because it’s slowly becoming, even here, we’ve seen in Olympic finals and NHL playoffs. Harper the former prime minister and the absolute evil monstrous man would go to the finals. There’s always a place for them there so they make these public appearances because they’re sports fans. It’s getting to a point, like you said, where athletes are, it becomes a public statement. Am I going or not going? And that honor, that once used to be there is no longer there.
Amira: Right precisely. And I’ll just end it with a quote from some of the players on the Minnesota Lynx who said, the coach Reeve said, “It’s confusing message is plain for people to see.” Talking about not getting even invited to the White House. “For us to say that we’re not going to let anybody steal our joy. At the end of the day we don’t need the White House to celebrate our championships. Today was a celebration of so many things. Including the WNBA. This was literally our players being thoughtful in ways that we can sports as a vehicle for social change.
Amira: Now it’s time for everyone’s favor segment. It’s time to burn some things. You may have seen that Forbes released it’s annual look at the world’s highest paid athletes and for the first time in a few years there is no women on that list. Now the reason for this is mostly due to the fact that Serena Williams, who’s usually the top earning female athlete, took some time off, obviously to have a baby. You also had another tennis player Li Na, who retired in 2014 and Maria Sharapova who also usually is a feature on the list, is still dealing with the fallout from her suspension for using banned substances. What this really highlights though is that all of these people that I mentioned are tennis players. And really for the last eight years any women who cracked this list in the first place was a tennis player. And was either Serena Williams Maria Sharpova or Li Na.
And so really I think that while you might have seen the headlines and the outrage this week about how women athletes, there’s no women’s athletes on the Forbes. The issue goes much deeper than that. It only takes a kind of quick survey of the last decade to see that the only women who were included in this, in the first place, were tennis players and that speaks volumes about tennis being really one of the avenues to make a sustainable living as female athlete in this country. The Forbes list is just an annual reminder of how far we still have to go. And I would like to burn that.
Amira: You’re the only one burning I’m sorry.
Shireen: I know. It was an emphatic burn. Torch it.
Amira: Alright Shireen, what do you have for us?
Shireen: So a little bit of a trigger warning for our listeners because I will be speaking about sexualized violence against athletes. So what I’m burning specifically is there were four Canadian skiers Emilie Cousineau, Katie Bertram, Allison Forsyth and Gillian McFetridge who had to go to court to lift the publication ban issued by a judge to not release their names because they were victims that were abused by Canadian ski coach, Bertrand Charest who abused more than eight women. Now the other victims include, Genevieve Simard, Amelie Frederique-Gagnon and they are speaking out in hopes of helping other, survivors and to guide Alpine Canada to create better policies of safety for these athletes which include having parents around all time, even traveling etc.
So Charest who is 53 was found guilty of 37 of the 57 sex related charges he was facing and he was given a 12 year prison term. Now what I’m actually specifically burning are the lengths that these survivors to go to in order to heal and to get a modicum of justice. They actually had to fight to get their names published and be able to speak, identified as themselves. And so I can’t believe that, you know, that I live in a country that, you know, for all it’s worth, really doesn’t support victims and survivors of violence this way in sports or in any way. The system is simply not set up to support it. It’s so hard because in addition to being as we know, athletes, and we talked about it on the show constantly, in addition to training, and prepping and the mental and emotional work, these athletes were completely robbed and betrayed and violated. And they weren’t allowed to speak their truth. So I’m burning that.
Amira: Burn that shit down.
Alright before we get into our honorable mentions, we at “Burn It All Down” would like to take a minute to recognize Maria Bueno the Brazilian tennis great who won three Wimbledon singles titles and four at the U.S open in the 50’s and 60’s. She was one of the vanguards of modern women’s tennis and this week she passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer, she was 78 years old.
So let’s start by shouting out the Florida State women’s softball champions who captured the championship this last week. Plus Coco Goth who at 14 won the French Open girl’s single tennis championship. I watched that match, it was really a sight to behold. She’s the youngest to win in like 20 years. Ellyse Perry was named the world’s best female cricket player in the inaugural survey done by the Guardian.
And speaking of cricket the New Zealand women’s team smashed the world record for the highest one day international score by posting a mammoth 490 to 4 against Ireland which is a ridiculous score. Write and para Olympian Martine Wright won autobiography of the year at the 2018 Sports Book Awards in the UK. Also the U.S Woman’s National player Ali Krieger, just got a new sports facility named after her in Potomac Shores. And speaking of naming things, the indomitable sports generalist Jemele Hill will deliver the commencement address at her alma mater Mumford High School in Detroit. And then the school’s going to rename the auditorium in her honor, which is pretty, pretty awesome.
The retired Liverpool and English national team player, Casey Stoney has been named the new head coach of the new Manchester United women’s team. Congratulations to you. And of course Caster Semenya who slayed the 800 meters at the double AF diamond circuit and also she is fascinating to watch especially since there’s been such hullabaloo around her this past year it’s really great to celebrate in victory.
Eniola Aluko and Lianne Sanderson will be awarded the Keith Alexander award later this year for their fight against racial injustice and discrimination by the black football list in the UK. So congratulations to them. And also there’s a 51 team in NASCAR that will have a female pit crew member. Breanna O’Leary who comes from the Nascars drive for diversity program, and she will be a rear tire changer.
But drum roll please for our bad ass woman of the week. Okay it’s very hard to drum roll with two people. Use your imagination.
Shireen: I’m not doing that brrrrr, brrrrr. I can’t even do it. I can’t even.
Amira: Okay, our bad ass woman of the week this week is Simona Halep who won the French Open and broke her streak. She had gotten into three other major finals including last year where it looked like she was going to win and then she did not. So after getting to her first major and being down Sloane Stephens was up, in the first match, she lost the first game. She rallied back to take the second and third grading. She won Three six, six four, six one. And she won it was amazing to see her finally have this breakthrough. The match itself was phenomenal. I don’t know if anybody woke up early to watch it but it was just absolutely tremendous and both women played outstanding tennis. And it’s hard not to be extremely happy for Simona even though how much I love Sloane. Even Sloane herself acknowledged it, saying “I think she’s have a tough journey. I’m glad she’s finally got her first slam. It’s a beautiful thing. Very special. No matter how hard the adversity that you go through there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m glad she finally got her light.”
And I echo that, Simona Halep, you are our bad ass woman of the week.
Shireen: Yay. What a gracious thing for Sloane Stephens to say though. Really, really great.
Amira: Yeah, Sloane is amazing and she also at the end during the trophy presentation, Simone looked really overwhelmed when they handed her the trophy and you could see Sloane like showing her how to raise her hands and what to do with the cup. And she said “and it was just so wonderful to see Simone celebrate something that’s been a long time coming.” And I think it was a great birthday present to our dear cohost Lindsay.
Shireen: Yay Lindsay, happy birthday, we love you!
Amira: Lindsay’s birthday is actually today as we record this, on Sunday June 10th. She’s a fellow Gemini like me. And I know that she’s on her birthday weekend traveling and didn’t actually get to see the match. But I think she heard it on the radio and I hope she did cause it was such a wonderful birthday present for Lindsay, such an avid tennis fan. So on behalf of “Burn It All Down” with the assistance of Simona Halep, happy birthday Lindsay.
Shireen: Happy birthday, Linds.
Amira: Alright, Shireen, what’s good in your life?
Shireen: World Cup is coming up. I realize because the end of Ramadan is also here and I probably should have started with that because we’ll be celebrating, God willing this week. Thank you love. Eid Mubarak to our flame throwers. Either Friday or Saturday. And I’m really excited and actually the first match that will be really intriguing, that I’m interested in, is Uruguay versus Egypt. Which will probably fall on Eid. So all of us will be sitting in Eid prayer congregations on our phones live streaming this game. No but so I’m really excited about these two things so joyous. I also had a really great weekend. The Canadian Sport film festival is on in Toronto. Today is the last day but I will have the honor of paneling like chairing the panel Q and A on opening night. I really really recommend our listeners out there to support your local independent film festivals, particularly about sports. Because they talk about the intersections of racism, homophobia, systems of oppression, misogyny, whatever. And they tell stories in such a beautiful way so just a shout out to all those independent film festivals. And please support them and these film makers.
Amira: That’s wonderful. So my something good is we got a dog this week. A little dog named Scooby, he’s not quite a puppy. Let’s call him a teenager. He’s super cute and it’s been a long time coming. My daughter has been writing letters, we have a collection of everything that she’s written us over the last seven years, begging for this. We’ve gotten her two robot dogs along the way and all this stuff. So it finally happened for her and everybody’s adjusting and we also closed on our first house this week. So we’re home owners. It was quite a, thank you. It was a week for me. I turned 30 on Monday and then we got a dog on Wednesday and got a house on Friday. So I’m adulting and it’s something. I’m going with the flow right now. So that’s my something good.
And happy birthday, Lindsay. Team Gemini taking over “Burn it all Down”.
So that’s it for this week in “Burn It All Down.” “Burn IT All Down” lives on soundcloud but it can also be found on Itunes, Stitcher, Googleplay Tune In. We appreciate your reviews and feedback. Please subscribe, rate, share. Also check out our patreon. As a reminder you can give as little as two dollars a month to access special features, special interviews for instance I have a hot tick interview up there right now with Tony Smith Thomson on her 2003 protest during the National Anthem and her Parallels to athletic activism today. You also can get hot takes and reactions to say the NBA finals, hockey, basically anything that’s happening in the world of sports, jump in there, hear us. Chop it up with each other about that. Also we have special giveaways over on our patreon so it’s a great way to support the pod and get exclusive material over there.
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So that’s it from me Amira Rose Davis and my co-host Shireen Ahmed. Team melanin is out.