Episode 62: World Cup, Wimbledon, Serena, Althea, NBA free agency, and the WNBA
On this week’s show, Amira, Lindsay, and Jessica talk about oh so many things, starting with Serena. Then they give updates and predictions for both the men’s World Cup and Wimbledon. Amira then interviews Dr. Ashley Brown about her work on the life of tennis legend, Althea Gibson. Finally, the group discusses NBA free agency, and the trolling that WNBA players have put up with recently when pointing out inequity in their sport. Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, our Bad Ass Woman of the Week, and what is good in our worlds.
Intro (4:45) Men’s World Cup (15:48) Wimbledon (25:15) Interview with Ashley Brown (42:35) NBA free agency and the WNBA trolls (53:08) Burn Pile (1:00:37) Bad Ass Women of the Week (1:02:30) What’s Good (1:04:11) Outro
For links and a transcript…
“Serena Williams Won’t Apologize For Being the Best” https://www.thecut.com/2018/07/serena-williams-great-wimbledon.html
“England fans had a rager at Ikea after beating Sweden in the World Cup” https://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2018/7/8/17545742/england-fans-party-ikea-world-cup-sweden-video
“France, the World Cup’s last standing ‘African’ team” https://theundefeated.com/features/france-2018-fifa-world-cup-last-standing-african-team/
“Neymar and the Art of the Dive” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/sports/world-cup/neymar-brazil-diving.html
“FIFA’s Rule Changes Won’t Solve Soccer’s Concussion Problem” https://slate.com/technology/2018/06/fifas-concussion-rule-changes-wont-solve-the-problem.html
“A graphical replay of the greatest tennis match ever played, 10 years later” https://qz.com/1323045/a-graphical-replay-of-the-greatest-tennis-match-ever-played-10-years-later/
Gregg Popovich Statement on Tony Parker https://www.nba.com/spurs/gregg-popovich-statement-tony-parker
“Why does women’s basketball trigger so much fragile masculinity?” https://thinkprogress.org/wnba-fragile-masculinity-5ad613ed2906/
“Powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/powerful-gop-rep-jim-jordan-accused-turning-blind-eye-sexual-n888386
“Sei Young Kim ties Annika Sorenstam’s 54-hole mark at 24 under at LPGA Classic” http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/24032321/sei-young-kim-ties-54-hole-mark-24-lpga-classic
“Rebekkah Brunson becomes WNBA rebounding leader in Lynx win” https://www.apnews.com/2c0bbe1cead642b3a7efdf2b9c67e5a5
“One of history’s most transformative human rights movements turns 50” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/one-of-historys-most-transformative-human-rights-movements-turns-50/2018/07/15/21c00c6c-8081-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html?utm_term=.42da76f13a6e
“WNBA players are not here for your Twitter criticisms” https://www.sbnation.com/wnba/2018/7/6/17542800/wnba-tweets-aja-wilson-kayla-mcbride
Amira: Welcome to this week’s episode of Burn It All Down. I’m Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State. I am joined today by my friends and co-hosts, Jessica Luther, independent writer and author down in Austin, Texas and Lindsay Gibbs, sports writer for Think Progress in Washington DC. Hey, guys.
Lindsay: Hey, hey.
Jessica: Good morning. Hello.
Amira: How are you all doing today?
Amira: I’ll take that.
Lindsay: The fun continues, you know?
Amira: We have a great show for you today. We’re gonna be doing updates, updates, and updates, giving you all the latest on the World Cup action, as well as checking in about Wimbledon. We also will do a Scholar Spotlight as I interview Ashley Brown on her upcoming book about Althea Gibson. And lastly, we’ll talk a little bit about NBA free agency mayhem as well as WNBA star’s reaction to it and some general trolling that happens around women’s basketball.
Of course, we’re going to highlight some people that we want to shout out and burn things that need to be burned. Before we get into it, generally, all of us, especially I always think Jess and Lindsay are co-presidents assuming it is a fan club. So, I just wanted to hold space to allow for some conversation about how amazing Serena is on and off the court particularly on social media, and in her answers to reporters this week. I feel like she just proves over, and over, and over again why she’s so amazing.
Jessica: Yeah, she’s been killing it on the court which is very exciting and I’m sure we’ll talk about but also, yeah, she did a couple of press conferences where the videos went around when she responded to that Deadspin that showed that she is drug-tested way more than basically anyone else in tennis. But certainly, way more than other female tennis players and she had this great line about how she … It was the way she delivered it because there’s a pause in the middle. But she says something about how she despises people who cheat, who dope, and you know she was talking about Sharapova and she’s trying to find the right way to say it.
Amira: The shade is so real.
Jessica: Yeah, it was spectacular how she did that and yeah, she had this great thing after her last match about being the best in tennis and what that means and how she always has to raise … That everyone raises their game to the highest level in order to play her. So, she’s always raising her game beyond theirs, and that makes her even better all the time, and it’s just like “Hoo.” And then she put that thing in a graphic, and she tweeted her quote out as a graphic, it was great.
Amira: Which is like the ultimate … I really appreciated that quote. It’s just everything about it from her being like, “I’m like Madison said that because she’s so smart.” To bring that up but also, to go on to say like, “Oh, I don’t even scout anymore because I’ll watch them play other people and they’re not playing them how they’ll play me.” And I just thought that was really honest.
Jessica: Yeah, she’s on an honest streak in a way that I deeply appreciate. I finally watched all of Being Serena on HBO, which really, the vulnerability of that. Then she had a tweet this week about how she missed Olympia’s first steps while she was practicing and that made her cry. I just, you know, the thing I always think about it is this she’s given such a gift to see your own sort of struggles as a person, but also a mother reflected in the greatest living athlete is quite a thing. She does not have to do that, and I just find that to be a remarkable turn now in her career. That she is giving all that to us, all that truth.
Amira: Indeed, and I think it’s really great, because it’s such a platform she has, and these are issues that people talk about all the time. I’ve had numerous conversations with working moms about what it’s like to miss first steps, or first words, or all these things and a lot of times those conversations are very insular. To have Serena tweeting about them knowing the eyes of the world are on her, I think is really important, and so, I’m just like, “You’re amazing.”
So, obviously, the World Cup is rolling along and we just finished the quarterfinals. So, Jess, what is going on? You want to give us a brief recap, overview, thoughts, concerns, questions, anything?
Jessica: Yeah, so eight is now four. We have our semi-finalists for the men’s World Cup. So, this upcoming Tuesday afternoon, which is exciting for us because we record on Sunday. But we actually really get to talk about what’s gonna happen, and you guys get to hear it before it happens. So, this upcoming Tuesday afternoon, France is gonna face off against Belgium. Followed by the England, Croatia semi-final on Wednesday, which means no Brazil, and it’s an all European field.
I don’t wanna do a ton of recap, because there’s like too much to say I think. But I do wanna say that the Belgium-Brazil game, it was just so incredibly intense the whole way through, despite the fact that Brazil was down two goals for a lot of it. And they were down for the whole thing, basically. But I am fully on the Romelu Lukaku train now. He is brilliant, though like everyone else going in to Tuesday, I am also very excited about France’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.
Lindsay: Whoo, yes.
Jessica: Tuesday is gonna be, yeah right? I mean Tuesday is gonna be so much fun. I also wanna add that the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal match was absolutely exhausting to watch.
Jessica: And part because all the players looked really tired by end of regulation, into extra time. Even the shootout looked tired.
Amira: Yeah, was you that tweeted the ball looks tired as it rolls in.
Jessica: Yes, yes, that goal that Vida, the head of the ball slowly rolled into the goal and they all just watched, I was like, yep.
Amira: They all watched it, they all just kind of looked at it go past, like well.
Jessica: Yeah, I was like yep, that seems right. It was still thrilling, right? It comes down to PK’s, and I’m guessing that England is probably thrilled that they are going to play a Croatia team that has now played two matches in a row, that went to PK’s. So, I guess the question for you all, at this point, is who are you gonna root for? France, or Belgium? Croatia or England, and who do you actually think is gonna win all of this?
Amira: Oo, great question. Lindsay, you wanna go first? Go ahead.
Lindsay: I mean, I just the France team is just so good. I think for me it’s between France, and Belgium. Cut, England I do have a lot of friends from the UK. But you know, they just trashed an Ikea store last night after winning over Sweden.
Amira: Yeah, you didn’t see that video?
Lindsay: Yeah, it’s just ridiculous.
Jessica: No, I’ll go look it up.
Lindsay: In all this, and all this it’s coming home stuff. It’s just really bothering me, so it’s just annoying me. So, I’d be okay with England not winning. But honestly, I kind of like having these teams left who haven’t won in a while. You know it’s exciting, it’s a lot of talented teams that we’re left with. I read someone who said something along the lines of, okay, if you’re not a soccer fan like me, this might help you. But it’s kind of the equivalent of an NCAA tournament where it’s not the number one seeds that make it through. But it’s kind of a lot of two and threes. So not the overwhelming favorites, but still really quality teams.
So I think that there’s just a really exciting chance for just some really great games. I mean, at this point bring on the Masochism, bring on more penalty kicks. I’m all for this, bring it all on. Let’s decide this in the most nail biting, excruciating way possible.
Amira: Yeah, well not secret that France is clearly the jokingly, of course, the last African team in the tournament, and me and Brenda were joking about this last week on either our … I think it was on our Hot Take, and Brenda’s like, “Whose gonna dance?” And I was like, “Well you know everybody on the Twitter sphere has dubbed France the last African team.” And literally right after we did that Hot Take, they posted a video of dancing to a Juju beat on the airplane, and I was like, “See, exactly.” So, they, I’m super all in for them. But I also really like all the black people on the England team. I really like Jesse Lingard, he cracks me up. I may or may not have procrastinated one weekend by watching a ridiculous number of videos with him, actually with him and Pogba playing FIFA 18. Literally I watched like a twenty-minute video of them playing the game together.
Lindsay: That sounds wonderful.
Amira: The things you do to avoid writing, guys.
Jessica: Oh my gosh, that could be its own hour-long podcast.
Amira: So, I would really like to see, despite it being kind of like an all Euro final, and just kind of over that, and yeah Belgium-Croatia, yeah they don’t do it for me, as much as France. I’m definitely pulling for France over England. But if it was a France-England final, I think I would be pretty happy with that.
Jessica: I don’t know, you guys I really like Lukaku.
Jessica: I really would love to see him … I don’t know, it’s so hard. I find the France-Belgium game, I don’t really care, sorry everyone, who wind England-Croatia. But I kind of with the France-Belgium was the final, so that that’s what we could have.
Amira: I can understand that.
Jessica: I don’t know, I’m excited, I think it’ll be great.
Lindsay: I’m glad, I know it was a fun story, and there’s some of their players. But I’m glad that Croatia was able to get Russia out. Like I just think that was kind of necessary going into the semi-finals, and it’d just become a little bit of a distraction, I think.
Amira: Alright, so predictions France over Belgium, Belgium over France?
Lindsay: Yes, is my prediction
Jessica: France I think will win it.
Amira: And who are you taking in the Croatia game?
Jessica: I think England will do it. I mean Croatia, they have such a disadvantage. They’re gonna be so tired.
Amira: Were there any other things that happened in the-
Jessica: I mean Neymar took a ton of crap for all of this.
Amira: Oh yeah, that was the story of the last week.
Jessica: Whatever, that was a whole story.
Amira: Neymar challenge means …
Jessica: Yeah, he deserved the scrutiny this time. I mean that dive, was it the Mexico game?
Amira: With the somersault?
Jessica: That was … Oh my gosh, that was a lot. Was it the New York Times that interviewed drama teachers about the acting?
Lindsay: Oh wait, seriously?
Jessica: And like found him wanting …
Amira: That’s funny.
Jessica: I was like year, okay. I mean this time around that was bad. I was like, mm. I mean they were talking about giving him, the commentator, the US commentators who I never know whether or not I should trust anything they’re saying. But they were talking about giving Neymar, that he might have gotten, or deserved a red card in the last game because of a dive he did in the penalty box towards the end, I wanna say. So, I don’t know it’s [crosstalk 00:11:52]
Amira: Yeah, one of the questions that I heard posting a lot was around the use of VAR, which has been pretty, I think has been pretty solid this tournament. But one of the things that I heard a small discussion happening was if we have VAR now, and we see everybody kind of go down and hold something, and then we can clearly see that they were never touched. If there’s a way, even if it’s not in game. But there’s some speculation if essentially, they might use VAR, especially to rude out diving later, by saying, “Alright, now we’re gonna do kind of a backwards assessment to say you clearly are taking twenty-five somersaults, and doing the Matrix, and nobody has laid a finger on you.”
Lindsay: Right, that’s interesting.
Amira: Yeah, as like another way of policing it.
Jessica: Right, because in the slow mo you can see. I mean, I don’t watch a ton of soccer, football, and I do find that part … I understand its part of the game, and is a strategy, and all that stuff. I also just find it exhausting as a viewer of the game. That would be interesting if they used VAR to do that.
Amira: Also, because I think I’m fairly empathetic person, and every time is see somebody rolling around I’m like, “Oh, it’s the ACL, oh no.”
Jessica: I know right, and then they’re up and going. But then it sucks because at the end of regulation in the Croatia game, the goalie went down, right? And they didn’t have subs, and he … Like you have to really figure it out. You’re like no, he really does look injured, like I really don’t think this is fake. I think something has happened, and it just assessing whether or not they’re really injured is like a whole thing. And so, then as he progressed, because he didn’t leave the game and I was like, “I really think he was hurt.” I feel like what he’s doing right now is a big deal. But I also don’t know, because that was a really good, just strategic move to act injured because they all go to drink water at the end of regulation. So, I don’t, yeah I have no idea how to assess those things because of all of it.
Lindsay: Well and one way that makes things really complicated is when it comes to concussions, and that’s a whole other topic. But you know-
Jessica: Good point.
Lindsay: … There’s no really good concussion protocol, and because there aren’t extra substitutions allowed, if there is the possibility of a brain injury. Then there is so much guess work that goes into it. I mean even to do an initial concussion assessment takes a good, five to ten minutes, and that’s just for a very bare bone initial one. But you don’t get that in soccer, you have to keep playing. So that’s a big deal, and there’s a lot of talk about whether or not FIFA, and soccer should extend the rules a little bit, and have a special rule in there if there’s a possibility for a head injury. And in my opinion, will that be abused occasionally, yes. But is that worth it if you help a few more people have healthy brains, yes. So that’s my Hot Take.
Amira: I think that’s a great point, and they have been trying to figure out how to deal with concussions in the football world, soccer world, or whatever, a lot more which is why they have this new rule now that you’re supposed to stop play immediately if it looks like somebodies injured with a head injury. But we’ve seen over numerous games, that doesn’t happen right away. Where somebodies rolling on the ground after they’ve collided their heads. But because people are used to people rolling on the ground, there’s not an immediate stoppage of play, either by players recognizing that and kind of seeding the ball out of bounds, or the refs stopping play formally.
And so there’s clearly more work to be done on that front, and as we move forward to the semi-finals, and then eventually the finals, hopefully we’ll see less diving, more accountability in head injuries, and also of course, really, really great matches. But the World Cup wasn’t the only sporting event that was happening this week. Lindsay, you have Wimbledon updates for us?
Lindsay: Yeah, Wimbledon is a crap shoot, I would say is my official analysis. I kind of love it when tournaments get really chaotic, and at the women’s side of the Wimbledon there’s only one of the top ten seeds remaining. Of course, Serena is their seed is number twenty-five. She’s still in the tournament. But, honestly, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone is making it out to be. I think that they’re still so many talented players. I mean you still have Angelique Kerber who just two years ago was number one in the world, was beating Serena in Majors. You know, was a great rival for Serena. You still have Jelena Ostapenko who of course won the French Open last year and is up to number twelve in the world. Daria Kasatkina is another exciting player to watch, Karolina Pliskova who also beat Serena in a Major just a year before. She’s still there, so there’s a lot to still be excited about.
Of course, you guys will be listening to this after the round of sixteen, which will take place on Manic Monday at Wimbledon. So, after that we’ll have a better sense of how the tournament is shaping up, and I think if a few more of these big names can make it to the quarterfinals, that people are gonna actually be surprised at how competitive this still is. The biggest surprises for me in the first week were seeing my beloved Madison Keys lose to Rodina, she just played a pretty terrible match. I wasn’t as surprised about Sloane Stephens crashing out in the first round, because Sloane is inconsistent. I love her, but listen, there’s no need to lie and say that I was shocked by that, because I just wasn’t.
Serena’s been playing pretty well. The grass suits her game of course so well. She’s looking much more comfortable than she did at the French Open. Her serve is much more of a weapon on the grass. I don’t think it’s a given that she’s gonna be the champion by any means, and I get really frustrated when people say that it is a given. Not because I discount Serena, and what she does. But because I think that when people say that it’s automatic that Serena’s gonna win. What they’re doing is they’re discounting actually how hard what she’s doing is, and they’re turning her into this superhero.
Jessica: Yes, I agree.
Lindsay: Which is not helpful. Turning people into superheroes is stupid, and unhelpful, and we all do it sometimes, myself included. But no, what Serena’s doing is really hard. The players left in the draw are really talented. They’re multiple players capable of beating Serena, even on a good day for her, let alone on a day where she might be struggling in a comeback. So, this isn’t a forgone conclusion, respect both Serena, and the rest of the field by acknowledging that, and let’s just kind of enjoy this final week. What do you guys think?
Amira: I think that’s a great point, there’s kind of a celebratory tweet about black women this week that was like, “Black women are superheroes.” And it was a photo montage of Bree Newsome who took down the confederate flag in the Carolinas. It was the black women who scaled the Statue of Liberty this past week to unfurl abolish ICE sign. And it was like another kind of montage of that, and there was a hearty discussion led by black women online who is just reminding people that black women are also human, and there’s a particular way that black women like Serena get put into this superhero trope, whether it’s in the realm of sports, or in activism, or otherwise. That exactly what you said, discounts the hard work, the skill, the smarts, the bravery, whatever that actually takes to get there. It’s not a forgone conclusion.
And I think that fits into a larger discussion that’s happening simultaneously that I wanted to highlight.
Lindsay: Yeah, and just to round that out I mean I obviously think it diminishes Serena, and I also think, and I get a lot of Serena fans often don’t like me because I really like to champion a lot of the other women on the tour and point out how good they are too. And it’s not, it’s honestly in my opinion what I’m doing is highlighting how great Serena is, even better. Right, you have to actually take into account that there are these women, and sometimes I think that the fetalization is the wrong word. But it’s close to that of this superhero Serena. Just really what it does is it ends up glossing over a lot of other amazing stories.
I saw there was a tennis.com article that was talking about a player, Mandy Minella who is nowhere near Serena’s talent level, and nobody is saying that she is. And she’s a French tennis player, and she played at Wimbledon four and half months pregnant, and tennis.com said something along the lines of, “That Minella, quote pulled a Serena, and played while pregnant.” And there were all these mean tweets saying, “You can’t pull a Serena unless you win.” And I was like really guys, she just did this incredible thing. She was, and you know what she means that she played while pregnant, not that she won a Grand Slam. She’s not comparing her talent level to Serena’s. So that made me really mad, and put a really bad taste in my mouth, because what they’re doing is they’re discounting this other women’s accomplishment in a way to try and praise Serena, which is just not, that’s not … We don’t have to do that.
Amira: Right, exactly. But I also think the point that you made, Linds is the way that it takes away from women’s tennis as a whole, the same way that all the kind of praise they’re saying oh it’s inevitable that Uconn’s gonna win, completely ignores how good the field of women’s college basketball is under them. And how they don’t win every year, and how there’s really competitive teams that are coming for them, and it just denigrates the whole sport if we can’t see pass one person, or one team. Jess?
Jessica: Yeah, and I was just gonna add on, and I know I already mentioned it. But in Being Serena, you get so much about her training to get back to this point, and she works so hard, and she struggles. I mean, it is really just such a thing to watch. It’s been a really hard journey for her to get here and watching her play she does look good. I think she’s Serena, I don’t wanna discount her. But she looks like she’s working hard out there, and I totally agree Lindsay that whole narrative really does take away from the outstanding play of all the other women that she has to go up against. And yeah, I’m bothered by that as well.
As much as I love her, and I tweet about how much I love her, and how much I love the way that she plays tennis. It does bother me how it’s this forgone conclusion that if she just steps onto the court, and it just happens. As if there isn’t all this other stuff that goes into it, including that she’s going up against some of the very best tennis players in the world.
Amira: Indeed, Lindsay?
Lindsay: Yeah, I guess we should mention that men are playing this tournament too. But honestly, we seem to be marching towards a Nadal, Federer final, ten years after their 2008 epic. That’s very exciting for some people. For me, I’m really, really ready for new names to really emerge on the men side, and unfortunately while on the women’s side you do have all these women who are actually Grand Slam champions and have beaten legends on the big stages that I mentioned. On the men’s tour there’s just a lot of potential, but you haven’t seen a lot of these younger players really make a push at the Majors.
So, we still have Djokovic is still there, he’s hanging on. You have, like I said Nadal, Federer’s looked phenomenal. It is his tournament right now. He should absolutely be the favorite. But men’s tennis to me continues to underwhelm slightly as we have this old guard still dominating, and I don’t want to discount what they’re doing because it’s incredible. But a little more freshness would help me.
Amira: Yeah, well I won’t lie, I would relish the opportunity to have another picture of Federer, and Serena so they can do a TBT with the time that they’ve taken the winning picture together.
Amira: But speaking on winning Wimbledon, I do wanna acknowledge that this past Friday, July 6th was Althea Gibson day. Althea Gibson was the first African American to win at Wimbledon on July 6th, 1957, and given this history I wanted to do an interview with my good friend, and colleague Ashley Brown who is assistant Professor of History up at University of Wisconsin, Madison. And whose writing a forthcoming biography on Althea, the first full length treatment of her life. So, here it is, we’re gonna head right into the Scholar Spotlight, which is what I’m now calling interviews with scholars, PS. Head right into the Scholar Spotlight with Ashley Brown about her book on Althea Gibson.
I am joined now by Dr. Ashley Brown. Ashley’s an assistant Professor of History and Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ashley, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining the pod today.
Ashley Brown: Oh, thanks for having me on.
Amira: So, you working on a book about Althea Gibson, and this is the first scholarly treatment, full length treatment of this magnificent women. It’s tentatively entitled “The Match of her Life.” I would love for you to tell us how you got to this project, where did this all start?
Ashley: So, this project dates back to essentially 2000, pardon me 2011. And I was in a graduate seminar at George Washington University, which is where I earned my PHD. And I was in a course that was called the Historiography of Race and Sex through African American biography. I enjoyed the class very much, at the same time I was interested in African American female athletes, and already I had noticed a void in terms of biographical studies of black women athletes.
One of the best biographies of a black athlete that I know of is Arnold Rampersad’s biography of Jackie Robinson. And Althea Gibson, of course has been called the Jackie Robinson of tennis. So, I found myself thinking well gosh, what was her life like. This is an African American woman who integrated to elite sports. She’s best known for her role in the integration of tennis, long before Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson played at Wimbledon, and what’s now the US Open in 1951, and 1950 respectively. And then in 1957, and 1958 she had those phenomenal years in which she won Wimbledon, and the US Open, and of course successfully defended those titles.
But what isn’t as well known is that Gibson was also the first African American women to have playing privileges on the Lady’s Professional Golfer Association tour. And I thought wow, what a woman. This is someone who went through just amazing challenges and difficulties, in not one sport, but in two. This is someone that we need to learn more about, and so that’s essentially the story of how this began.
Amira: Dope. So, I feel like Althea Gibson’s name is kind of like Wilma Rudolph’s, it’s something that’s superficially thrown around a lot on this day in history Althea broke a color barrier. In February when we roll out the Black History month posters. So, what is your kind of perception of the way Althea’s life is remembered, or perhaps misremembered in the lay public?
Ashley: I think that’s a great point about Gibson as what we might think of as a factoid. I was certainly familiar with her career in tennis, actually I happen to be from South Carolina as well, and so from a very young age I knew about her as this amazing, and supposedly rare black tennis champion. But there’s so much more to her story than that. I think that we also have to grapple with thinking about the great migration when we think about Gibson. She was born in South Carolina, but her family moved to Harlem by the late 1920s So that’s an opportunity for us to think about African Americans moving forward, and as the saying goes protesting with their feet. Her family was definitely aa part of that tradition in that way.
I think we also want to think about the role of historically black colleges, universities, in terms of the development of African American athletes. Gibson was a graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. And she was mentored and supported by their famous football coach, Alonzo Smith Gaither. So, Florida A&M is definitely part of this story, as is Lincoln University, which was in Jefferson City, Missouri. And she taught there at that HBCU for two years in the mid 1950s.
Also moving beyond the factoids about Gibson in terms of being this African American sports pioneer. There’s also the importance of her tours for the United States, Department of State, for the State Department. So, I think many people are familiar with Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and others who were culture ambassadors during the Cold War, for the United States. Althea Gibson was the same on the sport side of things.
So I think those are at least three areas that enable us to think more about nuance of the Gibson story, and help us to move beyond Gibson alone, as moving forward, as exceeding in tennis. But then for us to think about Gibson as a part of a community that enabled her to have the success that she had.
Amira: Yes, certainly. So, can I ask you as another practitioner of black women’s athletic history. If you would just comment on or speak to what the process of uncovering this story, uncovering her life is. What does it mean to do a history of black women in the Jim Crow era?
Ashley: I think one has to be really creative, and imaginative in terms of thinking about sources first of all. So, I’m fortunate with Gibson, in the sense that she was so very well known, and so that has meant in terms of newspaper material is quite a bit. She was covered tremendously in the African American press, actually from a very young age, because she was an exceptional athlete in Harlem. So, in early 1940s there were a few pieces that talk about here brief young career as a basketball player in Harlem, but also as a bowler.
But of course, as she grew older, and as she became this, we might think of her as this recruit in the integration battle in sports. She’s also covered in mainstream white newspapers. So, you can find stories about Gibson, of course in the New York Times, and then as her career moves forward you see even more about her in publications such as Time, and Sports Illustrated. Incidentally she’s actually the first black female athlete to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
So, we have to think about where to find her in terms of the African American press, and the mainstream white press. But also, because this is someone who traveled abroad, also finding stories about Gibson that were in the newspapers that were in Great Britain, and other parts of the world. And then that also leads us to think about others’ perspectives on her. So not simply black Americans, or white Americans. But what do people of color abroad think about Gibson. Many of them actually received her in somewhat heroic terms, because this was another person of color who I think in the eyes of many people of color abroad, was triumphing over white supremacy. That she was a symbol of the success that black and brown people could have.
I also think that it’s important for us to step beyond narratives that are entirely about oppression, and about sadness, and about downtrodden-ess honestly. When we think about Gibson, and other black female athletes that certainly there were hardships in their lives because of race, and because of gender. But these were also individuals who were really strong willed, and who really did not want to, I think accept the limitations that were placed upon them. And so, this is definitely true in Gibson’s case. She talks a great deal in her autobiography about really the role of gender in terms of the frustrations that it caused her. But over, and over again we also see moments in which she really would not take that lying down, so to speak.
So those sorts of things happened to her in high school, when of course these were segregated schools in Wilmington. But when black female classmates seemed to pick on her, essentially for not being more of a representative black woman, in the sense that the way in which she dressed or carried herself. Gibson heard that, she writes about being upset about it, but she didn’t give up. And so, she continued to play sports with boys and men. She continued to be the most dominant player on the high school team, and even when she’s on the State Department tours, and she’s experiencing segregation in various ways. She continues to go out on the court, and to give it her best.
So, I think to answer your question, we have to think expansively about sources when we’re doing this kind of work, and we also have to be willing to acknowledge the trials, and the hardships. But also, be willing to look for the ways in which black female athletes were most definitely resilient.
Amira: Yeah, I really like how you used biography to get out all these other issues. So, to kind of put you into the present, what is your kind of estimate of Althea’s legacy? When you’re looking at modern tennis, do you see her influence, and what is the role of black women in tennis today?
Ashley: Well I think we certainly can’t talk about African Americans in tennis without paying attention to what happened before with Althea Gibson’s rise, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, I find myself thinking about the challenges that Gibson faced to whenever I hear, or read criticisms of the William sisters. And so, Althea Gibson certainly faced within the press, and I think from some peers, and she certainly faced unfortunate statements about her own physique, and about the way she tended to her hair, groomed her hair. So unfortunately, that’s a connection that has to be made.
I also think that when they’re discussions about women sports in terms of their bodies, whether it be their black women, or white women. I find myself thinking about Gibson, because she was about 5’10 and a half, her weight fluctuated I think between maybe 130, and about 145 pounds or so. And I point this out because I feel like sixty years ago, as well as today that there’s still all of this interest and scrutiny about the way female athletes look, and this is something we have to consider, right?
I don’t think that male athletes get quite the same amount of attention in that way. But they’re these standards around beauty, and around femininity, and female athletes are always judged according to those kinds of standards. And I will also add in terms of the stylist play, right? So, there’s still these debates in tennis about playing with grace, or playing with force, as if one cannot do both of those things. So that’s something that Gibson certainly faced. Criticisms that perhaps she was too much of a power player. But then at the same time, particularly in the early and mid 1950s when she began to try to expand her game, right? To have the powerful, and forceful serve, as well as forehand. But then she also tried to I think add more versatility particularly when it came to her backhand. But she had critics who said that she should really try to stick with only the power game.
But Gibson certainly recognized that there’s also of course the mental aspect to the game. And one of the things that I love about this project is reading newspaper articles in which she talks about this. In which she talks about wanting to be a more versatile player, but also in which she talks about what it’s like to be a champion, almost at the end of her career and folks wanting to maybe rise above her, the way she wanted to rise above the Doris Hart’s of the world when she began her career.
So, I think Gibson’s legacy is really quite well rounded. It’s everything from the physical aspect of the game, to the mental, to also just a story about a female athlete whose persevering against all kinds of odds.
Amira: I also have another facet of her legacy that I have a thought about in my head, and I was wondering if you could speak to it and let me on try for size. We live in a moment where there’s this certain celebration of black women at the upper echelon of tennis. Certainly, the William sisters, Sloane Stephens as well for instance. And there’s been this kind of effort to crown Madison Keys for instance within this legacy of Althea’s, Zina Garrison, the William sisters. And there’s been some hesitancy on Madison’s part, who Madison of course is biracial, and she’s black and white, and she has been really hesitant to say, to be part of this legacy of black women in tennis. Instead opting to say I’m not black or white, I’m Madison.
And this reminded me rhetorically of Althea Gibson who at a time when the black pack was clamoring for her to be this kind of next Jackie Robinson, or kind of race leader in terms of integration. Where she sometimes pushed back, and said she didn’t want to be a symbol, she just wanted to play. And I was wondering if you could comment on that kind of rhetorical tension in that legacy?
Ashley: You know this is kind of the row about Gibson, and I’m glad you brought this up. I’ve thought a little bit too about Madison Keys situation, of course she’s biracial. Gibson did identify as, I mean the language of that time was a Negro. And this is something that I’m really trying to tease out in the book, because she received quite a bit of scrutiny, particularly in 1956-1957 about how she identified. And again, Gibson did identify as a Negro, she would use the phrase “Our people” or “My people.” She actually spoke to the NAACP in the late 1950s. She was something of a darling of the NAACP actually, because they saw her as this triumphant symbol of an African American who rose from the language of that time, within the swarms of Harlem, which is a phrase that was often used in coverage about Gibson.
Who rose from Harlem, to become this champion of an elite sport. So, Gibson was also very much a product of middle class African Americans, and honestly that late 1940s early 1950s period. That kind of pre-Civil Rights, building up to the Civil Rights moment of someone who identified as African American, at the same time I think she saw a certain level of importance in what her success might mean to others, other African Americans. But she also had to be very careful about when, and how, and whether she spoke about race.
And to be honest with you, getting back to your previous question about legacies. I think that’s something that is still dreaming when it comes to African American athletes, and to really athletes of color. Gibson particularly as, for the most part, the only black tennis player at the elite level at that time. I think she had to be very mindful about what she said about race, for two reasons.
First of all, the possibility that she might lose opportunities. But then also realizing that she represented other black tennis players, and she wanted to make sure that she didn’t say, or do anything that might cut off the path, that might shorten the path for those who came after her, and who wanted see triumph, and have the same level of success. Or certainly the same opportunities that she had. So, it’s all I think very, very complicated. We also need to think about the black sports press, and the advocacy right, that is very much a part of their legacy.
But Gibson was on the ground living with racism certainly every day. I don’t think she necessarily shied away from that. But at the same time, as an athlete I think she was somebody who also believed in compartmentalization, which is to say that she dealt with racism, and sexism on a regular basis. But when it came to playing, and basically to going to the court which was her workplace, she wanted to be able to put those thought aside, and basically show what she could do.
Amira: Well I certainly look forward to reading your account of her complicated and integrating life. Dr. Ashley Brown, Ashley thank you so much for joining Burn it all Down today to talk about your work.
Ashley: Thank you Amira, have a great day.
Amira: Alright, so free agency was happening in the NBA. I don’t know if you saw any mention of that on your Twitter timeline.
Lindsay: How’s Boston doing in there? How’s Boston doing, real quick.
Amira: What’d you say?
Lindsay: How’s Boston doing?
Amira: Yeah right.
Lindsay: It was amazing.
Amira: What were some of your reactions to NBA free agency?
Lindsay: I tweeted that it’s my favorite men’s sport right now, NBA free agency. I just love it so much, the social media element of it. The holding your breath waiting for news. It’s very, very exciting. For me, the biggest signing was Tony Parker coming to the Charlotte Hornets, because I worship Tony Parker. I’m a big Spurs fan, but you know Charlotte is my hometown team, so I’m sure that’s the big news everyone is talking about. So, I just wanna admit that I too am loving that news.
But look it’s exciting the amount of money these players are getting is great, I wish they could get even more money. I wish the owners got less money. I’m all for it, I love players taking their careers into their own hands this way. It’s thrilling to watch, it is a little bit different. But that’s not a bad thing.
Amira: Yeah, Jess?
Jessica: Yeah, I was thankful that Lebron made his decision really quickly. Yeah, it was Twitter, and I totally agree. I don’t follow the NBA that closely, and so I don’t totally always get the significance of these moves. I have to look into it once Twitter starts freaking out. But I just really appreciate the social media aspect of it. It is really fun to watch the news come down, and people figure out what’s going on, and yeah. I don’t know. I will say about Tony Parker, that if you haven’t read Pops letter about Tony Parker, and how much Parker has meant to him and the Spurs, it’s really beautiful. And I don’t have anything really more beyond that.
Amira: Yeah, so Lindsay brought up the pay, and I think it’s possible to hold two things here. One, it’s really great for people, like you said, to be in control of their labor in some ways, especially watching Lebron. Lebron gets a lot of critics because of course this is his third decision, right? And the fanfare around his first decision was really overblown and that was a lot. But the ability to have a hand in it, in a way that especially like say in the National Football League where people are kind of cut very ruthlessly, and don’t really have guaranteed contracts, and don’t have a lot of these kind of labor protections. There is something about NBA free agency that hits on some of those points.
But the other thing is there’s a massive amount of money in this, and that led to some WNBA players becoming quite vocal during NBA free agency. Following the announcement that Lebron signed a 154 million four-year contract with the Lakers. A’ja Wilson, the rookie, took to Twitter and basically tweeted, “15 mil? Must be nice. We’re over here looking for an M, but lord let me get back in my lane.” Including a gif of a woman closing a door. And that set off a night of-
Lindsay: People acted so calmly, and collectively, and rationally to that, right Amira?
Amira: As they do about tweets about women’s basketball. They were just like, “This is a wonderful point A’ja, thank you for bringing it up.” No, not at all. Instantly there was detractors everywhere. I maintain that there’s something about women’s basketball, I said this during March Madness. Something about women’s basketball that brings out the droves of misogynistic trolls to Twitter comments, that I don’t necessarily see in soccer, or track, or whatever. Women’s basketball seems to be, for me, like the epicenter of this.
So instantly people were like, “Oh, maybe if you were one millionth of the basketball player Lebron is, you’d get paid equally,” And so A’ja was like, “Oh, it’s about skillset, emoji questioning face, because I heard a bench player gets more than … Nevermind.” There was discussions about dunking, but then I really was heartening to see that people like Kayla McBride joined the conversation and started to add her own parts. Skylar Diggins-Smith retweeted A’ja’s tweet and said, “A little bit louder now. But get your money black man.” Which I thought was a perfect way of talking about the duality of this.
So I think that it was nice to see that conversation. Did you guys see any of that unfolding on Twitter?
Jessica: Oh yeah, I was wrapped by it. Like I loved it. It was really amazing, Imani McGee-Stafford got in there. Diamond DeShields was tweeting about it. And you’re right, there is something specifically about the way that men respond to women’s basketball. It appears to be incredibly threatening, is the only way to really read it. So is all the “Go back to the kitchen.” No one watches the WNBA, but the women are very smart, of course, and savvy, and this is not just there saying they should be paid more. But the NBA players get a larger percentage of revenue, by far, than the WNBA players do.
But for all the people who keep telling them over, and over again that this is about how they don’t … That this is about overall revenue, and there’s not enough of it, and yeah, the women know that dipshits. Like, part of what they’re doing is pointing out that you should be paying attention. That they work incredibly hard, and they play incredibly well. The idea that it’s not worthy of attention, is built in to this narrative, and that’s bullshit. And that’s part of what they’re calling out and noting the difference here. And the idea that these people need to tell the WNBA players this. I was very, I don’t wanna say proud that’s like the wrong word. But it was amazing to watch so many of them respond to this in that moment collectively.
Lindsay: Yeah, I’ve got a piece coming up about this, this week. So hopefully all of you will read it, and I’m trying to save up some of my rants for that. But I will say that I will never understand how people can look at a sparse crowd, in a WNBA game and not think, and think that there’s something wrong with the product, as opposed to there’s something wrong with our society, and with the people. That there aren’t more people there, that we don’t appreciate this more.
Lindsay: Right, because that’s to me, where the problem lies. I mean I’m court side at all these Mystics games covering them. I’ve gotten way more into the sport, and I didn’t grow up watching women’s basketball. Let me be clear, I did not grow up with a family that really pushed women sports or was progressive in that way. I mean I did play basketball, but I never watched women play basketball. You know we would watch it at the Olympics. I didn’t grow up with this being a part of my life, with this being a part of my routine. And it took until, it’s really just the past few years that I’ve become really, gotten really into it, and started learning more about the game.
And it’s not because I’m trying to make a point, it’s because it’s fun to watch, and these women are really good. And I think that, I get sad when I think about how much WNBA history I’ve missed, and how much women’s basketball history I’ve missed. Because this wasn’t a normal part of my media diet growing up, because I was a sports fan. But didn’t see this on ESPN, didn’t see this on Sports Center, didn’t grow up with family that was watching it. That makes me sad, not because I feel like the players were doing something wrong. But because our culture was doing something wrong that it didn’t introduce me to this. You know what I mean?
So, I just, that’s to me where this frustrating disconnect lies. Yeah, women’s basketballs a long way to go. But it’s … Look, let’s just be blunt here. It is, women’s basketball, and I’ve talked to multiple players about this. It sits at this, and we’ve talked about this on the show. It sits at this intersection of sexism, racism, and homophobia that triggers the fragile masculinity in men, like nothing I have ever seen. And it also triggers something in a lot of women who aren’t as forthright to it, but don’t feel as comfortable being big time fans of it. Don’t feel like it’s as cool, don’t feel like it’s accepted.
I just, we have to find a way to get through that. But we’re never gonna get through that unless we deal with the sexism, racism, and homophobia that’s at the root of this.
Amira: Right, and I think that the thing that Candace Parker said about a month ago is, “Female ballers don’t get disrespected by NBA players. They understand the time, effort, and skill set to prefect a jump shot for instance. You don’t have to do a dunk to perfect a mid-range game, or to shoot a three, or to be able to handle. It’s usually dudes that don’t play basketball that disrespect the WNBA.” And I think, that was echoing in my head when this was happening. The other thing was that pisses me off is that the jokes are so lame. It’s literally always about a kitchen, or a sandwich.
So, there was a tweet about a rookie, I forget what rookie. Who met Diana Taurasi, and he said a quote, “He was so shocked, he was so excited, she was like the Michael Jordan of the WNBA.” And the first comment, literally, was, “She’s the Michael Jordan of making sandwiches.” And it had so many likes, and I’m like this is not even funny. It’s not even creative, it’s not even clever, and it was the same joke over, and over, and over again. And I said this before, like I literally don’t get the mentality of running to a status to make a joke about sandwiches. It’s really infuriating.
But, I wanted to-
Jessica: Yeah, get a new hobby.
Amira: Exactly. But I wanted to leave us with A’ja’s words on this, because she actually noticed the same pattern, and addressed it. Which I really like, she said, “Ooee, the men in my mentions are showing out. I hit a nerve I see. Stop telling me to get back in the kitchen, and stay in the kitchen at all. I can’t cook, ask my parents, my bae, friends, all of them know. Stop trolling and tweeting me about that. I’ll burn the kitchen down. Upside down smiley face.”
Things to Burn. Jess, what’re you burning this week?
Jessica: Yeah, so if you follow me on Twitter this probably isn’t gonna be a surprise. But I’m gonna, so Jim Jordan is a Republican US Representative from Ohio. He’s been a rep since 2007, and he’s a founding member of The Freedom Caucus, which is an ultra-conservative group of house Republicans. He is a strong Trump supporter, and after Paul Ryan said that he was not gonna run for re-election, Jordan’s name went to the top of the list for the next potential Speaker of the House. A position that puts you third in line to be President.
But Jim Jordan, in his pre-politician days he used to be the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. And his time there overlapped with a former team doctor, Richard Strauss. Strauss was the doctor at the university from the late 1970s, through, I think, 1998. So, a couple decades. Jordan was an assistant coach from 1986-1994, so eight years on the tail end of Strauss’s time there. This last April, following the sentencing hearing for, and the media attention on Larry Nassar, which is a case that we have talked a lot about on this program. A former wrestler wrote an email to higher ups at Ohio State, telling them that while he was there, it was well known that Strauss was sexually harassing, and abusing his patients, many of them student athletes.
Ohio State opened an investigation, and has confirmed quote, “That investigators have received confidential reports of sexual misconduct committed by Strauss from former athletes in fourteen sports, and former patients in student health services.” And I just wanna be clear that doesn’t mean fourteen people, that implies that there’s more than that, that they have received reports from. Jordan denies that everyone knew, because he said he didn’t know. These denials have now led to seven former wrestlers coming forward over the last week, and by time you listen to this it might be more. To say that Jordan did know, and that he is lying about this, and some have candidly said that it hurts their feelings to hear him do so.
Of course, because it’s politics in 2018, and a story about sexual abuse there are conspiracy theories suggesting the timing of these reports are because Jordan could be the next Speaker of the House, and this is all in the service of political gain for Democrats. Jordan, he could have admitted from the jump that he knew, that he didn’t do anything, and that he’s forever regretful of that decision, and incredibly sorry for the harm that he did not report or stop. That if he had known better how to handle this situation he would have, but that his ignorance is no excuse for his cowardice.
But he can’t do that, because of politics, because he supports a president whose been accused of sexual harassment and assault. A president who happily admits to assaulting women because he can get away with it. Jim Jordan can’t say today that he’d do something differently than he did in the years he was an assistant coach at Ohio State, because then he’d actually have to do something differently in his job right now, today.
The final thing, I want to acknowledge directly the wrestlers who’ve come forward, because most of them are also victims, right? I wanna spend just this brief amount of time thinking of the victims of Strauss who have to interact with this news. Jim Jordan could have made this uncovering of years of serial abuse less terrible than this, and he chose not to. So today I’m throwing Jordan’s cowardice, and his denials on the burn pile. Burn.
Lindsay: So, we like to burn very serious things like what Jess just did, and sometimes it’s important to also burn the trivial things, because they matter too in like a little world.
Jessica: Yeah, they do.
Lindsay: So, I wanna burn this week Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Mystics. He also owns the Washington Wizards, and the Washington Capitals, and the Washington Valor arena football team. A very, very rich man. A very, very powerful man. So ever since Elena Delle Donne came to Washington DC, to the Mystics last spring. I have noticed that Ted does not know how to spell her name. She is the best basketball player he has, period. She is way more accomplished than any of the Wizards, and he spells her name Della Donne. So it’s Delle, Delle Donne, not Della Donne like that’s just not how you spell it.
I remember noticing it last year when she was first signed, and this week I went back to check and see, I’m sure he’s learned how to spell it now, I thought to myself. No, he’s still doing it. She’s been on the team for sixteen months, and he will tweet links to articles where her name is spelled correctly, and he will still spell it incorrectly, in the tweets. We’re talking about tweets from last week, like this is. I know it’s a little thing, but it’s just so infuriating. Like I’m sorry, you would not do this to a men’s player, and if you did you would be called out by so many media people, mocked on blogs, Deadspin would be writing about it. You wouldn’t be able to get away with this. She’s a WNBA MVP, and you can’t spell her name properly. Burn, just burn.
Amira: Burn. Yeah so from the very serious, to the trivial. I think what I wanna burn this week is, it’s not a specific thing. It’s more just some the misogyny in sporting spaces in general as a fan. This week I’ve been frequenting many sports bars to watch the World Cup at 10 AM in the morning. I also took my kids to a Redsox game, and by Redsox game I mean a Nationals game. It was just the Redsox’s were in town, and also, we take over the park, so any who.
In all of these things what I was reminded over, and over again by the stairs, or the snide comments, or just being on the outside of a fan culture. Just being excluded from celebrations, or condescended to, or needing to beat back the assumption that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or why are you even in this bar. And the kind of curiosity of how can, why, you just wanna come here and watch the World Cup by yourself at ten in the morning. And it’s like yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Those things just add up, and they’re the little things, and I think that they’re important to kind of … I think we’re all very used to them. But I wanted to take a moment to stop and say, even though we’re used to them, that’s not right, and those are the small micro aggressions that get women, and girls outside of sporting fan places, and sports culture in general who don’t want to go into sports journalism. Who don’t wanna keep playing, who don’t wanna be a coach, who don’t want to study sports history, whatever it is. Because the things might be small and minor, but when they pile up, and they’re constant occurrences, it really promotes a fan culture that is so toxic.
So, I just wanna burn down that, and it’s not a specific occurrence. But it is something that I have every day, and it’s something that I’m sick and tired of, and I wanna burn it down.
Amira: After all that burning, it’s time to celebrate some bad ass women of the week. I wanna shout-out Sei-young Kim who shot an eight under par in the third round of Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. In doing that she tied Annika Sorenstam’s fifty-four-hole record of twenty-four under par. Not only that, but she will go to try to break the seventy-two old record of twenty-seven under, that she currently is sharing with Sorenstam. So, she not only has the opportunity to win the classic this weekend, but also to make history and break a record.
I also wanna shout-out Rebekkah Brunson from the Minnesota Lynx who just became the leading re-bounder in the WNBA. As well as Diana Taurasi who broke yet another record, this time becoming the most field goals in the WNBA. I also wanted to send a special shout-out, and acknowledgment to the Special Olympics, which just concluded this past weekend. Again, #choosetoinclude is really important to highlight the wonderful athletes competing there from thirteen-year-old Sabine Collins of Austin, Texas who is been in the Special Olympics circuit for two years and was competing in gymnastics. All the way to Kathleen Richards of Fresno, California whose been competing in the Special Olympics for more than forty years. And all of the other competitors competing this past weekend in Seattle, heres to you.
And now, drum roll please. Bad ass woman of the week goes to A’ja Wilson, and Kayla McBride, and all the other WNBA players who spoke out and continue to push for understanding, pay equity, and general respect. You are our bad ass women of the week.
Alright folks, what’s good in your life, Lindsay?
Lindsay: Yeah, next weekend I am going home for the first time since January, and I’m gonna take two days off of work, which I haven’t taken any days off this summer. I get to see my little niece, and I missed her birthday, and she’s four. So, I get to see her, and get to be on the lake a little bit, and get to see my family. And I am just really looking forward to getting away for just a few days. So that’s what’s good for me.
Amira: Awesome. So, my something good is that after a month of being in production, my daughters show is finally coming up this week. She’s doing Singing in the Rain this summer, and it also means the end of driving back and forth from state college, to DC for her theater intensive. So, I am very excited that we are coming to the last week of this. But also, super excited to see her show, and to see all the family that comes into town for her show. So that is my something good. Jess?
Jessica: Yeah, I wanna say that everyone should go watch season two of Glow on Netflix. I was gonna say that last week, but I unfortunately had to miss recording. It is one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever watched, and it’s about a bunch of women, and I just loved it. Like I’m probably gonna watch it again because I adored it so much.
But I also wanna give a quick shout-out to my family, to my therapist, to romance novelists in general, and sports, specifically Wimbledon and World Cup. For getting me through this summer. Those are the things that are good for me right now.
Amira: Here, here.
Well that’s it for this week on Burn It All Down, thank you so much for joining us. I wanna take a moment to remind you about our Patreon. You can go, donate as little as two dollars, or as much as you want to help keep this show going. We so appreciate our Patreon community, and all of our flame throwers, and we have really exciting things happening over there. Our monthly newsletter, opportunities to nominate things for the burn pile, a special Hot Takes segments, reactions from everything from the World Cup, to more extended interviews. And we have some Burn It All Down swag coming your way very shortly.
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That’s it from me, Amira Davis, Jessica Luther, and Lindsay Gibbs. See you next week flamethrowers.