Episode 74: From Kavanaugh to Ronaldo: abusers, enablers, and excuses. Also, an interview w/ Mary Carillo
On this week’s show, Lindsay and Jessica talk Eric Reid’s hiring by the Carolina Panthers (5:52) before diving into a long discussion about abusers, enablers, and excuses that starts with Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing and winds it way through and past Jameis Winston, the Dallas Mavericks, Urban Meyer, Addison Russell, and Cristiano Ronaldo, among others (41:09).
Then Jessica interviews the legendary Mary Carillo, former professional tennis player, tennis commentator, Olympic commentator, and Emmy-winning reporter with HBO Real Sports (54:17). [This is an edited version of their 45-minute conversation. If you’d like to hear the entire thing, become a patron of BIAD: www.patreon.com/burnitalldown.]
Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile (57:55), our Bad Ass Woman of the Week , starring Australia’s Jessica Fox (1:01:06), and what is good in our worlds (1:03:47).
For links and a transcript…
“Panthers sign ex-49ers safety Eric Reid to 1-year deal” http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000967014/article/panthers-sign-ex49ers-safety-eric-reid-to-1year-deal
“How the Panthers Signing Eric Reid Impacts His and Colin Kaepernick’s Grievance Claims Against NFL” https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/09/29/how-panthers-signing-eric-reid-impacts-colin-kaepernick-grievance
“Women Are Not Your Shield, Judge Kavanaugh” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-kavanaugh-women-hearing-protection_us_5bad89d1e4b09d41eba00201
“The terrifying bravery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford” https://thinkprogress.org/the-terrifying-bravery-of-dr-christine-blasey-ford-70e4cba1b95a/
“What the Worst of Sports Taught Brett Kavanaugh—and What It Still Teaches Today” https://www.thenation.com/article/what-the-worst-of-sports-taught-brett-kavanaugh-and-what-it-still-teaches-today/
“The Woman Who Accuses Ronaldo of Rape” http://www.spiegel.de/international/cristiano-ronaldo-kathryn-mayorga-the-woman-who-accuses-ronaldo-of-rape-a-1230634.html
“Melisa Reidy-Russell, ex-wife of Addison Russell, says she wanted to wait until after divorce to speak out” http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24822905/ex-wife-chicago-cubs-shortstop-addison-russell-says-ready-talk-last-year
“Joe Maddon responds to criticism over comments on Addison Russell situation” https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/joe-maddon-responds-criticism-over-comments-addison-russell-situation
“Inside Barstool Sports’ Culture of Online Hate: ‘They Treat Sexual Harassment and Cyberbullying as a Game’” https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-barstool-sports-culture-of-online-hate-they-treat-sexual-harassment-and-cyberbullying-as-a-game
“Barstool. Hates. Women.” https://thinkprogress.org/barstool-sports-sexism-30cee73eccc4/
“Kayce Smith insists Barstool Sports isn’t misogynistic” https://weei.radio.com/articles/column/media-column-reimer-kayce-smith-says-barstool-sports-isnt-misogynistic
“Ohio State Criticized for ‘Silence the White Noise’ Tweet” https://www.si.com/college-football/video/2018/09/27/ohio-state-criticized-silence-white-noise-tweet
“Tennessee High School AD Put On Leave, Says Girls ‘Pretty Much Ruin Everything'” https://www.si.com/high-school/2018/09/27/tennessee-high-school-ad-put-on-leave-girls-ruin-everything
“Cambage and Opals break Spanish hearts to set up Final against USA” http://www.fiba.basketball/womensbasketballworldcup/2018/news/cambage-and-opals-break-spanish-hearts-to-set-up-final-against-usa
“In Epic Battle, Luleå Defeats Riveters to Claim Historic First Champions Cup” https://www.nwhl.zone/news_article/show/954399
“Cameroon Wins Africa’s First-Ever Women’s World Champ. Match (Pool A)” https://volleymob.com/cameroon-wins-africas-first-ever-womens-world-champ-match-pool-a/
“Scotland Women: All players to be full-time up to World Cup with Government funding” https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45652970
“Ice hockey – Ouellette retires from Canadian women’s team” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-icehockey-can-ouellette/ice-hockey-ouellette-retires-from-canadian-womens-team-idUSKCN1M52VB
““It’s a girl’s world as well now” – Founder of UK’s largest Sikh women’s club wins UEFA grassroots award” http://farenet.org/news/its-a-girls-world-as-well-now-founder-of-uks-largest-sikh-womens-club-wins-uefa-grassroots-award/
“Carrasco becomes bike racing’s first female world champion” https://www.motorsport.com/wsbk/news/carrasco-becomes-bike-racing-first-female-world-champion/3186331/
“Everybody is dealing with something, so Panthers invest in mental health of players” https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article219058125.html
“Jess Fox is now officially the most successful paddler of the sport” http://olympics.com.au/news/jess-fox-is-now-officially-the-most-successful-paddler-of-the-sport
Jessica: Welcome to Burn It All Down, the feminist sports podcast you need. We are so happy you’re here. On today’s show, we have Lindsay Gibbs, a reporter at ThinkProgress, and me. I’m Jessica Luther, freelance journalist and author in Austin, Texas. Shireen and Brenda are traveling after having both presented … Shireen keynoted … yesterday at the Soccer and Social Justice Symposium at Dickinson College and Amira is hopefully in bed right now, because she’s feeling sick and had to cancel last minute. So Lindsay and I, we’re gonna try to hold it down today.
As always, we want to thank our patrons who supported this podcast through our ongoing Patreon campaign make Burn It All Down possible. We are so grateful. If you’d like to become a patron, it’s easy. Go to Patreon.com/BurnItAllDown. You can pledge as little as one dollar per month, but if you donate a little bit more, you can access exclusives, like an extra Patreon-only segment or a monthly newsletter.
So, it has been one hell of a week. It has been an absolutely terrible week in so many ways. And so, on today’s show, we’re basically gonna devote the bulk of our time to talking about the many excuses that abusers, most of whom are men, and their enablers use to shield them from criticism. We’ll talk about Brett Kavanaugh and probably Jameis Winston and Cristiano Ronaldo and maybe Addison Russell and whoever else comes up in conversation. Who knows? Maybe a little, I don’t know, Urban Meyer or some Michigan State or even the Mavericks. We could really just go in so many directions. Thank you sports, for all of that. Maybe we’ll also get into sexist, racist, antisemitic media and the people who cover for them? I don’t know. Stay tuned to find out.
Then, I was lucky to get to sit down with the legend … I actually capitalize that in my head, The Legend … Mary Carillo a couple weeks ago. I mentioned this on the last episode. Well this week, you all will hear a condensed, edited version of our nearly 45 minute chat. If you’re a patron of this program on any level, you will, by the time you’re hearing this episode, have gotten access to the full interview as our September Patreon-only segment, so sign up to hear that. Of course, we’ll cap off today’s show by burning things that deserve to be burned, doing shout-outs to women who deserve shout-outs, and telling you what is good in our worlds, because there is some stuff that is good in our worlds.
Okay, first though, before we get into all the shit … and there’s so much shit … let’s talk about something nice. Lindsay, your Carolina Panthers signed Eric Reid this week. How are you feeling about this?
Lindsay: I mean, it was just the timing of it. It came out like … I’m sitting there and I was helping ThinkProgress cover the Kavanaugh hearings this week, so I was writing about them.
Jessica: I think it was on Thursday.
Lindsay: I think it was during Dr. Ford’s testimony that this news broke, and I was like, “Not now. Not now. Cannot deal with this now.” So yeah, I mean obviously, this is a good sign in the sense that this would never, ever, ever would have happened under Jerry Richardson. In case you guys don’t know, Eric Reid is one of the first players to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick, and he’s done it ever since and he’s a very good free agent safety that most agree could be a starting safety on most teams. But, since becoming a free agent at the end of last year, he hasn’t been signed to a team and we’re a few weeks into the season now.
The Panthers’ old owner, Jerry Richardson, was very, very, very racist and awful. He was actually forced to sell the team earlier than he intended to after … I believe it was Sports Illustrated …
Jessica: It was.
Lindsay: … did an investigation into how horrible he was. So anybody who’s followed the Panthers closely … that was no surprise to find that out. But I’ve had Tepper, who’s the guy who came in. He’s got venture capitalist money and he used to have brass balls on his desk. So there’s been some question as to whether or not he’s actually better, but this does make me feel like it’s a good step for the franchise. It makes me feel better in that way. And Eric Reid’s just a great guy. Eric Reid’s a great guy. He’s a great player and I’m glad that the Panthers are a team that is embracing this. I mean, this was purely a football decision and that’s good. That’s what it should be.
Jessica: Good! Yeah, exactly.
Lindsay: That’s exactly what it should be. He’s by far the best free safety out there on the market and he should be signed because we have no safety. It shouldn’t have taken this long. I don’t give the Panthers a pat on the back for it or anything, but I’m excited to have Eric Reid on the field and off the field for the Panthers and I’m excited for what it says, that we don’t have a racist man running the team anymore. Feels better.
Jessica: Yeah, I mean, I’ll just give them a tiny little pat, because it does feel in some ways like crossing the picket line or something. In this case, the owners being the picketers. So in that way, it does matter. I haven’t read up yet to see … I’m sure it’s Michael McCann wrote a piece at Sports Illustrated … I know it’s at Sports Illustrated … about what this means for Kaepernick’s collusion case. But as far as … they get a little tiny pat. I was very happy to see Eric Reid signed. I think that’ll be great and a little boost to this NFL season that I actually don’t care anything about.
And now, on to the show.
Okay, so, Lindsay, here we are. Do you want to get us started on this hellscape that we are living in right now?
Lindsay: Yeah. I’m gonna be honest. I’ve been having a very, very, very hard time focusing on anything this week that wasn’t these Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and I think watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony on Thursday is … While I was watching it, it was one of those moments where I knew I would never, ever forget this moment or where I was or some of the things she said. Some of the things that just stuck with me, Jess, were her remembering the laughter that they had during it.
Jessica: Indelible on the hippocampus. I feel like I’ll never forget.
Lindsay: Indelible on the hippocampus, yeah. So in case anyone who wasn’t listening, she is also a psychology professor so she was kind of giving expert witness testimony to her own personal testimony during this. It was really fascinating by talking about how the memory works. Another thing, I know, Jess, you were talking about this. It was the fact that so many years later, 30 years later, she was fixated on getting a second front door and that was what made her end up telling her husband and telling all these people, because she still needed that second front door in order to feel comfortable.
And another thing that just keeps sticking with me … And we’re gonna talk a lot today about gender dynamics and abuser dynamics. But one of the things she just kept saying was, “I wish I could be more helpful.” She was so polite during this hearing. She was so accommodating during this hearing. She seemed shocked when anyone gave her a break or deferred to her in any way. She came in here completely ready to just try and make everyone else feel better about what she was telling them, and I think it was striking. And it was a striking contrast to Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony, who went after her, and his anger and explosiveness and cruel … I mean, he was cruel to the people who were questioning him, especially the women. He was just awful. Awful. There is nothing about him that came across as a good person.
There’s a conversation that always happens, especially when it’s been a long time since an alleged assault. And it’s, “Well, shouldn’t we forgive this person? Shouldn’t we be able to move on?” And I just kept watching this and I was like, not if it’s someone like Brett Kavanaugh who hasn’t done any of the work. This isn’t even someone who’s saying, “What she’s saying is terrible. I’m so sorry this happened to her. It wasn’t me and I can tell you why it wasn’t me. But this is a real problem in society and we need to deal with it.” This was someone who was just so aghast that he was being challenged in any way. We saw him just having a complete breakdown on national television. And as I like to say, you definitely want a Supreme Court Justice who completely breaks down under pressure. That’s definitely what I’m looking for in somebody who’s making rules.
But look, let’s start here, because there’s a lot of … As you mentioned up top, we’re gonna take this conversation to a lot of different places. But I have to start it with Kavanaugh and the way he used women and women’s sports and all the women in his life as a shield. He didn’t just do the, “I have a mother so I can’t be a rapist” defense. He said, “I have a wife and I have daughters. I have friends. Here are the name of all my friends.”
Jessica: He literally listed them. Literally listed them.
Lindsay: He listed his female friends by first name. And this is the same man who had just, in his other hearings, before these allegations surfaced, he had literally brought a women’s basketball team that he coached and had them sit front row …
Lindsay: Girls’, yes. You’re right. Girls’ basketball team, when Trump first introduced him as the nominee. He brought his wife and daughters. He talked a lot about them, and he also talked then about coaching girls’ basketball. The way he has used, from the very first moment we met him as a Supreme Court nominee, his relationships with women and the fact that he coaches girls’ sports as proof that he is a good person, has really off put me and it’s been staggering. We see it happen in so many ways. Urban Meyer can’t be a bad person. He can’t be an enabler because he has written “respect women” in the locker room. There’s all these examples of it.
But you wrote a really great piece on this for the Huffington Post, so I just kind of wanted to start with you. What struck you the most about this, Jess?
Jessica: I kept thinking about the girls’ basketball team. I burned it a couple weeks ago and I used your tweets, Lindsay, to do it. We’re on the same page about …
Lindsay: Appreciate that.
Jessica: … feeling that at the time that he did it. And of course, the context of why he did that then as he was already using them to fight back against the idea that he would, as a Justice on the Supreme Court, rule against women’s rights. That was a criticism going in, and the very day that he brought the girls’ basketball team in in the original hearing was a day that they talked about Roe v. Wade and brought up the emails where he actually had said that he didn’t think it was settled law. He’s a liar. I think we should throw that out there. One of the things in these hearings is that he just lies whenever he needs to in order to make his case for something. And so, Roe v. Wade was one place where he had said, “Oh, it’s settle law,” and then the brought up these emails where he had said that it wasn’t settled law on the same day that he brought these girls in to sit behind him.
And so, he brought them up again and I’ve been thinking about them because so much of the conversation over the last week and a half since Dr. Ford’s story came out is that it very quickly moved from whether or not Kavanaugh did it to this discussion of, “Well, all boys do this.” There was this excuse of, “This is just what high school boys do. It doesn’t mean anything about them as men.” This whole narrative of, “Who cares what happens to high school girls?” And there are teenage girls pushing back in social media, writing op eds, saying, “We matter too.” And I kept thinking about these girls that he had brought in to the room before. Statistically, there are these survivors of sexual assault among that group. When they go to college, their chances go up. Certainly some of them will be, if they are not already. That’s just the sad fact about the world.
And then he brought up the team in his opening statement after he had gone through the list, his mom, his daughters, his wife, the law clerks, all the different women that he brought up. He brought up the team and he brought up the team specifically to say, “I’m very sad because I’ll probably never be able to coach high school girls again.” Which someone pointed out the irony that he’d lose that job but still get to be a Supreme Court Justice, like that has higher standards. But okay. But he didn’t take that opportunity at all to say anything about the girls themselves. He wanted to tell us … And I’m sure that it was not an easy ten days for him. I’m sure this has been incredibly jarring and shocking for someone who has so much privilege and hasn’t had to be held accountable for lots of things in his life.
I’m imagining, what does it mean for those girls to hear this conversation about them and how they don’t matter. The thing that Ford says that he did to her, like that’s not a big deal. And so, he only brought them up to talk about himself and to fear for his own future, and for me that was just so telling as to what it is he’s actually taking away from all of this, which really has nothing to do with these women and these girls that he likes to use to cloak himself. It’s just another example. It’s just so common, for us to have to listen to this. I think I made a quip in the piece about “I’m the son of a mother.” Often we get that. “I have daughters,” that kind of thing. The one where the acts of nature happen instead of the fact that they’re all sons of mothers.
I don’t know. I just feel like I don’t even know what to think about all of this, and just the amount of excuse that he used. Other than talking, and really lying, about the woman from his yearbook, Renate … If you don’t know about this … I’m just amazed at anyone who doesn’t know everything about this. But in case you don’t, in the yearbook, which came up a lot … he went to an all-boys Jesuit prep school … and in the yearbook, multiple of the guys, including a substantial portion of the football team, called themselves “Renate Alumnus,” which means they are the alums of Renate, the implication being that they had slept with her. She didn’t know about this until last week when asked by a reporter, but he told us all that they just wanted her included in the group. He tried to play it off as like, this was an innocent thing that they did for their friend, but he felt really bad about it. She was literally the only woman that he actually … I think he might have said he felt sorry for Ford. Maybe he said a couple things about her.
Lindsay: Well, his daughter wanted to pray for her. He made a big deal about that, which …
Jessica: Yes, he cried about that. He cried about that and calendars. It was all very strange in a lot of ways. But what do you say to all this?
The other thing I want to bring up … and I’d love to hear your thing about this. I’m sure you had similar thoughts. He kept trying to tell us he was a good person because he was on a high school sports team. I was like … I don’t even … I kept thinking that’s literally not helping. That does not make …
Lindsay: It was really funny. One of the times he was talking about how he couldn’t have drank this one certain weekend because it was football camp. And I was like, oh yeah, you know that high school football and parties are two things that never go together.
Jessica: I know. I know. And so why …
Lindsay: It was bizarre.
Jessica: It was so bizarre. I tweeted this out. People probably don’t remember. I feel like you and I, we’re probably like stat encyclopedias about this stuff. But it was two years ago … just two years ago … that Columbia wrestling … Amherst … I want to say track and field … And there was Harvard soccer.
Lindsay: Oh, yeah. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
Jessica: All three of those male teams got in trouble for gross things that they said about the women at the school or on the other team. There was an amazing op ed by the women of the Harvard soccer team responding to what it meant for them to see their friends say all these horrific things about them, sexualizing them. This was two years ago. Kavanaugh kept telling us that he went to Yale. We all know. He yelled about how Yale was the number one law school. There’s this idea that class somehow keeps you out of bad behavior. That because you’re at an Ivy League school or you go to a prep school that somehow you couldn’t do these bad things. And I just wanted to remind everyone, two years ago we had three major top-level universities in this country where male sports teams got in major trouble for the sexist, horrific things that they said about women on their campus. So the idea that that wasn’t happening in the early 1980s.
Lindsay: The idea-
Jessica: I just couldn’t believe he wanted us to believe that. And people do believe it.
Lindsay: The idea that you couldn’t be a rapist ’cause you went to Yale, which is like, what are you saying? It’s just like …
Jessica: I know!
Lindsay: Or because you played football. I was like, “What bubble …” And this is all what it is. He has grown up in this bubble where he has been shielded from consequences for any of his actions. When he was up there and giving his testimony, it looked, at times, like he was throwing a toddler-like tantrum, do you know what I mean?
Jessica: Yes, he was.
Lindsay: Like a person being confronted with consequences for the first time in their life. And it was absolutely … it was just an alarming display of privilege. One of the things that keeps getting to me is … And this we can tie into a lot of the stories we’re telling. But I think about women when … and I don’t want to just say women. Any survivors when they come forward, ’cause I want to include male survivors and gender non-conforming survivors because this is … Gendered violence does not just impact women. I know that’s something you say a lot, Jess, too. We use the phrase “gender violence,” but it’s all within kind of this patriarchal system. But that very much impacts men as well. A statistic that Jess brings up all the time is that men are more likely to be abused than they are to be wrongly convicted.
Jessica: Falsely accused of it.
Lindsay: Falsely accused of it. And that’s so often lost in all of this. But when survivors come forward, the way they are scrutinized, that if anything they say from the moment they come forward … even if it’s right after the assault when they’re in the throes of trauma all the way through the process … any sort of inconsistency in their story … any sort of inconsistency, ’cause I don’t want to say lie ’cause often the way that memory works, it’s not right out lies when the survivors are saying it ’cause their memory shifts of the actual account. But that is just used to discredit and discredit and discredit every other thing they say, even if it’s about something that’s fairly insignificant.
Whereas we saw Kavanaugh lie, just straight out lie, about so many small things. And yet, we’re supposed to believe him about the biggest thing and nobody … I’m not saying nobody’s pointing this out. A lot of people are. But it’s not making any impact on people who are supporters of him. And that’s just absolutely staggering to me, and we see this all the time in both abusers and enablers. But mainly just in white, powerful men who are able to get away with a number of lies that anyone coming forward to try and get justice would just never, ever, ever be allowed to get away with.
I started last week writing about doing a deep dive into the Mavericks report, into everything with Urban Meyer, and I just kept thinking about the number of times that Urban Meyer has lied to us throughout this whole experience, right?
Jessica: The official report.
Lindsay: The official report says he lied …
Jessica: Over and over again.
Lindsay: … and then basically says it’s okay that he lied.
Jessica: Yes, that’s a great point. Yes.
Lindsay: And so I just keep thinking about how the amount of leeway these people are given because they’re successful, powerful, white men is astonishing. And any people who live within that power structure such as Jameis Winston, who has lied a number of times about his encounter with the Uber driver that he was only suspended three games for.
Jessica: Can I add … One thing about Winston, too, that I think dovetails with Kavanaugh is … How old is Winston now? 23? 24? Something like that. And people are still telling us … despite how many times he’s now been reported, and he got in actual trouble this last time … he’s just immature and that he just needs time to mature and that’s the key here for him. There’s so much with the Kavanaugh discussion. The people who are willing to say, “If it did happen, it doesn’t matter because he was immature and that’s what high school boys do and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And this idea that they’ll just get older and therefore, less hating of women or less dehumanizing or less feeling …
Lindsay: Even though we’ve taught them nothing. We’ve taught them that they can keep getting away with this. It’s times like this I just blame society as a whole and I blame, almost more than the actor itself, all the people who let them get away without consequences for so long. It’s just infuriating.
Jessica: Yeah, exactly. You bringing up the Mavericks really made me think about one of the things Mark Cuban said that he didn’t know about Terdema Ussery, the CEO of the Mavericks sexually harassing lots of female employees for two decades. But he has admitted over and over again that he knew about Earl Sneed, the mavs.com writer who has nothing, the kind of privilege that someone like Brett Kavanaugh has, but like you said, was inside of this power structure being protected by Mark Cuban. So Sneed was arrested, pleaded guilty to beating up one woman and then was allowed to stay at the Mavericks …
Lindsay: He was a writer for Mavericks.com, just so people know. He was just like their in-house beat writer, essentially.
Jessica: And then he got to stay on staff and ended up having a relationship with a woman on staff and ended up beating her up, too, and she left and they still kept him on staff. They kept him on staff until they reported it and then finally fired him. And Cuban has admitted that he just believed Sneed. That he just believed him. That he thought his version of it was believable and that was it. I keep thinking about that. That there are just people who are like, “I just believe Kavanaugh. I feel bad for Ford, but I just believe him.” And there’s no sense to that outside of, we live in this system that makes it so those men are believable, really no matter what they say.
Lindsay: I’ve written about this a lot, and it’s terrifying to actually come to the reality that people you love or the types of people you interact with on a daily basis are capable of being abusive in these ways. Because we’ve been conditioned to believe it is the other …
Jessica: Great point.
Lindsay: … whether it’s these evil people. And so, I understand why it’s hard for people to come to terms with this, why it’s hard for a Mark Cuban to believe that this guy that he’s taken under his wing, like an Earl Sneed, that he is just such a nice guy that he’s mentoring, that he wants to help out, that he’s decided to give a leg up to, that he doesn’t want to believe that this guy … It’s easier for him to believe that a woman is just out to … That this is an ex-girlfriend situation, a bitter ex-girlfriend. That is more comfortable to believe for someone like-
Jessica: And easier. You don’t have to do as much.
Lindsay: It’s easier and it doesn’t kind of shake your core of the way you’ve grown up with and it doesn’t make you have to look closer at the people around you and think, “Have I been judging these people wrong all along?” I think that’s why when people are defending Kavanaugh in this way, I just think they’re just so afraid that either they’ve done something similar or someone else has done something similar in their lives, and it’s just easier for them to believe that this is a partisan conspiracy. That fits much more comfortably into their world view than the fact that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape a woman when he was a drunk teenager and has never faced any consequences for that. That is much harder to believe than the alternative. And I think that, to me, is just kind of what we’re seeing throughout the sports world and throughout the rest of the world.
What you were saying earlier really struck a chord with me, Jess. It was that we’re all worried about what’s gonna happen to men in this world, but everyone forgets about the women. They just forget about the women. Mark Cuban, in the Mavericks thing, he said, “Well, I just was worried about Earl.” But he wasn’t worried about his female employee. That wasn’t in his worldview. He was more concerned about the small possibility … just a very statistically unlikely possibility … that Earl Sneed had been falsely accused and then pled guilty to this than he was about the much larger and more realistic possibility that Earl Sneed did this once and he will do this again.
Jessica: Right. And the work that goes into that reality is just so much more intense. You would actually have to do the uncomfortable thing, which is fire him and tell him why. We often find this with … That’s real. He knows Sneed and they would have had to have a really difficult conversation and Cuban would have had to make a hard choice, I guess. I mean, I guess it’s a hard choice when you know them. But there’s a way lesser version of this we see a lot with sports fans. They don’t want to hear about these stories because they just don’t even wanna do the work to figure out how to continue to love their sport or their team if there’s a guy on the pitch or the field or whatever who probably has harmed somebody else. They don’t even want to do the basic work of figuring out how to make sense of that.
I’m thinking here … and I just want to make sure that we say something about this because it’s also a big deal this week … We had Addison Russell of the Cubs … I think it’s his ex-wife who has now come forward and I don’t know how much detail she’s told of the abuse. But she has now come forward to say that he did abuse her repeatedly and the Cubs are trying to figure it out and we’ve had the same sort of thing with the Cubs where no one wants to say one thing or the other. How can anyone know anything? They’re all just gonna wait until someone tells them what to think.
And then the other big story that I’m sure … especially once Shireen is back on the show … we will be talking about is Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m sure that we’ve brought it up before, because this is not a new story, but a woman reported, in 2009, that he raped her and he settled with her, and part of the settlement was that she wasn’t allowed to talk about it, and she has now filed to nullify that settlement, basically, and she has told her story. You can go read it. It is really upsetting. Not only what she says that he did, but what he apparently has said he did to her in some court documents, a questionnaire that he filled out around the settlement. He basically admits to it. It’s really difficult to read.
I really have no sense … and Lindsay and I were talking about this before the show … but I really have no sense if this will be a story, if people will care at all, because they just don’t want to do the work that it takes to reconcile all of this, to possibly not watch him play soccer anymore, give that up in their own lives. As little work as that actually is, people don’t even want to do that. So I don’t know. I feel like I’m just ranting at this point, but …
Lindsay: Doing the work is exhausting. We’re exhausted all the time.
Jessica: Yes. Yes. It’s true.
Lindsay: It’s horrible. I still love sports and …
Jessica: Me too.
Lindsay: … I still watch.
Jessica: What’s wrong with us?
Lindsay: I watch problematic people all the time. I root for problematic people, and I’m constantly reckoning with these things and I think that’s the story here. But I think what gets me about so many of these of what we’re seeing, the thread that kind of ties this together, is that these survivors that we see coming forward have dealt with these abuses every day since they happened. It’s constantly with them in a way that it’s not for the abuser. I still want to believe in a world … and I’ve heard some stories recently about people having people who did bad things to them in the past reaching out in the way of the Me Too movement and saying, “Look, I’ve been thinking about this. I’m really sorry. I was wrong. I didn’t understand at the time why what I was doing was wrong, but it was wrong.” And giving them that sort of validation and I believe in that work and I believe that there is a space for that. But that is so often not at all what we’re seeing.
I don’t know where it leaves us. I left this week feeling more than ever like we’re getting further away from where we want to go, and I think logically, I know that’s a lie. I just think the problem is that progress, unrooting our societal norms in this area, is going to take so much work and it’s going to feel worse before it gets better because we’re ripping off and exposing so many wounds that people have just been comfortable ignoring for so long. It’s going to feel like it’s getting worse. But I think that what Dr. Ford did on Thursday is going to help so many women. I wrote this week … I for the first time wrote publicly about my assault and the fact that I’m a survivor as well, and I’ve never publicly talked about that on this podcast or in writing, and I just honestly didn’t know how to write about what Dr. Ford was doing without tying it to me, because it’s so intimately personal.
I wrote this in my piece. We’ll link it in the show notes. I said, “Look, our details are not at all the same, but there’s so many bits and pieces that I recognize in the way she’s dealing with this and in the way that she’s reacting in these moments.” I thought what she did was heroic. I wrote this. I said, “I’m not gonna sit here and tell you every detail about what my assault was like and I’m not gonna tell you … that’s not the point of this. Nobody’s gonna make me do that. My abuser was not a rich, powerful, white man who is about to get a lifetime appointment. I don’t have to come forward with all these details in order to try and protect others.”
Honestly, it’s a weird place of privilege to be. What she did, what she decided to do for all of us, is remarkable. And what Addison Russel’s ex-wife is doing by coming forward. What Cristiano Ronaldo’s … the woman he allegedly raped, what she’s doing right now in speaking up and saying, “I want to annul this settlement. I’ve never felt right about it. I want this all to be public and I want to find some sort of justice.” What we’re seeing across society, what we’re seeing right now in the Catholic church with all the survivors coming forward there, with the Ohio State old wrestling program, with all those male survivors coming forward …
Jessica: The Nassar survivors, the gymnasts.
Lindsay: The Nassar survivors, the gymnasts. It’s just everywhere. It is moving in a positive direction. It’s just, what’s so devastating is that it takes these public showcases of trauma to even move forward an inch. And I think that’s … Don’t we reach a tipping point at one time where we don’t have to have these people be re-traumatized in these ways? Or it doesn’t take 200 Nassar survivors speaking up in a victim impact statement to make national headlines? Or it doesn’t take Dr. Ford sitting through this testimony to get any semblance of credibility? When do we reach this tipping point where survivors don’t have to jump through these, let’s just say it, hoops?
Jessica: And shout-out to Anita Hill in all of this. I’ve thought about her … We all have obviously been thinking a lot about her because of Dr. Ford. I’m sad. I went to therapy yesterday and it was just a lot of crying and there’s a lot to process about this last week. But one thing that I keep thinking about is the long game, and Anita Hill is how I keep thinking about it. Ultimately, he’s still there. Clarence Thomas is still a Justice on the Supreme Court, but the fact that she did what she did in 1991, you can draw a direct through line to Me Too, that we have Me Too because of Anita Hill. And I really do wonder what the through line from Dr. Ford will be and that I try to be hopeful about that.
I do want to say one last thing, especially building off of your point about spectacles of trauma. One of our Flamethrowers, _MUHKUH on Twitter, Mukuh, I guess, wrote this tweet that I’ve been thinking about. “I’m struck today at how our sports and triumphs are too boring to watch but our trauma sometimes turns into national spectacle.” That’s a sad thought, but also a very powerful one about which women we’re willing to watch and which ones we find entertainment in. It feels very fitting here on Burn It All Down to bring that up.
Lindsay: I just think it just ties into … that’s just part of such this larger conversation of when do women’s sports make national headlines regularly? When they’re in peril or when they’re confronted with this big displays of sexism.
Jessica: Yes, good point.
Lindsay: How many times has The New York Times written “WNBA in jeopardy” piece or a “Woman speaks out against sexism,” piece versus how much they’ll actually cover of the sport itself just as a sport. And then that ties back as the women’s sports as a shield and I think back to the Sky Blue stuff, when you had the governor of New Jersey saying, “Well, I purchased this women’s soccer team to inspire my daughter because I want her to know that women can do anything men can do.” And then he didn’t give these women running water. I don’t know. But it does all fit together in this way of just how we view women, how we view survivors, and how we kind of keep these power structures.
I don’t really want to get really far into this. Okay, there’s two more things I want to bring up. One is, as someone who’s covered these Nassar hearings on Capitol Hill, and these USOC hearings …
Jessica: Yes. Tell us about that.
Lindsay: How many of these … The big talk about those hearings has been the bipartisan nature. It’s been republicans and democrats coming together to try and hold sexual abusers within USOC and enablers and Michigan State and gymnastics, to hold these people accountable. They’ve sat across so many Nassar survivors and talked with them one-on-one. There’s just been all of this grandstanding, and then so many of those senators are now voting for Kavanaugh and it just makes you want to just ram your head up against a wall, honestly …
Jessica: Yeah, pull your hair right out.
Lindsay: It’s just so infuriating, because they just don’t get it. They just don’t get it, and it’s so disheartening.
And then, another thing is, where does the media fit into all this? There are a couple of things here, number one being … I remember someone pointing out that all of the images from these hearings on the wire services were taken by white men. The only women working in these hearings were from specific papers, so then all the wire images, the AP and the Getty from these hearings, we were all literally seeing these images through the lens of a white man, which is just kind of staggering.
Jessica: Wow. Yes.
Lindsay: A friend of the show, Robert Silverman, this week wrote a big piece about Barstool Sports for the Daily Beast, and it reignited the Barstool conversation in a way that was very obviously … and Robert is the first to point this out in a way that it hasn’t when any woman has written about it. His piece was very, very well done, but it was staggering the amount of people will leach. Some people from Deadspin who don’t usually write about this. It’s just been staggering the kind of attraction this has gotten and it just kind of points when a white man in a more mainstream outlet points out that something’s wrong here, all the sudden people pay attention in a way they don’t anyways.
But look, there’s also been a lot of women from within Barstool who have been attacking me and been attacking others for claiming that Barstool is sexist and writing things now about how much they like working at Barstool. I just keep thinking, “I’m glad that you like it there. I’m glad you feel supported as an individual and I am glad,” and you can treat individual women well and still be sexist overall and still be contributing to the diminishment of women overall. I don’t know how to put it exactly, but I just think it’s kind of worth mentioning. I think of all the women who have been supporting Kavanaugh. I don’t know. There’s something Lindy West … Oh, sorry. I’m really rambling right now.
Lindy West, the writer, wrote years ago in The Guardian. It was this female comedienne had been attacking her for being fat and for her weight and she said something along the lines of, I’m gonna keep fighting, even for you, because one day you might gain weight or someone you love might gain weight and I still want the world to be a better place for you if that happens to you, or for your daughter if that happens to her. I am still fighting for you. I understand that you don’t agree with me right now and that you are in a different place in your life right now, but I’m gonna still keep fighting for this because I think it is what’s best for women overall and that ultimately, my hope is that you will benefit from this greater fight one day.
Jessica: Exactly. That’s wonderful. You did great. There was no rambling. That was perfect.
Lindsay: I think I picked a story on five different threads there, but okay. I got somewhere eventually.
Jessica: This is clearly something that we will continue, forever, to be discussing on this podcast, so we will absolutely be coming back to this topic and I look forward to those conversations.
Lindsay: Me too.
Jessica: Up next, I sat down with Mary Carillo two weeks ago when she was here in Austin. Carillo is a former tennis player, a wonderful tennis commentator, an Emmy-winning reporter for HBO Real Sports, and she has also covered 14 Olympics. If you’d like to hear the full interview, become a patron of the show. Here is a shorter, edited version of our talk.
How did you originally get into tennis?
Mary: I played tennis at the Douglaston Club. It’s a tiny little town in Queens, New York. I started playing because I had been on the swimming team and my ears were getting terrible, swimmer’s ear, and then one day I saw this beautiful family in cable knit sweaters and creamy white shorts and it looked beautiful and elegant and warm, and so I started playing tennis. That’s a very true story. I’ll never forget the Cerna family. And so my dad was a very good athlete. We joined the tennis part of the Douglaston Club and at the same time that that was happening, the McEnroe family from up the street joined the Douglaston Club. It became a real tennis town. There were only five courts. Two hard courts, three clay courts. In the beginning, they weren’t crowded, and then when John McEnroe started becoming John McEnroe it became very big and we had tournaments and tennis ladders.
Jessica: Oh, wow.
Mary: Yeah. And it became a real tennis town and a real tennis club. It had been a swimming club and it became a tennis club. My parents are 88 and 92 years old. My dad still plays there about four or five times a week with the old guys, he calls them. They’re in their 60s. My father is 92. “Yeah, I’m just playing with the old guys.”
Jessica: I love it.
Mary: So that’s how I started playing and then it became this hotbed. When I was growing up, I would read tennis magazines, anything I could find, and you either had to be in Florida playing on clay courts or in California or Texas was big, too, for hard courts. But then, all of the sudden, New York became a very decent address for tennis.
Jessica: What do you love about tennis?
Mary: I happen to love all racquet sports. I love the geometry. I think a racquet as a tool, whether it’s a badminton racquet or a tennis racquet or a ping pong paddle. I happen to think that’s a beautiful tool. And I like that there’s a net. I like that it’s one-on-one, basically. What I love about tennis and what I deeply resent about on-court coaching and things like that that I feel are trying to ruin the very integrity, the fiber of my sport … I like that you can be … more than any other sport … you can be tall, you can be short, you can be fast or slow, you could have great hands, you could have hands of stone. You can play it with any body type. You can play with any kind of mentality, any kind of mindset. You want to be patient? You’ll win a lot of matches. You want to be aggressive? You’ll win a lot, or you can lose a lot of matches the same way. That is what I genuinely like more about tennis than anything. Any kind of person with any kind of mentality and sensibility can play it and make it their own.
I think that’s really … I don’t know that there are a lot of sports that lend themselves to that kind of creativity and freedom.
Jessica: Yeah, no I agree. What was the transition like for you when you retired? You almost went immediately into commentating.
Mary: I always hung around writers and I was kind of quotable as a player. I would lose a match and the WTA or the Virginia Slims would say, “Can you go in there and …”
Jessica: Okay, so you’ve always been good with sort of turn of phrase or [crosstalk 00:44:36]
Mary: Well, I mean, but I was a wisenheimer because I would always have just lost to somebody, badly. So I would describe the carnage and I’m like, “Why do you want me to go in and talk about it?” And I always like writing. My brother’s a writer so I hung around them and I was always interested in how they were describing something or what they were concentrating on or what match they decided to write about. And then TV came around, which at the time, when I was offered my first TV job, it was only a couple of tournaments a year. USA network was just starting to show women’s tennis so it wasn’t really a job. I mean, it was just something I did. But then they started covering more tennis, and then I was allowed to do men’s tennis, which was a big jump.
Jessica: Of course.
Mary: And then I switched over to ESPN and they had Davis Cup and originally I wasn’t allowed … You’ll love this. I wasn’t allowed to cover Davis Cup, not because ESPN didn’t want me to. The United States Tennis Association didn’t want me to because they came up with some cockamamie rule …
Jessica: Like, they wanted a male commentator, is that what …
Mary: They wanted someone who had been a Davis Cup player.
Jessica: Oh, of course.
Mary: So, of course, I wasn’t among those who played men’s …
Jessica: Yeah, you’re never gonna meet that criteria.
Mary: Right. And I have to say, I’ve had a lot of good luck over the years. This guy named Brian Williams was the producer at ESPN at the time and to his great credit, he said to the USTA, “She can’t cover the Davis Cup, I don’t want to either.” He delivered an ultimatum to the US and they said, “All right, what the hell.” And so I did it, and I love Davis Cup. I love Fed Cup. So I can’t tell you how often a guy thinks he’s giving me a compliment, a viewer, when he says, “I like listening to you because you don’t sound like a girl. Your voice is deep.” You ever get that nonsense?
Jessica: Oh, yeah.
Mary: And they think that …
Jessica: We are five women who run a podcast.
Mary: You know what, I retract my question.
Jessica: We’ve certainly heard about our voices from people.
Mary: Right? So you get judged first and foremost. They’re not even listening to the content. They’re listening to the sound of it.
Jessica: Right. Yes. Do you have … I’m sure you have plenty, but do you have a favorite memory of a match that you called? Like when you think back on it, you get that thrill of thinking about being there and witnessing it and being able to call it.
Mary: Oh, boy. I’m lucky, because I’ve covered Davis Cup, the team competitions when the whole place is just rocking. There was a 1991 Davis Cup tie between the US and France and it was in Leon, France which is a gorgeous city anyway and Yannick Noah was the captain and he brought together all these old guys who weren’t supposed to beat the young Pete Sampras, the young Andre Agassi. We were supposed to have the team. And the place … I can still remember the ground shaking. That was one of the best sporting events I’d ever been to.
I mean, but I’ve covered … I’m elderly. I’ve covered great … There was a Wimbledon between Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams and Lindsay had match point and lost. Match point in Wimbledon. It was still one of the most unforgettable matches I’ve ever called. And the funny thing is, when the matches are great, I don’t remember anything that I said, necessarily. Because if it’s great, you just let the director cut cameras.
Jessica: I wanted to ask you about your Olympic coverage, in part because whenever … especially friends of mine that aren’t tennis people when I talk about Mary Carillo … the video that I always send them …
Mary: The badminton.
Jessica: … is the badminton video. It’s just such joy.
Mary: That is the most ridiculous video. That was at the Athens Olympics, Jessica.
Mary: That was at the Athens Olympics, and people call it “The Badminton Rant.” It’s really a rant about motherhood.
Jessica: Yes. Which I relate to a lot. I feel like part of it is because your storytelling is so clear. I mean, when you say “Christopher Burr, it’s always Christopher Burr.” Just the detail with which you deliver. But anyway, I …
Mary: It continues to be Christopher Burr, I’m sure of it.
Jessica: Yes. I always say, “Well, she does tennis commentating and she’s great at it,” but then I’m like, “But here’s this video.” That’s the thing I end up showing to people. But you’ve been covering the Olympics for …
Mary: Pyeongchang was my 14th.
Jessica: That’s amazing.
Mary: Pyeongchang was my 14th. The first one I did was Albertville.
Jessica: So one of the things I was wondering about is to cover something like the Olympics, the learning curve, the amount of information that you would have to know versus tennis which you grew up playing, your knowledge base is pretty much set.
Mary: It’s the only sport I’m fluent it.
Jessica: Yeah, so what was that like for you, to go into Olympic coverage?
Mary: I loved it. My attitude has always been … Because I love sports. I love the athletic heart. And I love traveling. I want to see as much of the planet as I can before I’m gone. And so it got to the point where … So CBS, many years ago … I was still pretty much a kid … they asked me if I wanted to cover some skiing. I’m there like, “Absolutely.” There was no question. There wasn’t any moment where I thought to myself, “What the hell do I know about skiing?”
Jessica: Did you know anything about skiing?
Mary: I skied as a kid, but no, I didn’t know anything about skiing. I was the bottom of the hill ski reporter and that allowed me … I say yes to every … My whole attitude-
Jessica: So your job was to interview them after they’ve skied down the hill.
Mary: When they skied down the hill. That was my assignment. “Fine. I can do that.” And my attitude was, “If I’m not any good at it, they’ll tap me on the shoulders and get me gone.” I wasn’t afraid of that. I almost always say, “yes.” These people aren’t geniuses who are doing it around you, and you learn. If you have any kind of intellectual curiosity or any kind of sporting awareness, you will probably catch on. So then that’s how I got my assignment for Albertville, and then they started using me for gymnastics and then they started, all of the sudden, now I’m talking about figure skating. It’s challenging and it’s fun, and if you’re sitting next to somebody like Rowdy Gaines, it’s amazing. And you just smile because that’s what sports can do. It’s amazing stuff. It really is.
Jessica: So one of your other jobs is …
Mary: What else do I do? Oy.
Jessica: Well, you won an Emmy for work on HBO Real Sports.
Mary: That’s a nice show.
Jessica: That’s a great show. I wanted to ask you, as a reporter myself, a journalist, there are certain stories that I’ve reported on that I still think a lot about and I’ll think, “I should check back in, see how that person’s doing.” What is one of those stories for you? That you still-
Mary: The one you’re talking about, the Hoyts … Rick and Dick Hoyt, father son …
Jessica: It’s the father …
Mary: Yes. The kid was born … This is a kid who could have been treated as a vegetable and instead, he graduated from college.
Jessica: The dad famously pushed him in the marathons.
Mary: Marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons. I mean, it’s an incredible bond between father and son. It was a beautiful story, and we actually updated that story twice.
Jessica: Oh, wow.
Mary: Yeah. In fact, a couple of Boston Marathons ago, it was gonna be the father’s, Dick’s, last marathon …
Jessica: I remember that.
Mary: … because he was getting old, his back was bad and all this stuff. And Rick still is pushed by friends of theirs and stuff. Those are the kinds of stories that resonate. The late, great Frank Deford, he, too, was a correspondent for Real Sports from the beginning. I joined the second year and Frank was there from the first year. He did stories like that, too. Real Sports does a lot of good work, investigative journalism, paper trails, all that kinda stuff. My assignments tend to be … and which were kind of what Frank’s were … more profiles, quieter stories that we get to shine a light on, some people you’d never even consider that they could be athletic, let alone be championing some big cause.
So, I’ve had a lot of nice stories like that over the years.
Jessica: One of my final questions. I’ve looked around and it doesn’t seem like you have much social media?
Mary: I have zero presence.
Jessica: Please tell me about how great that is. Have you ever had it?
Jessica: And how …
Mary: Everybody I work for wants me to have …
Jessica: How have you resisted? Why?
Mary: Because it looks terrible to me. It seems like such a time suck, first of all, which I don’t have time for. And I know that I would get very grouchy in a hurry and I would write things that I mean entirely too much. When they say, “Oh, I didn’t mean …” No. I would always mean it. Which, I get myself in enough trouble on national television. Do I really want to have a back and forth argument with some mook who’s just trying to get me lit up? I mean, I’m on it. I follow you. I’m on Twitter secretly, covertly. Jim Courier taught me how to do that.
Jessica: That’s smart.
Mary: That’s smart, because there is so much information out there and I’m very politically aware. So I go from following tennis to following the latest horror in Washington, but I keep my distance because I just know it would be a bad idea. And what we are told is, “Stay out of politics. If you go on social media …” Martina Navratilova has never written a word about tennis. She is a great, dear friend of mine. I happen to agree with her politics, but you don’t follow Martina Navratilova to find out who’s winning over on court 18. She’s not gonna be reporting that, and I happen to love that about her. She swings for the fences and she uses her influence, her power, her voice. But she gets all kinds of crazy hate mail, hate tweets. I don’t feel the pull to be a part of that.
Jessica: Well, thank you so much for all of your time, Mary.
Mary: Oh, my pleasure.
Jessica: Thank you for being on Burn It All Down.
Mary: It’s a very good listen. I’m very happy you wanted me to be a part of it.
Jessica: Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite segment we like to call The Burn Pile. This whole episode’s a Burn Pile, who are we kidding? We’re gonna pile up the things that we’ve hated this week, other things that we’ve hated this week in sports, and set them aflame. Lindsay, I’ll let you go first.
Lindsay: All right. I’ll be quick here. This week, Ohio State released a teaser poster for its game against Penn State. Just let that settle in right now. It’s a whiteout game, and it’s on the road. The whole point was for everyone to wear white. They’re called whiteout games. And so I get that that’s what the poster was referring to. All the trolls who are in my mentions, I’m not stupid. But the poster itself was one Ohio State football player in the middle of this poster with a white background and he had his finger held up to his mouth, “Shh.” And I think … What did it just say? “Quiet?” Or something like that?
Jessica: Silence. Silence.
Lindsay: Silence, thank you. That’s what it said. It said, “Silence.” And with everything that is going on at Ohio State right now … Let’s mention not just in its football program. Not just with Urban Meyer and Smith, but also with reckoning about its wrestling program in the 80s, the sexual abuse in the diving program. Why in the world would you decide to release this poster? I’m not stupid. I don’t think they made this thinking about domestic violence and sexual assault. But isn’t that the problem, that they’re not thinking?
Jessica: But they should have. Yeah! Exactly. I mean, it didn’t take a lot of us long at all once we saw the image to be like, “What?” So obviously they had no one on staff who went, “What?” That’s a problem.
Lindsay: Maybe this is not the best optics right now. I mean, optics aren’t everything, but they’re something. Let’s just throw “Silence” onto the burn pile.
Okay, so it will sound like I made up this story that I’m about to tell you, but I didn’t. This is just the world we live in, everybody. Last week, in a video released to the entire school, Jared Hensley, the assistant principal at Soddy Daisy High School near Chattanooga, Tennessee announced that he was banning athletic shorts. He explained why by saying, quote … and I am seriously verbatim quoting this guy here … “If you want to blame someone, blame the girls because they pretty much ruin everything. They’ve ruined the dress code. Well, ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you’ve got to get to. You can go back to the beginning of time.” Jared Hensley, everybody. He actually said that on camera and then they published that video. He was …
Jessica: I know. High school. High school assistant principal. He was immediately put on suspension once there was pushback, and of course, the superintendent said, “The sentiments expressed do not align with the values of Hamilton County schools.” But after this week in particular, I believe Hensley’s sentiment is a much more popular one than lots of people would be willing to admit. Obviously not Hensley. He was happy to say all that stuff. I mean, the reason that there are dress codes, which just disproportionately focus on girls’ clothing … It has nothing to do with girls. It has to do with the fucked up culture that sexualizes young girls and blames them for being distracting rather than focusing on or even recognizing that the real problem are the gross ideas and behaviors of boys and men that we normalize in so many ways.
So I just want to burn that. Burn it all down!
Lindsay: Burn! Jesus.
Jessica: All right. After all that burning, it’s time to celebrate some remarkable women in sports this week with our Badass Women of the Week segment.
First up this time, we have some congratulations. We want to give a shout-out to all the teams competing in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship. In particular, we want to recognize Cameroon and Kenya, both of which won their first matches in the tournament, which are the first wins by African teams ever at the World Championships.
By the time you all hear this, we’ll know the champions of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. The finalists are the United States and Australia. Congratulations to both teams.
Congratulations to the Lulea Hockey, the champions of the Swedish Women’s Hockey League, who beat the National Women’s Hockey League champions, the Metropolitan Riveters, in the first ever Champions Cup this past weekend. A great kickoff to the NWHL season that starts in a few days.
And finally, to the Scottish Women’s National Soccer team, all of which who will be able to train full time for next year’s World Cup after a funding boost from the Scottish government.
Phew. All right, but now, we have honorable mentions, because women are just really killing it right now. Hajra Khan, the captain of Pakistan Women’s National Football team, whose Ted Talk about her experiences with anxiety and therapy is now available.
Spain’s Ana Carrasco, who became the first ever Female Motorcycle Road Racing World Champion by winning the World Supersport 300 title this weekend.
Adwa Al-Arifi and Reham Al-Onaizan who might be the first two women in Saudi Arabia Football Association’s history to hold management positions. They are on the ticket with Canada Qusai Al-Fawaz. We will keep you posted.
Caroline Ouellette, the four-time Olympic gold medalist who has announced her retirement from Canada’s National Women’s Ice Hockey team. What a career.
Parm Gill, the founder of local amateur club Guru Nanak Ladies FC in the UK, who’s been awarded the prestigious 2018 UEFA Grassroots Gold Award for Best Leader for her dedicated service in trying to give girls and women from the local Sikh community greater opportunities to play football.
Tish Guerin, who was hired by the Carolina Panthers last week … The Carolina Panthers had a good week last week. Hired by the Carolina Panthers last week as their Director of Player Wellness, making her one of the first in-house psychological clinicians in the NFL.
And then we want to give some shout-outs to the NWSL women. Portland Thorns’ FC midfielder Lindsey Horan, who is the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player. Portland Thorns’ FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who, for the second straight year, has been voted the Goalkeeper of the Year. Abby Erceg of the North Carolina Courage for Defender of the Year. And Imani Dorsey of Sky Blue FC, who is Rookie of the Year.
All right. So, I guess are we good to do a drum roll? Just the two of us?
Lindsay: There we go.
Jessica: Our Badass Woman of the Week is Australia’s Jessica Fox, who won her sixth individual canoe slalom title, successfully defended her 2017 K1 World Crown and became the most successful individual paddler in the history of the sport at the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Rio. That is, indeed, badass.
All right. Thank goodness for women. Come on, all right.
Let’s do the What’s Good. There’s gotta be something, Lindsay. You gotta have something good.
Lindsay: My friend, last night, had her 30th birthday party and the theme of the party was Michelle Pfieffer and Jeff Goldblum costumes, the characters.
Jessica: That’s amazing.
Lindsay: And so everyone had to come dressed. Kasey’s the best. It’s my friend Kasey Quinlan. Happy birthday, Kasey. I don’t think you listen to this because you don’t like sports, but I love you anyways. So everyone came dressed as their favorite Jeff Goldblum or Michelle Pfieffer character. I’ll be honest, like everything I do in my life, I put this together last minute. I went as Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day, with the plaid and the little chain and the white tank top. Most of the other girls went in really fancy dresses and looked really hot, but I was really killing it. But anyways, it was just really fun. It’s just a time that you just really … you gotta rely on friends and loved ones right now and people with similar political views. It has not been a time that I’ve been dying to speak to a few members of my family, who I love very dearly and who I do address these subjects with, but not right this second. I just can’t do it right now. So thank goodness for friends.
Jessica: Yeah. That’s good. It was fun last night. We showed our son Cool Runnings for the first time and he just loved it. It was really, really fun to watch that movie alongside him. He liked it so much that when I got up this morning, he was watching it again. So that was great. And then next week is my deadlifting competition. I don’t know if you all remember from last year, so I’m doing it again. This last week, I set another personal record. I deadlifted 95 kilograms, which is about 209 pounds. And so, this upcoming Saturday, I will be shooting for 100 kilograms at the competition. That’s about 220 pounds.
Lindsay: Holy shit.
Jessica: My trainer has instructed me to imagine myself 100 times this week picking up the 100kg successfully and she told me that I needed to pick out my outfit so that I’m imagining myself in my outfit while I’m doing it, and I will be wearing my Burn It All Down tank top, which, you know, plug for our merch.
Lindsay: Oh, yes.
Jessica: Link for the merch is in the episode description, so click on it, get your own. So next Saturday, I’ll be trying to lift 100 K and I will be wearing my Burn It All Down matchbook tank top. I’ll definitely have pictures of that.
Lindsay: That’s incredible. I cannot wait.
Jessica: That’s it for this week’s episode. Thank you all for joining us. You can find Burn It All Down on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to subscribe to Burn It All Down, you can do so on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn and you should. You should subscribe.
For information about the show and links and transcripts for each episode, check out our website, BurnItAllDownPod.com. You can also email us from the site to give us feedback. We love hearing from you all.
If you enjoyed this week’s show, do me a favor and share it with two people in your life whom you think would be interested in Burn It All Down. And please rate the show at whichever place you listen to it. It is really important. The ratings help us reach new listeners who need this feminist sports podcast but don’t yet know it exists.
One more thank you to our patrons. We couldn’t do this without you. You can sign up to be a monthly sustaining donor to Burn It All Down at Patreon.com/BurnItAllDown. That’s P-A-T-R-E-O-N dot com slash Burn It All Down. That’s it. Thanks for joining Lindsay and me. Until next week.