Episode 85: How USOC and USAG Enabled Nassar, Lack of Diversity in Sports Media but We Share Our Faves

The whole team is together for the last recorded episode of 2018!

To wrap up the year, Amira, Jessica, Shireen, Brenda and Lindsay begin with a discussion about seasonal movies. [6:27] The women talk about the developments in the Nassar case and the most recent 267 paged report released by Ropes & Gray on how he was grossly enabled by USOC and USAG, and why this isn’t the most widely covered story in sports. [22:18] Then the BIAD crew speaks about the ridiculous and non-shocking lack of diversity in sports media, but then they use the segment to amplify the work of amazing folks in sports media who might be under the radar. [36:14]

Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, [49:40] our Bad Ass Woman of the Week – Rachael Denhollander, [53:04] and a lovely and extra-long what is good in our worlds. [1:05:05]

For links and a transcript…


Ropes & Gray Independent Investigation: “The Constellation of Factors Underlying Larry Nassar’s Abuse of Athletes” https://www.nassarinvestigation.com/en

Lindsay’s piece, “The time has come for Congress to dismantle the USOC” https://thinkprogress.org/its-time-to-give-the-u-s-olympic-committee-the-death-penalty-70219cf2fa93/

“Larry Nassar Helped Draft USA Gymnastics’ Sexual Misconduct Policies” https://deadspin.com/larry-nassar-helped-draft-usa-gymnastics-sexual-miscond-1831052315

“Here Are Some Of The Interesting And Horrifying Revelations From The Larry Nassar Report” https://deadspin.com/here-are-some-of-the-interesting-and-horrifying-revelat-1831018937

“USOC chief of sport performance Alan Ashley rightly fired after staying silent in Nassar case” https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/brennan/2018/12/10/larry-nassar-sex-abuse-case-usoc-alan-ashley-must-go/2262945002/

“Senators refer ex-USOC chief Scott Blackmun to Dept. of Justice for possible investigation” https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/12/14/senators-refer-ex-usoc-chief-scott-blackmun-dept-justice-possible-investigation/?utm_term=.31545a939cba

“USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy as part of ‘reorganization” http://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/25461239/usa-gymnastics-files-chapter-11-bankruptcy-petition

“USA Gymnastics Files for Bankruptcy” https://www.wsj.com/articles/usa-gymnastics-files-for-bankruptcy-1544041847

“FAQ: What we know and don’t know about MSU’s termination of the Healing Assistance Fund” http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/25453693/faq-know-know-msu-termination-healing-assistance-fund

“Warriors Accuse Athletic Writer Of Fabricating Steph Curry “Tranny Sex Tape” Joke [Update]” https://deadspin.com/warriors-accuse-athletic-writer-of-fabricating-steph-cu-1831056635

“The Barstool Sports Gang Had A Blackface Whoopsie” https://deadspin.com/the-barstool-sports-gang-had-a-blackface-whoopsie-1831047100

“If we’re serious about football being a force for good then we need to talk about racism all the time” https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/racism-in-football-raheem-sterling-racist-abuse-premier-league-jonathan-liew-a8683526.html

“‘Why BBC Sport can’t escape sports journalism’s problem'” https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/46571432

“The real reason why Washington owner Dan Snyder won’t sign Colin Kaepernick” https://thinkprogress.org/the-real-reason-why-washington-owner-dan-snyder-wont-sign-colin-kaepernick-f47b2bbd432d/

“Khabib Nurmagomedov’s sexist response after being asked how women can get into UFC” https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/mma/khabib-nurmagomedov-sexist-ufc-next-fight-conor-mcgregor-a8670381.html

“Fired Maryland coach DJ Durkin observing Alabama’s operation, according to Nick Saban” http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/25533370/former-maryland-terrapins-coach-dj-durkin-meeting-watching-tape-alabama-crimson-tide-staff

“Most dominant athlete of 2018: Simone Biles” http://theundefeated.com/features/simone-biles-most-dominant-athlete-of-2018/

“Kathryn Plummer adds precision to power and repeats as espnW volleyball player of year” http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/25513973/kathryn-plummer-adds-precision-power-repeats-espnw-volleyball-player-year

“LPGA’s Mel Reid on coming out: ‘This is who I am'” http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/25485139/lpga-golfer-mel-reid-england-coming-who-am

“Black Fern wins NZ Rugby Player of the Year award for first time” https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/378227/black-fern-wins-nz-rugby-player-of-the-year-award-for-first-time

“Breanna Stewart Earns USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Award” https://www.usab.com/news-events/news/2018/12/stewart-faoy.aspx

“WTA gives increased protection for returning mothers on tour for 2019” https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/46549664

“Read Rachael Denhollander’s Speech for Accepting SI’s Inspiration of the Year Award” https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2018/12/13/rachael-denhollander-speech-sports-illustrated-inspiration-year


Amira: Welcome to this week of Burn It All Down. It may not be the feminist sports podcast you want, but it’s definitely the feminist sports podcast you need. I’m Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history in women’s gender and sexuality studies at Penn State University.

We have a full house this week. All of my co-hosts are here to close out the year with our last live show before we bring you a few best of’s in the next few weeks. We really wanna all come together and we have a fantastic episode for you.

First, let me welcome my co-hosts, Lindsay Gibbs, Shireen Ahmed, Brenda Elsey, and Jessica Luther. Hey, y’all.

Jessica: Hi!

Amira: This week, we’re going to dive into the latest on Larry Nassar, the report that was published on him, and look at some of the ramifications of it. We will also have a conversation that we’ll continue to have many times over which is diversity in sports media or lack thereof.

But first, y’all, you know I’m drowning in grading but one of the things that I’m grading is the movie review papers, which they could do it on anything that was a sports movie. It started this ridiculous conversation about Air Bud. Did you know that there are five Air Buds?

Jessica: No.

Amira: Yes.

Jessica: No.

Amira: I was unaware as well and they were like, “No, Professor Davis, there’s a volleyball Air Bud.” I was like there is not a volleyball Air Bud. They looked it up on Wikipedia in class. Air Bud Spikes Back is a volleyball Air Bud.

Lindsay: That makes me wanna go back to bed. Have fun, I’m good.

Amira: They have a soccer one, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: 7th Inning Fetch.

Jessica: World pup!

Amira: I didn’t know this was a thing.

Jessica: Me either.

Amira: That made me feel a little better. Anyways, the light at the end of the grading tunnel is that now I’m squarely in binging season and I know that Jess, you’re a huge fan of the seasonal movies that hit Netflix around this time. What are you watching? What’s going on?

Jessica: Oh god. I watch Hallmark and Lifetime and Netflix. I watch all of those movies about princes in fake countries that end in -ovia. I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the ones that I have already seen. I don’t know any of their names ’cause they’re all almost the same name but it just gives me such joy this time of year.

It’s the same kind of thing as romance novels. I get to watch these people fall in love for two hours and then they share a chaste kiss which is different than the romance novels and they all live happily ever after. There’s a lot of happiness and saving bakeries and winter festivals and things like that. I enjoy it.

Amira: I think this is my favorite time of movie year, not only do we have fun movies coming out in the theaters, hashtag Spiderverse, yay, little brown Spiderman.

Jessica: I’m trying to see that on Christmas. I’m waiting for the tickets to go on sale.

Shireen: Am I the only one that’s really exciting about Claire Foy being Mary Poppins because I’m very excited?

Amira: Emily Blunt.

Jessica: Emily Blunt.

Shireen: Wait a minute, it wasn’t Claire Foy?

Amira: No, she’s Lisbeth Salander in the latest Girl with the Dragon.

Shireen: I thought it was Claire Foy.

Jessica: It’s Emily Blunt.

Amira: No, definitely Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda. I also like this time of year because you get all the raging debates about what is or is not a Christmas movie, like Die Hard which I’m completely indifferent to or Home Alone which definitely is.

Jessica: It is. I don’t know, I have not seen Die Hard, I’m just saying this publicly now and I told Aaron a week ago, I know, that’s my movie goal for this holiday season is to see Die Hard so that I can finally understand the Christmas conversation around it.

Lindsay: I’ve never watched Die Hard either.

Brenda: There’s some problems you might expect will happen with a U.S. middle aged man saving the world. White guy.

Jessica: That’s fine. I mean, whatever.

Lindsay: I just have very low expectations these days. I saw Widows yesterday, I’d like to think that’s a Christmas movie even though it has nothing to do with Christmas but it’s about Viola Davis kicking ass and we all need more of that in our holiday season.

Amira: All seasons.

Jessica: I saw The Favorite earlier this week which was wonderful and strange.

Lindsay: That’s good to know. I saw that preview. I do have to say the Christmas movies as a single person who the holidays always make me feel more single and more childless, I do have to say but I like watching these Christmas movies ’cause it’s like oh, I can meet someone and be married in like two days. There’s still time before Christmas!

Jessica: You just need to wander into a Christmas-themed town and you will inevitably bump into the single dad who is looking for a partner-

Shireen: Who’s a dentist.

Brenda: And you drop on him an armful of presents on the ground and you’ll look up and there he’ll be.

Jessica: Exactly.

Lindsay: I can really embrace my inner Scrooge because we need a plotline, so I can be the Scrooge and then this hot dad can [crosstalk]

Jessica: The woman who works so much. [crosstalk]

Amira: You can be the scrooge who is only into sports reporting. You don’t have time for love, there’s a game on.

Lindsay: He needs to teach me the meaning of the season.

Jessica:  We’ve got it worked out.

Amira: Anyways, as we get into the last few weeks of this year, I have more time on my hands maybe, knock on wood. Would love to hear what you are binging and watching at home. Let us know. What is on your seasonal movie list?

To kick off this show, I wanna dive into a report that was released this past week on Larry Nassar. To start us off and help us work through this, I wanna toss it to Jess.

Jessica: In February, the United States Olympic Committee commissioned a law firm named Ropes & Gray to investigate how no one at the USOC or USA Gymnastics stepped in to stop Larry Nassar’s decades long abuse of gymnasts under his care and we have talked about everything around Nassar multiple times over on this podcast.

But this week, Ropes & Gray published what they found in a 256-page report that can be described as damning, but that word is not really strong enough to get across what’s contained in it. It was based on 100 interviews, including more than 60 current and former employees of the USOC and USAG and a review of over 1.3 million documents.

I’m now gonna crib extensively from Lindsay’s very good, very thorough write up about the report that you can find on Think Progress and that we’ll link to in the show notes. I also suggest reading the two posts that Devorah Meyers wrote up at Deadspin and I am just very thankful for the journalists who take the time to really read these documents and tell us what’s in them. That’s incredibly hard work.

Here are some bits from the report. Nassar helped USA Gymnastics draft its rules concerning sexual misconduct including quote, “providing protections against false accusations”. The emails between USAG officials, lawyers, and Nassar himself about how to cover up publicly for Nassar while he was under investigation for sexual assault, the FBI that was tipped off about all these cover ups but didn’t actually do anything to stop them.

Former CEO of the USOC, Scott Blackmon, and Alan Ashley, the USOC Chief of Sport Performance both lied to investigators about what they did in the wake of reports about Nassar. Blackmon stepped down in February and Ashley was fired almost immediately this last week after the report was published.

What did Blackmon and Ashley do after finding out about Nassar? According to Ropes & Gray, nothing. Here’s a quote from the report and again Lindsay was the one who pulled this, it’s in her piece.

Quote, “The USOC did not, in fact, take any steps after receiving notice of the allegations from Mr. Penny to assess whether Mr. Nassar had treated athletes at USOC facilities or while on the medical staff at the Olympic Games or other USOC events. Nor did the USOC undertake any follow up to ensure the safety athletes such as confirming at USAG had in fact referred the allegations of abuse to law enforcement or that USAG had implemented effective measures to prevent Nassar from having any further contact with athletes.

“Similarly, the organization did not take any steps to ensure that Nassar would be denied access to athletes at USOC training facilities or at USOC sponsored events, nor did it make any independent report to any child protection authority.”

Nothing. Most people who worked at the USOC only found out about Nassar when the Indianapolis Star published that first piece about him, the one based mainly round Rachel Denhollander’s account in September 2016. The Ropes & Gray report concluded quote, “The foremost consideration is the NGB’s ability-” USA Gymnastics, USA Volleyball, “NGB’s ability to generate medals with the marketability of successful athletes serving as an important secondary consideration.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone paying any kind of attention because we know that other than USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Diving, USA Volleyball, and USA Tai-Kwon-Do have all had reports of systemic problems involving sexual abuse of athletes.

So, Linds, first, thank you for the work that you’ve done this week and all year. You’ve just been spectacular. In your piece, you talk about how there have to be major changes to the USOC and you write quote, “In order for any of this to truly change, the current funding model for Olympic sports has to be reinvented.”

Can you explain a bit more about that funding and what’s going on specifically with that?

Lindsay: Yeah. Like you said, Jess, everything is based around medals. In order for a NGB to be able to get any money from the USOC, it has to be winning medals and it also has to have athletes that are incredibly marketable. This is just rife for corruption.

If the only way these executives are gonna get paid and all of these people at the top are gonna get their paychecks is if the athletes underneath them are getting onto that podium, they’re gonna overlook a lot of things if an organization is earning medals like USA Gymnastics.

It just creates no incentive to take care of big problems such as sexual abuse in sports and what it does is it just streamlines something like the US Olympic Committee and the Olympic movement at large into purely pretty much a profit driven, results driven machine which is so dangerous given that these aren’t just, as Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who so does so much great work on this.

She always says that this is not- The Olympic movement is not 800 athletes every four years. Right? It is hundreds of thousands, not millions of amateur athletes across the country who are involved in all of these Olympic sports at the amateur level.

The USOC oversees all of that. It’s just really terrifying to really dig into it and find out how much the funding model for all of this is based on medals and success. To me, we’re not gonna be able to go forward, we’re not gonna be able to really reinvent the way these organizations are structured where power comes from unless we give more power back to the athletes and in part, treating them like humans and not medal making machines.

I really do think, I don’t have all the answers as I always say but a lot of other countries, the funding for these sports comes directly from the government itself. It’s more of a centralized government process and of course, there can be problems with that too but if organizations are working on a stipend situation from the government as opposed to fighting for the money that the USOC is able to earn through their marketing plans …

The USOC earns most of its money by licensing the five Olympic rings and by all their marketing opportunities. That’s how the USOC earns money. Right now, the Congress gives the USOC the right to earn money through those ways. It gives them the trademark opportunities and all that stuff. But Congress doesn’t actually fund any of the USOC.

Amira: Thanks for breaking it down, Linds, and for your diligent reporting on this. Shireen?

Shireen: I just have a question talking about reinvention. I saw a report this week that Larry Nassar actually helped write a policy on sexual abuse within the USA Gymnasts, so when we’re talking about reinvention, do you know, Linds, if they’re scrapping-

I know that just based on what you said and have explained about USA Gymnastics, are they scrapping all of their documentation that had anything to do with him and restarting? Is that gonna happen? Do you know?

Lindsay: No. I mean, yeah, Jess mentioned at the top that that was one of the most egregious parts of this whole report for me was the fact that Nassar was part of or tried to be part of drafting these rules for sexual misconduct within USA Gymnastics because that’s how ingrained he was into the culture of USA Gymnastics.

But, not all of the rules that he helped draft made it through to their final stages. Second of all, some of this comes to the USOC. The USOC has just been completely hesitant to put forth any rules and regulations when it comes to sexual abuse in sports.

The Safe Sport Program has been way beyond, way behind the times and that’s just not a huge priority for them even over the past few years as the Nassar abuse has come to light and as the sexual abuse in other sports has come to light.

USA Today did a phenomenal investigation this week that found how little oversight there was even amongst the Olympic movement once coaches have been reported for sexual abuse or have been suspended for sexual abuse. This report found that across the Olympic movement, these people stayed in their sports. There was no oversight. There was nobody making sure that they were gone.

The title of the report is just “Do You Know Who Is Coaching Your Kids?” I really think it’s something that every single parent, every single person should just be appalled by. It starts with the Olympic committee. They’re supposed to be policing this. Trust me, they police everything that has to do with medals and money but when it comes down to sexual abuse, it’s just not a high priority.

Amira: It’s awful. When it comes to Nassar, we know that the USA Gymnastics and the USOC were not the only institutions that had enabling hand in this and also a fall out. There’s also some more news coming out of Michigan State. Linds, what’s going on up at Michigan State in the last few weeks? And what were some of your biggest surprises coming out of the report related to either MSU or USOC?

Lindsay: Yeah, MSU was not really a part of this report. It did touch on the way that MSU had been notified of the abuse for over a decade and done nothing but it was focused more on the USOC and USAG. But at MSU right now, we’re having this horrible situation where John Angler, interim president, John Angler who we have burned many times on this program this year, has shut down the healing assistance fund completely.

The healing assistance fund was put in place by the board of trustees at Michigan State about a year ago and it was a way to directly help survivors of Nassar get access to therapy so they could just send their therapy bills to this fund and be reimbursed.

About July, the fund was put on hold by Angler because of reports of fraud. This is a $10 million fund I believe. This is separate from the $500 million settlement that also came across this year. That’s a civil settlement, that’s on the legal side, I don’t know the status of that being doled out.

But this fund, which so many were able to get direct access to medical cost, which is so crucial to helping them move on and heal from this, was put on hold and it was put on hold indefinitely and just this past couple of weeks, Angler announced that it was officially shut down because there was so much fraud.

Now first of all, there’s very little evidence that there was extensive fraud being used. Second of all, this is another broken promise from Michigan State to survivors who were using this fund, who were planning on this fund. They’d gone to therapy sessions under the guise that this fund would reimburse them.

There are therapists now across the country who are waiting on money from this fund and it’s now never going to come. It’s just so cruel and I know there are a couple of members of the board of trustees who are trying to fight to get this fund reinstated but right now, there are still just way too many members of the board of trustees who are enabling Angler and there was the final trustees meeting of the season, of the calendar year actually just on Friday.

A lot of the survivors were there to confront them about this, but there’s been absolutely no movement. It’s just really depressing. Still, everyone is looking the other way.

Amira: Yeah. Jess?

Jessica: I just wanted to say two last things. There’s a very good podcast by NPR, I think even Michigan Public Radio, that is called Believed and it’s about the survivors. It’s very, very good at talking about them in particular and really getting at what this was like from their perspective and I recommend that to anyone who’s interested in this case.

I just wanted to say I feel like it’s important to say every time that we talk about this that this is the biggest story in U.S. sports. Whether or not it’s getting the coverage, when I listened to Lindsay, when I read the stuff that she’s writing about this and, again, I’m just so thankful for that, we are talking about the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, multiple NGBs, one of the biggest athletic departments in this country, collegiate athletic departments, and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of victims around that have been abused.

It is the biggest story and I just feel like we have to keep reiterating that because we don’t have a sports media that will do that. It is just amazing to me. Every step of this, every new thing that comes out, that it is not the lead story in every kind of sports reporting that exists.

Lindsay: Yeah, like Jess said, I don’t understand why this report this week wasn’t mandatory reading for every single sports reporter in the country like the report on Joe Paterno was when it came out of Penn State. I don’t understand and I never will.

To think, this goes up to the highest levels, the FBI was a part of this cover up. It’s just so disheartening. Scott Blackmon, who’s the former CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, he is in this report as having a) lied to the Ropes & Gray investigators extensively and that means he probably lied to Congress earlier this year when he sent in written statements.

Now, the senators who have been leading this investigation, Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal, now reported Scott Blackmon to the DOJ and the FBI to be investigated. But it’s just so messed up because the FBI was a part of this whole cover up. The FBI was too busy spending all this money on the NCAA investigation to make sure black athletes weren’t getting paid and they just completely dropped the ball on the sexual abuse of hundreds of girls in the Olympic movement.

Everything about this is depressing and especially the lack of coverage it’s gotten this year.

Amira:This week, we witnessed many examples that remind us yet again how much we desperately need diversity in sports media. Shireen?

Shireen: Thanks, Amira. This is something that we continually talk about on Burn It All Down simply because of the reason that this is a thing that’s not ending anytime soon. We know from the Women’s Center media reports that almost 90% of sports media is cis, het, white, able-bodied men. We know this. This is not something we’re making up at Burn It All Down. These are statistics, this is data.

We have seen in the last week incredible amounts of bad reporting. For example, the story about Kareem Hunt by USA Today, as Lindsay pointed out was just basically listing criminal histories of family members. Not exactly sure what that has to do with his play if we’re gonna take a page out of the play book of media.

As you can tell, I’m a little fired up about this because I’m also exhausted. Then we’ve seen in addition to that egregious piece of writing, we saw The Athletic use the t-word in an absolutely transphobic manner which is the only way it’s used. I don’t wanna repeat the word.

We’re sitting there going how did this get past editing? How did the writer think this was appropriate to say? It boggles my mind sometimes. I don’t even know if I wanna talk about Barstool black face. I don’t think that’s anything that surprised me personally. This is just like what other fuck up has Barstool done now? Black face. Okay, let’s add it to the list and no, you don’t get a pass for doing black face.

I don’t care how many friends you have that are black. It is not okay. I’m sorry. Ugh, God. Now, something that I burned last week’s episode was Raheem Sterling but guess what, friends? Apparently, all of white dude bros in football media had an epiphany when Raheem Sterling very poignantly posted on his Instagram that he felt the media was unfair and racist and propelled racist ideology.

He’s right. He has been the target of football writers in the UK and around the world. You know what? It started with sexism which was, as Brenda pointedly said, a gateway to racism. That’s what happened. And no, white people, I don’t wanna hear about how Raheem Sterling’s post made you reflect that you don’t have black friends. You are the problem. You are not a solution. You are the problem.

There was one piece that I really highly recommend before we get into general discussion about this by a presenter named Hugh Woozencroft who so beautifully said that, and I quote, “I’ve had discussions with fellow black journalists who feel that a difference in portrayal between black players and white players is clear and it wouldn’t have happened had there been more of us in the newsrooms.”

Okay, we’ll link this in the show notes. Yes, because this is what people of color have been saying who are in sports media. We need more people of color in sports media. I don’t wanna hear about a white person feeling like, you know what, I don’t have black friends and I think that’s a problem of my analysis. You’re analysis is the problem. You are the problem.

We’re sitting back here and I can’t use the Bend It Like Beckham meme enough of the stellar disdain on the faces of Jess and Pinky Bhamra. I can’t. I’m just, I know that this has quickly turned into slight burn pile, but this is something that I think we absolutely need always on a burn pile. Anyway, I’m ready to pass this onto someone else.

Amira: It is something that is very persistent which is why it’s so burn-able. It’s like a broken record and that’s frustrating.

Shireen: Do I sound frustrated?

Amira: One of the things I wanna do as we think about the lack of diversity in sports media is part of the time we have here and this podcast, which in and of itself is an attempt at saying hey, we need to switch up the landscape. But I didn’t wanna give too much energy and time to all of these- I just don’t.

What I would love for us to do, just take this opportunity to shout out people from underrepresented groups who are absolutely killing it and doing some great work in the sports world. Bren?

Brenda: Yeah, lately, not even lately, for a long time, I’ve been a big fan of Luis Miguel Echegaray. He’s at Sports Illustrated and does a show with Grant Wall. This past week, he interviewed Melissa Ortiz, the Colombian national player who, after being treated so poorly for years and years, stepped away from the team kind of in a really strong moment in her career.

He and Grant did a great interview with her and he’s just really brought a whole different perspective as a Latino man and I love it. I love that he tries to do as much as he can in Spanish, that he’s paying attention to Latin American women all the time. He’s a good ally.

When Shireen says allies come and collect these men, you know who they are, I feel like she’s directly talking to Luis Miguel.

Shireen: He’s such a good guy. I love that guy.

Brenda: He is so smart and he’s just always promoting women’s work and people of color’s work and I just am so happy to see some real soccer coverage in the U.S. by someone who speaks Spanish because it is so frustrating to constantly feel as though-

It’s a global game and I get it and you can’t speak every language, but can we just say yes, soccer, football was invented in England but it was perfected in Latin America. That’s right. I wrote those words. Those are published. Come at me. That’s true shit and if you don’t speak Spanish and you’re a big time soccer writer, think about it.

Yay, Luis Miguel.

Amira: Lindsay?

Lindsay: Yeah, this is someone who I’ve never met but I just admire her work so much is Josina Anderson, the senior NFL insider on ESPN. I just love turning on your everyday NFL coverage, NFL game day and seeing a black woman giving us the inside information.

She competes for scoops with Adam Schefter, who is of course her colleague, but I love that on free agent day, she’s the one who’s trying to get scoops away from Adam Schefter and break her own news. She’s really broken some great news about Odell Beckham Jr. this year and just provides great interviews with athletes because she comes from a different perspective.

She speaks to them, she’s closer to their age, she’s able to speak, she’s from their communities and it’s such a needed perspective within the NFL world and look, I love my full time job is sports and politics and you can’t really separate the two of course.

But I do love just seeing women also just talking about the game itself who are just able to report and who don’t always have to be the ones widening the conversation. Now, she widens the conversation naturally because she understands racism and sexism and all of these things much better than most of her white male colleagues.

I would probably say much better than all of her white male colleagues, however, she’s just there to give you the inside scoop on what’s going on on game day and I so admire her work. ESPN is so much better for having her on the roster.

Amira: Yeah. Jess, who do you wanna shout out?

Jessica: Yeah. The list is long. I want to say that you should go check out the Burn It All Down guest list that we’ve had on this podcast. I think that’s actually a really good place to start on burnitalldownpod.com.

I wanted to give shout outs to two people that probably a lot of people haven’t heard because they’re editors. I think that’s one of the things about the journalism in general is that we will talk on this podcast about editors and their roles and stuff, but that’s a-

I mean, talk about lack of diversity and I was fortunate enough to work with Christina Tapper of Bleacher Report, I think she’s a managing editor there, when I did my Girls in Baseball piece and she should’ve gotten a byline on that as well. She was fabulous.

Then every other week at Huffington Post, I work with a woman named Julie Doggett and she is so good. She makes me so much better. I find that job to be hard, that kind of writing very difficult and she pushes me in really smart ways and I feel very fortunate that I get to work with her every other week.

I want to also, I wanna say I wanna give a shout out to the OG Soledad O’Brien. I feel like her work on Real Sports and even just on Twitter in general is so wonderful. I could go on and on, but I think I’m gonna leave it there.

Amira: That is wonderful. I want to shout out in a weird way, the Players Tribune that allows athletes themselves to put stuff out there and I’m thinking particularly of this amazing piece that Allen Iverson wrote that literally was the best thing I read all year.

It was literally him saying listen, there’s a lot of symbol projected onto me but here’s facts you don’t know about me, starting with one, I like to draw. It just was magnificent. Wanted to do that.

I also wanted to shout out the Black Women in Sports Foundation and think about their work as a whole to increase the involvement of black women and girls in all aspects in sports which includes athletics, coaching, and administration as well as sports media.

It’s an organization that is pretty small and not a lot of people know about, but it actually was founded by four women in the late 60s and 70s. Tina Sloan Gray, Alpha Alexander, Dr. Nikki Frank and Linda Green who were all at my alma mater, Temple University, in various aspects of the sporting world there and saw a specific need to form a foundation that sustained black girls and women in sports.

On that note, I wanna give a special shout out to Shireen and other women of color who have to deal with the kind of double edged sword of being a woman within a sporting landscape and being a person of color within the world generally but also within sports media and sports scholarship and all of it who are continuing to forge on every single day. Shireen?

Shireen: Thank you, Amira. I love you. I mean, obviously my first stop is Burn It All Down. This place is respite, it’s relief, it’s learning for me and you four are one of the reasons, when I say I like my glass half full, you are the vessel, the glass that gets filled. I just wanted to say that.

Amira, I learn from you constantly. I know you’re not in sports media but I learned from you and if we can also fold in historians in to this, that would be so great. Like in academics, Jess talked about editors. So important.

I wanna shout out, I actually have a list. For our listeners that do not know this, I have a list of women and NBs of color in sports media. I’m happy to share that list in this episode. It’s just a Google doc that I started compiling and I think that they’re brilliant. I think that people contributing different perspectives are awesome.

I do really wanna shout out Morgan Campbell, my friend at the Toronto Star. He does sports and sports and business. He’s whip smart, he’s super funny, and he’s so relevant. I just really, really like him. He’s married to former Olympian Perdita Felicien and they’re expecting a baby. That’s also happy news that I’m allowed to share.

He’s an ally. He collects people and he does it in a way that doesn’t expend too much energy and I’ve learned from him on how to not waste my brain space and mental bandwidth.

I actually love Shakeia Taylor who’s been on our show with Hot Takes. She’s co-hosted, I learn all the time from her. She’s somebody I look up to and though she’s younger than me, I’m gonna grow up and be like her.

I also really love Aishwarya Kumar at ESPN W. I think her writing is beautiful. There’s not a lot of South Asian women in sports media either and I think that’s just, her writing moves me. There’s so many people. So do check out this list I have. I think it’s important and I really like that we’re having this conversation ’cause it’s positive.

And just to quote Khalil Gibran, “The more that sorrow is carved into your soul, the more joy you can contain.” I get sorrowful and frustrated when I see really bad, typical systemic racism and sexism in sports writing and then I see light and it just fills my soul. So, thank you.

Amira: Now on to everyone’s favorite segment, the burn pile. We have some good burns for you today. Brenda, what are you burning?

Brenda: Okay, I’m gonna close out the year with FIFA and it’s probably the way I started it and I was looking for, I was struggling to look for some way to define it as anything else but FIFA, but I can’t and that’s not my fault and it’s not my fault I have to burn them every week. It’s their fault.

This is their dumb ass thing this week. I went to go buy Women’s World Cup tickets, not because I have any money or time to go to France but because I so desperately in a fit of optimism went and did it anyway. I bought some group stage tickets and I went to go buy them and it is a required part of the form to say whether you are a missus or a mister.

Lindsay: Those are the two options?

Brenda: That’s it. No other option. That’s it. Okay, define microaggression. I started complaining about it. I took a screenshot and then the official Twitter of FIFA Women’s World Cup answered me, Mr. Alex Stone, he and I have a longstanding relationship.

He wrote me and said this is a cultural issue because in France, it’s about mademoiselle and madame. I said, right, except this is in English so that makes no sense and it doesn’t translate to missus. Shame on you, FIFA, for once again making the Women’s World Cup into something that is FIFA-like, damn it, and ignoring the fact that there’s all of these people who don’t fit those categories. You can refer to me as a miss or a doctor or why the fuck do you need to know anyway?

I wanna burn, so mad. People are like it’s so petty and I’m like, if it’s petty, change it. If it’s not difficult, then why do you hang onto your binary so tightly? I wanna burn that and burn FIFA for not knowing how to shepherd this amazing tournament into reality. Burn.

Amira: I wanna burn something that is a few weeks old at this point. If you don’t know or you didn’t see, Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union welcomed a little girl, Kaavia James Union-Wade about six weeks ago, yes.

Jessica: Has her own Instagram account.

Amira: She does and it’s adorable. Check it out. Yes. The parents have both been very publicly open talking about their struggles to expand their family. Gabrielle Union has been a very vocal person about her multiple miscarriages, her attempts of IVF, and ultimately they decided to have a baby via surrogate.

They posted the birth announcement announcing their daughter’s birth and they posted it from the hospital in a series of photos and in one such photo, you can see they both have hospital gowns on or not on, holding the baby.

What I wanna burn is a kind of consistent reaction I saw to this photo which is that people started trying to come for Gabrielle and say, why do you look like you just gave birth? Are you trying to fake it? Are you trying to pretend like you actually gave birth to her because she was in a hospital gown and was in the hospital.

It was just this kind of vitriol that was just so ridiculous and so frustrating to see them navigate that. Recently, they sat down with Oprah because of course, and D. Wade addressed this actually and said, “We had our baby and everyone just started talking.”

He was like, people were just talking out of ignorance. We wanted to go to skin to skin contact as soon as our baby was born. Even after he said that, people were like, you had your shirt on. It’s like actually if you swipe a little bit, you’ll see that he didn’t have his shirt on because both of them went there to try to hold the baby.

They weren’t trying to fake it or anything like that. They were quite open about that they had this baby via surrogate. They announced and acknowledged the woman who helped them expand their baby by carrying Kaavia and not only that, they looked tired because they’re new parents and have a newborn. This idea that they are trying to put on airs and look tired to pretend that she went through a labor.

She might not have gone through physical labor, but she is laboring ’cause she is mothering and shut the fuck up. Jeez. Welcome to the world, Kaavia James Union-Wade and I wanna burn down all the ridiculous people who just have too much time. So, burn. Lindsay.

Lindsay: Hi. Yes. I would like to finish my burn pile season with Dan Snyder ’cause I feel like this just brings together a lot of things we’ve been talking about all year. First of all, in case you’ve lost track, he still has a team with a racist name, so that’s still going on.

But what’s more appropriate for this conversation is the fact that, or more pertinent to this conversation is the fact that he doesn’t really have a quarterback right now on his team. The Washington NFL team has had two quarterbacks break their leg this season.

Inexplicably, because the NFC East is not that great this year, they’re still somewhat in the playoff picture and yet instead of going and signing or at least offering a try-out to a quarterback out there who has in recent memory brought a team to a Super Bowl, who still wants to play and is by all accounts still in great shape and not injured, you know who I’m talking about. Colin Kaepernick.

Instead of that, he is going with players such as Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson. He’s using excuses or he’s actually not talking directly to reporters at all but through his coaches, he is using excuses such as the fact that it’s a schematic, like Kaepernick wouldn’t know the scheme very well and Sanchez has play off experience, and it’s about- Thank you, that’s how funny this is.

He’s using all these ridiculous things and of course none of them make sense because Kaepernick literally was a yard from winning a Super Bowl so it’s just so stupid. But interestingly enough, this report came out this week that Dan Snyder is working with federal and local Republican officials. He’s lobbying Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to get a stadium provision inserted into the massive spending bill that Congress is trying to force through to passage before the end of this year.

Should that measure be included in the bill, it would remove a substantial road block that is currently preventing Snyder from building a new 60,000 seat stadium on the site of RFK Stadium within the city limits of Washington D.C.

The Washington Post reports that this provision could pave the way for the NFL stadium and other commercial development on the 190 acre site. By tucking it into a complex spending bill, the team and local official officials could side step public debate over whether other uses for this coveted parcel of land would benefit a broader swath of D.C. residents.

In other words, Snyder needs Republican support to force through this bill that will screw over D.C. residents and tax payers. Is it any coincidence that even though this is the team that by far needs Kaepernick most that they won’t even consider calling him? I don’t think that’s a coincidence, you guys.

Listen, Kaepernick has been told to stick to sports, to not worry about politics, and yet it seems the best opportunity that he would have to play in the NFL, the team that is the most desperate for a quarterback and the most rife to taking on that, the reason they won’t do it is for political reasons. How about them apples? Burn.

Amira: Shireen?

Shireen: I have two burns to end out the year and the first one’s super fast. River Angels Football Club in Nigeria, the women’s team has not been paid for a very, very long time and Nigeria, as we all know, are the reigning AFCON champions, so I think that this is really problematic that the Nigerian Women’s League champions are owed match bonuses that date back to 2016, hugely problematic. 2016. It’s so frustrating and I wanna thank Janine Anthony, my friend in Lagos who works for BBC Africa for always being on top of this and calling it out because like many of us, she screams into an abyss.

The thing that really bothered me in addition to that was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comment on how women can get into the UFC. We all know Nurmagomedov and his dramatic stuff happening in UFC fights with various people. I also wanna say that part of me applauded him for not tolerating racist banter against him because he’s a Muslim. But, that in no way allows for me to accept his blatant sexism when asked how women can be amplified in or have more access to MMA.

This is what he said and I quote, “For females, I have very good advice. Be fighters at home.” Then he added, “And one more advice, all the time, finish your husband.” End quote. I am sitting here seething, irritated, and not completely surprised because this continues to be another acceptable form of commentary.

In the article that we’ll also post, it was in the Independent, it said Twitter was alight with commentary. I couldn’t find Twitter alight with anything about this. It was just acceptable. I’m like where is the commentary and people getting upset?

I had to Google and get into page six on searches to find anything about it, which also goes to show us how little people care about this type of misogyny and sexism. I would like to burn that. All of it.

Amira: Burn! All right Jess, bring us home. What are you burning this week?

Jessica: Last week, I said I was gonna be back on my bullshit and this week, I’m just gonna stay on it. Seems like the right way to circle on this year. There were multiple reports this week, earlier this week, that DJ Durkin, who I can’t throw on this pile enough apparently, Maryland’s former coach who was fired after extensive public pressure following the preventable death of player Jordan McNair and an investigation that found his program to be toxic, was hanging out with Alabama’s football team, consulting behind the scenes.

Because sure, why not? College football is a cesspool. Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban, who is gonna make $74 million over eight years for coaching unpaid kids to throw their bodies against each other in a made up game that only matters because we’ve decided it should, released a statement in response to these reports.

Quote, “DJ Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint. He has not been hired in any capacity at the University of Alabama. He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years.”

First, everything I know about college football has taught me not to trust what head coaches tell us about what goes on behind closed doors. But if Saban is telling the truth, so what? Tell Durkin no. Tell him to stay away from your program. Tell him you aren’t gonna provide him any professional development help because it’s time he gets a new career.

Not to be outdone by college football, there was also this. Quote, “Sources told ESPN that Durkin also has met with multiple NFL teams since his firing to watch tape and offer input” which is so confusing because Durkin was not even a winning coach. Move on, football, move on. I’m burning all of that. Just burn it down. Burn.

Amira: Burn! After all that burning, it’s time to highlight some badass women of the week.

I wanna start by shouting out the new NCAA volleyball champions, Stanford University, who defeated defending champs Nebraska in five sets. It was an instant classic, an epic match, and Stanford will now claim their second victory in three years. Congratulations to the Stanford Cardinals.

Also wanna shout out Simone Biles who won ESPN’s Most Dominant Athlete award this year because duh. Got the cover of the ESPN magazine and opened up about her anxiety and depression and how she’s doing since coming forward as a Nassar survivor. Shout out to you, Simone.

Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer who won ESPN W’s volleyball player of the year, one of many Stanford Cardinals who racked up the post-season awards also announced last night, including folks from Nebraska as well. Some dominant, dominant teams in women’s volleyball. It was a wonderful tournament.

I wanna shout out Melissa Reid, who’s the LPGA golfer who publicly came out this week. Congratulations, Melissa.

I also wanna shout out rugby player Kendra Cocksedge of the New Zealand Black Ferns for winning the New Zealand Player of the Year award, which is the first time for a Black Fern. Congratulations to you, Kendra.

Breanna Stewart was named U.S. basketball athlete of the year because again, duh. Congratulations to you on yet another award. And also shout out to U.S. Women’s basketball team for being selected as the U.S. basketball team of the year. Their squad photos upon celebrating this award were epic. I implore you to go find them.

Wanna shout out former WNBA player Lindsey Harding who is now a full-time scout with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Lastly, I also wanna shout out moms in tennis in general. After much conversation, much action and inaction, stuff that we’ve profiled on this show before, it was announced that players coming back from childbirth on the WTA or injury will now be able to use their previous ranking to enter 12 tournaments over a three year period. This is a significant change and departure from what was in place before which was pure shit. Congratulations to all moms who will benefit from this and also the moms who made this possible and especially wanna hat tip to Serena Williams who brought her platform to this issue.

And now, a drum roll please.

Our badass woman of the week goes to Rachael Denhollander for receiving SI’s Inspiration of the Year award which was given to her by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She was the first woman to publicly accuse former Michigan State and US Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault.

Rachael is a force. We had her on the show. Lindsay did an amazing interview with her. If you didn’t check it out or wanna revisit it, I definitely suggest you do. It just is a little piece. You can hear a little piece captured of the tenacity of force of Rachael. We wanna acknowledge you and shout you out this week. You are our badass woman of the week.

All right, my loves. We are closing out the year. As we mentioned before that this is our last regular episode, we still have two new episodes coming to you to close out the year which will be Best Of’s, but this is the last time we will all be together reporting in 2018, which I can’t believe is over, ending.

As we think about and close out this year, I want to hear what is good in your worlds. Lindsay?

Lindsay: NBA Twitter has been a delight for me lately, especially, don’t know if anyone was paying attention the other night, I guess it was Friday night when word came across that there was a three way trade between the Phoenix Suns, the Washington Wizards, and the Memphis Grizzlies.

But then it completely fell apart because there was confusion over which Brooks that the Memphis Grizzlies have two players with the last name Brooks and there was great confusion over which one was included in the trade. Memphis thought it was offering up Marshawn and Phoenix thought it was getting Dylan.

The trade completely-

Amira: It was really funny.

Lindsay: It was incredible. The trade completely fell apart. The next day, the Wizards and Suns did directly get a trade done for Trevor Reza and Kelly Ubray and Austin Rivers. The trade did end up getting done but without Memphis and with no Brooks in sight.

But it was just a really peak night for Twitter and you guys, these men make so much money.

Amira: I know.

Lindsay: These men make so much money and they do such stupid things.

Jessica: This reminds me. Was it the Bengals that didn’t turn their paperwork in on time once?

Lindsay: Yeah, totally.

Jessica: They just didn’t submit it or something.

Lindsay: On that note, I don’t know if you guys saw this week, Stephen A. Smith went on this huge rant about the Kansas City Chiefs and he named three players that weren’t even on the team at all.

Shireen: Tedy Bruschi’s face in that was honestly the funniest thing.

Lindsay: You have to watch Tedy Bruschi and Max Kellerman’s face were so good.

Jessica: They were so confused.

Lindsay: All the teams have been trolling him now since then. The Chargers released a report and was like Ladainian Tomlinson is out for tonight’s game. John Gruden even got in on the action with the Raiders. He was talking. Anyway, it’s very depressing to think of how much money Stephen A. Smith makes but I have enjoyed everyone laughing at his stupid face.

Amira:              Shireen, what’s good in your world?

Shireen:           Now I feel like there’s hope for me becoming an NFL commentator. I’ll just do that.

Lindsay: You don’t even have to know anything.

Shireen: That’s exactly it. It’s perfect. I just got a book called “Yes, I’m Hot In This” by a woman named Huda Fahmy who’s from Michigan. It’s really hilarious. It’s a cartoon book but it’s called The Hilarious Truth About Life in Hijab and she takes every possible experience we’ve had and it’s cartoons, so it’s really funny but it’s also very heartwarming ’cause she talks about allies and people who reach out to her when she’s feeling unsafe.

It’s just a really beautiful book and I’m really, really glad I got it. I also am really into Kind Bars right now and I’m eating one quietly.

Lindsay: Ew!

Shireen: I love them. I’m so happy about them and I also wanna be a little bit sappy and say that what else is good is love. Interpret that as you will, my friends.

Lindsay: Shireen, I told you I’m single. Don’t depress me.

Shireen: I’m gonna send you a Kind bar.

Lindsay: Please don’t. Oh god, no.

Shireen: I have no access-

Lindsay: I thought you loved me.

Shireen: I do, but I don’t have access to Jess’s baking which I’m drooling over.

Amira: Oh my gosh, Jess’s baking.

Shireen: That 3-D…

Lindsay: Not sending me a Kind bar, that would be good.

Shireen: Okay, I love you.

Amira: Can we just take a minute and recognize Jessica’s baking?

Shireen: The 3D cookies.

Amira: What can this woman not do? Jeez Louise.

Shireen: I know. The 3D cookie just, I almost fainted.

Amira: The textured cookie part is what put me over the edge and I was like, we’re having a cooking show via Instagram or whatever.

Lindsay: And she always does these posts while I’m in the office which is just particularly cruel, Jess.

Jessica: I’m really just telling on myself. I’m not working, I’m just telling on me.

Amira: Jess, you wanna tell us what’s good besides your baking?

Jessica: Yeah, well, my baking. It’s just become such self-care. I had an Instagram story on Friday because my friend got married yesterday and she did the Great Wedding Bake-Off where she asked people, instead of having a wedding cake, she asked a bunch of friends, there must’ve been 25 desserts there, to bring something along.

I made heart shaped Oreos and I used my wooden embossed roller that actually has hearts, so they were hearts on hearts. The Oreos were great. I don’t know who won the bake off yet. They haven’t announced it but the wedding itself was beautiful.

My friend Brittany is one of the kindest, nicest people that I know in this entire world and I admire her so much and it was just really lovely to watch her just listen to everyone talk about how much they love her, including the man, James, who she has married. I was not prepared. The woman in front of me turned around to give me a tissue because I was not handling it well. It was beautiful.

Then I just really quickly wanted to mention WBUR’s Only a Game has an incredible piece this week. It’s called “My Dad’s Friendship with Charles Barkley” by Shirley Wang.

You can read it but I suggest if you have the time, it’s about 14 and a half minutes long, to listen to the audio ’cause there is a point where Charles Barkley, I mean he randomly meets this guy in a bar who’s a huge fan but they become lifelong friends and Charles Barkley is explaining to this young woman who’s reporting about this relationship that her father had with Barkley.

He is talking about how he and this woman’s dad, Shirley’s dad, the main thing they talked about was her and her brother. There’s something about the emotion of that moment in the audio that I just think, it’s great to read. It’s a beautiful piece written but the audio, if you can listen to it, it’s called My Dad’s Friendship with Charles Barkley.

Shireen: My tweet about that made the Twitter moment thing just because one particular piece that she said and that writing is gorgeous, that she said that he made a slideshow for Chinese New Year that had nothing to do with the holiday and I just thought that was so funny and so sincere and just so beautiful and the way she wrote about her dad, who had passed away, I think everybody was crying. Everybody in the world was crying who read that piece. It was gorgeous.

Amira: Bren, what’s good with you?

Brenda: Sorry, I’m struggling. I’m just staring at final exams to grade.

Amira: It’s really hard to do what’s good in the middle of grading, so I please ask you to bear with both me and Brenda as we try to see past the stack of papers glaring at us.

Brenda: I’m trying not to be bitter about what’s good because this is what is good, that the finals of the second season of the Mexican Women’s Soccer League finished. América beat Tigres in  Estadio Azteca this week on penalties after the match drew out one-one.

I would like to say what’s good is that 41,121 people were in attendance so shut up, people that say that there’s no market and no audience because this is two years running now, a consistent fan base for Mexican women’s professional soccer.

There’s no one allowed in the Mexican league that’s not from Mexico. It’s also not about importing players and stuff. I actually don’t love that rule, but just throwing out there that all of the people who love to tell women that sports just can’t make money and build audience, blah, look at those attendance figures. They’re amazing. They’re way better than MLS so shove it.

That’s really good. That’s really, really good and you’re all really good and Messi is really, really, really very good. We could post to the show some of the most- You haven’t been watching him probably, I don’t know people got other stuff to do in their life.

But when I’m depressed, the last few weeks is just pure artistry. It’s ridiculous. There’s a great video about how Messi defies physics over the last month and maybe we should post it so when other people get down, they might just wanna watch highlights.

Amira: What’s good for me? It’s really hard.

Brenda: Final exams, man.

Lindsay: Did you get to see any of your co-hosts this week?

Brenda: All over the place.

Amira: I will tell you what’s good with me. I’ve traveled a lot this semester, more than I usually do. It also makes me the person who gets to see my co-hosts the most. I’ve seen Lindsay this week, I saw Brenda last week, I saw Shireen and Brenda a month and a half ago. I saw Jess in Texas earlier this year and in state college.

I feel incredibly lucky because I have all the selfies with all my co-hosts, so that is a big perk of traveling. While I’m talking about traveling, I do wanna take this time and shout out my husband, Michael. He has held down the fort with our kids incredibly this semester.

When I tell y’all I don’t think I’ve been home for longer than a week since mid-October, I don’t know how many consecutive days I spent in my bed. It’s amazing to be able to have a support system like that that includes many people but to have your person also just be a great human is tremendous and it’s his birthday this week.

Shireen: Happy birthday, Michael!

Amira: And yes, I’m very excited. He hates his birthday. He’s a true introvert and would like everybody to just ignore it.

Lindsay: I so relate to this! Okay, this is great.

Amira: I know. I was like, this is the birthday debate. But because he is more like Brenda and Lindsay who’s like please ignore my birthday and I am me, I have booked us for a three night getaway at a little resort just south of here. We’re not going far, we’ll still be in the middle of Pennsylvania, but it has hot springs and massages and alcohol.

Lindsay: Wait, there’s hot springs in Pennsylvania?

Amira: Listen and in West Virginia. It’s just a thing. America has random secrets in it I guess.

Lindsay: Cool.

Amira: We’re going, my mom’s coming down to stay with the kids and we’re going away for a few quick days. It’s not like Hawaii where we were last year, but it will be a good way to decompress after a very eventful semester. That’s what’s good in my world.

What is always good is this podcast, is my co-hosts, and is you, our flamethrowers. Thank you so much for tuning in, for coming on this journey and this adventure with us, for supporting us. Shout outs to our Patreons who give and make this possible. This is a labor of love and we couldn’t do it without your support.

Thank you all, you’ve made our year incredibly rich. We cannot wait to see what happens in the new year and what we bring to you here on Burn It All Down.

That’s it for this week on Burn It All Down. Burn It All Down is on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Google Play, anywhere you listen to podcasts. Please rate the show wherever you listen to it. We have had some amazing reviews roll in lately and we just love to see it get to people who didn’t know it exists and who need this podcast in their life.

We love to receive feedback. We’re on Facebook at Burn It All Down, on Twitter @burnitdownpod. We also have a website you can check out, which has information about the show, links, transcripts for each episode, and a link to our merchandise.

If you need last-minute gifts for those loved ones on your list, I know just what to get them. Check out our merchandise account on TeeSpring. We have pillows, we have shirts, we have hoodies, we have stuff for babies. You can have baby flamethrowers.

Check out our website to get links to all of that and get more information, show notes, all of the things. Yes, please rate, review, share, highlight, tweet us, interact with us. You are what makes all of this worth it. From Lindsay Gibbs, Shireen Ahmed, Brenda Elsey, Jessica Luther, and me, Amira Rose Davis, we’ll see you in the new year, flamethrowers.

Shelby Weldon