Episode 93: Art Briles & the Baylor backstory, fave non-apologies, & quadruple-double queen Shakyla Hill

This week, we talk about Art Briles and the Baylor backstory(6:45); Lindsay interviews Grambling State’s Shakyla Hill on her historic second quadruple double, the magic of HBCUs, and her WNBA dreams (25:39); and the best/worst non-apologies (37:15).

Then, as always, there’s the Burn Pile (51:26); BAWOTW (58:58); and What’s Good (1:01:30).

For links and a transcript…


“Nobody Wants The Raiders” https://deadspin.com/nobody-wants-the-raiders-1832398283

“How Baylor Happened” https://deadspin.com/how-baylor-happened-1828372303

“Art Briles is no longer candidate to be Southern Miss OC” http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/25937562/art-briles-no-longer-candidate-offensive-coordinator-southern-mississippi-golden-eagles

“Southern Miss coach shows pattern of pursuing personnel connected to sexual assault cases” https://theathletic.com/806476/2019/02/07/southern-miss-football-jay-hopson-art-briles-sexual-assault-cases-recruits/

“Grambling’s Shakyla Hill Gets Second Career Quadruple-Double” https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2019/02/03/shakyla-hill-grambling-state-quadruple-double

“Ada Hegerberg twerk row: DJ slammed for ‘non-apology’ after asking Ballon d’Or winner to perform dance” https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/ada-hegerberg-twerk-row-dj-slammed-for-nonapology-after-asking-ballon-dor-winner-to-perform-dance-a4007861.html

“Cubs patriarch Joe Ricketts apologizes for leaked emails that said ‘Muslims are naturally my enemy'” https://sports.yahoo.com/cubs-patriarch-joe-ricketts-condemns-islam-leaked-emails-muslims-naturally-enemy-001154007.html

Washington NFL team’s “Doug Williams apologizes for radio interview about Reuben Foster” https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/11/30/redskins-doug-williams-apologizes-radio-interview-about-reuben-foster/?utm_term=.d22c004a5c7d

“Milos Raonic Doesn’t Own Up to Touching Net, Hypothetically and Technically” http://triumphsanddisasters.tumblr.com/post/57771946673/milos-raonic-doesnt-own-up-to-touching-net

“Ski president sorry for praising dictators and attacking ‘so-called’ climate change” https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/feb/07/gian-franco-kasper-international-ski-federation-climate-change-dictators

“In Soccer-Mad Argentina, Women Fight Sexism and Inequality” https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/02/07/world/americas/ap-soc-argentina-womens-soccer.html

“Coroner: Fan struck in head by foul ball during Dodgers game died of blunt force injury” http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/25926592/fan-struck-head-foul-ball-dodgers-game-died-blunt-force-injury

“Canada’s Alysha Newman sets new national indoor pole vault record” https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/trackandfield/alysha-newman-new-canadian-indoor-record-pole-vault-1.5003901

“Antigua’s “Island Girls” Become World’s First All-Black Team To Row Across Atlantic Ocean Voluntarily” https://www.bet.com/news/national/2019/02/04/black-history-month-antigua-island-girls.html

“All-female referee team at Sask AAA hockey game 4 years in the making” https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/all-female-referee-team-at-sask-aaa-hockey-game-4-years-in-the-making-1.5008390

“One of the newest IIHF Hall of Fame honourees, Hayley Wickenheiser is more than just the most decorated player in Canada’s National Women’s Team history” https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/2018-19-tcaa-wickenheiser-called-to-iihf-hall-of-fame


Lindsay: Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to Burn It All Down, the feminist sports podcast that you both want and need hopefully. At least that's our goal at this point. I am Lindsay Gibbs, Sports Reporter at ThinkProgress. I am the captain of today's episode, makes me feel very important. But joining me, we have back from her vacation in the magical woods, Jessica Luther, Baylor expert and freelance sports reporter from Austin, Texas. How are you doing Jess? How was the trip?

Jessica: It was wonderful, but I am so happy to be back.

Lindsay: Well we're very happy you're back, especially for this episode. I think I demanded actually that you be here, but it was out of love. We also have Shireen Ahmed, our wonderful sports reporter extraordinaire in Toronto, Canada. Shireen, how is the weather up there?

Shireen: It's freezing. It's freezing rain. It's icy and I'm chewing on as much raw ginger root. Sorry, not raw garlic.

Jessica: I was like dang.

Shireen: No, it's not that bad. Ginger root, and drinking this thing called Joshanda, which is this South Asian remedy, and I don't know what's in it, but it's working so far.

Lindsay: Okay, that was all very, very much on brand. That was good. Brenda Elsey, Professor Elsey, who has come down with what she calls the student plague, but we are very glad that she is joining us and taking time away from her Hofstra duties. Bren, you hanging in there?

Brenda: Yeah. I'm hanging in there. You know, I'll have this student plague until the semester's over around May. So, it's okay.

Lindsay: Goodness, does that sound fun?

Brenda: It's like a nursery school.

Lindsay: Sometimes I think I should be in academia, and then I hear things like that and I change my mind.

Brenda: Yeah, it's like a nursery school teacher. They just come in with a Petri dish full of viruses and you're like ... You just navigate it, so I'm okay.

Lindsay: All right, well first of all of course we wanna thank our Patreons. If you are wondering how we keep this independent, intersectional, feminist sports podcast going from week to week, it's because so many of our wonderful listeners support us on our Patreon page. For as little as $2.00 a month, which I don't really even think you can get a cup of coffee anymore for $2.00, you can keep us going. $5.00 a month gets you access to exclusive content and our undying love. We also have a merchandise store that you can check out on Tee Spring. That's another way that you can help support this podcast.

On this week's episode, we are going to be diving into the latest that is going on with Art Briles. He tried to get a job again, was very close to getting a job. That fell through, and this week our own Jessica Luther, along with her writing partner Dan Solomon, wrote I would say definitive deep dive into how Baylor happened. So we're gonna be connecting all of those dots. This is a trigger warning. We will have time stamps, so if you would like to skip past that conversation, feel free.

Later I will have an interview with Shakyla Hill, the basketball player from Grambling State who had her second career quadruple-double last week, which makes her the only player in NCAA history to have two. In fact, all NCAA Division I men combined only have one quadruple-double in the past 25 years. So, she ... I cannot wait for you all to hear that interview. She is just fantastic.

Finally, we're gonna dive into some of our favorite non-apologies that happen in sports. We talk a lot about bad things that happen in sports, and often with that comes some pretty pathetic apologies. So we're gonna be discussing some of those. But first, did you all see that nobody wants the Oakland Raiders? Literally they cannot find a place to play this upcoming season, which as someone who just really does not like Jon Gruden is pretty hysterical.

The deal is they're gonna move to Las Vegas, but Las Vegas isn't ready for them for this upcoming season, so they can't play in Las Vegas. Since Los Angeles already has two teams, Los Angeles can't host them for this year. Oakland can't host them anymore. Oakland is done because they've burned over Oakland. They've said goodbye. So now it's looking like they might play in San Francisco, except it seems that nobody in San Francisco, including the mayor, want them as well. Have we ever seen an NFL team without a home, without a stadium?

Jessica: I know. It's amazing. I think good on Oakland, because this all started because the Raiders wanted all this money for a new stadium, and the city and the county wouldn't do it. Then I think, didn't they end up suing the Raiders on this? Yeah, and so that's why they have nowhere to play. They couldn't even do the last year there. So good on Oakland. They're the winners in all of this, but yeah, I don't know. Are we gonna ... Are they just gonna travel? Where are they gonna go?

Brenda: Well I heard Arizona.

Jessica: Arizona?

Brenda: Yeah. Did anybody hear this? I mean I don't even know what shady publication I picked this up on. Because for those-

Jessica: That's so random.

Brenda: I heard it might be either Phoenix or Las Vegas. Those were the two kicked around before, I think back a few years ago. Then I heard…

Jessica: Yeah, they're gonna end up in Vegas. They're just not ready now.

Shireen: They'll become The Las Vegas Raiders. Is that what's gonna happen?

Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Shireen: Because that doesn't even have a ring. That doesn't sound right.

Jessica: Well I guess they'll keep their name, probably.

Lindsay: Yeah, they'll keep the Raiders.

Brenda: Well does that mean that Celine Dion will do the anthem? Because I kind of think that'd be awesome, like in a hilarious way. Right? Like just bejeweled, decked out.

Jessica: That would be something.

Lindsay: But I honestly think though, look, we talked a lot about what's gonna end football, you know? Like is football gonna survive?

Jessica: Oh interesting.

Lindsay: Maybe this is one way to kill football, just have-

Jessica: No one take them.

Lindsay: All right. Brenda, do you want to get us started on Briles and Baylor and everything?

Brenda: Kind of.

Lindsay: Sorry, I said that like you have a choice, but.

Brenda: No, no. It's been an amazing sort of turn of events, because we know for how long, Jessica and her partner in writing Dan Solomon have been working on this issue for years. It was ... When I was reading the article, which is in Deadspin and everyone should check it out if they haven't, I thought I already knew everything. And I did, but I knew it all piecemeal. And there was something really powerful about reading it all together this week, especially in light of the fact that Jay Hopson, the head coach at Southern Mississippi, interviewed the defamed Art Briles. The idea was he might be going there as an assistant coach. He wrote this stomach turning post about God and-

Jessica: Hopson did, right?

Brenda: Yes, about Briles. Hopson wrote this post that he was convinced that Briles deserved a second chance, that he was a man of the Lord. Then to see it next to this very in depth investigative article where you're pretty sure that Briles is not working for God. If that's God's work, you know, welcome to atheism. It's really a powerful week in terms of that. So I have a lot of questions more than I really do an intro for Jess. One of my favorite quotes about redemption, because that's been the question, right? Either in Jess' article or in just the general whether it's Jay Hopson at Southern Miss talking about redemption of Art Briles, that after three years, after he oversaw this ... It's not a scandal. It's a travesty. So after that it comes to mind Patti Smith's quote, "People have the power to redeem the work of fools."

I've always thought redemption is easy for it to sound good, and there's a whole Judeo-Christian sort of thing around it. Jay Hopson's not the first person to use it, and of course at Burn It All Down we've talked a lot about rehabilitation, reconciliation, what does it mean. I just thought it was really profound that this piece came out the very week that he's being interviewed by Southern Mississippi and there's this big PR thing. Just a little thing, Briles is not the only focus of the article. I just wanna throw out there that Ken Starr, who was president at Baylor University at the time, got a $5.4 million severance when he left. So I don't think he's given any of that to the victims of a culture there, and in fact, as a professor, I would have to work 65 years to make that.

So he ... I just once again wanna just focus that this is a university and Jessica's piece really does, Jessica and Dan's piece really does focus on the university as a place that is supposed to be building safety and protecting its students instead of exposing them. Just the very last thing, because there's no reason I should be talking about this when Jess is on the pod, just the very last thing is that the idea that Briles knowingly brought on recruits with a history of domestic and sexual violence to cast that as part of Baylor's Baptist mission that there was rehabilitation in that, that there was a redemption in that of students. That he was bringing these transfer students on, and then it was part of the mission, seems to me so disingenuous and so, that when I heard the redemption story from Jay Hopson about Briles, I just couldn't even handle what was the cognitive dissonance there.

So there's a lot of things I wanna ask about. One thing that I really wanna ask about is now apparently Southern Mississippi has decided not to take on Briles, and I just wanted to ask Jess, do you think that's related to the reporting that you and Dan did?

Jessica: Yeah. Thanks for all that Bren. Yeah. I don't know. I mean I will never be able to say for sure. We'll never know one way or the other. I'll just tell you guys here, this is how sausage gets made kind of stuff inside baseball. We actually published it this week because of National Signing Day and the fact that there was a whole other peg was a quite surprise to us as much as to anyone else. So who knows? I mean this is not the first time that Art Briles has tried to get a job in the last three years with a college. His name has been bandied about multiple times at multiple places and it's been shot down. He had that job very briefly with the Canadian Football League, for less than 24 hours I believe. So there has been protests around him ever since he left Baylor, so whether or not this helped or not, I'll never be able to say. But yeah, I was certainly ... That timing was something.

To your point about redemption, Dan and I have often, the first thing we ever wrote was a piece at Texas Observer in 2013 about redemption. We wrote about Vince Young and Ricky Williams, and who gets redeemed in football. This has been something that we have thought about a lot, and I think one reason that we continue to be drawn to the Baylor story and then Hopson comes along with his statement. My understanding, and you guys correct me, I was on vacation this week so I was kind of paying attention from the sidelines here. But that Hopson basically was trying to hire Briles, but the AD didn't necessarily know of what all was happening, and so the AD was the one, the Athletic Director was the one who said, "No. We're not gonna hire him." Then Hopson released his statement saying, "I disagree with this. I think we should for all these Christian reasons."

I just think redemption is so easy when you're not the one who was harmed or the one who takes on the potential risk, and I've talked about this repeatedly on this show and the work that I do, that I hate the idea that the risk is somehow that something will happen to your team or that your coach will make a bad decision and therefore your team will be impacted, when really when we think about these cases and this work, who actually is harmed in these communities when these men are making these decisions? Anyway, that's what I have. I'll just leave it there.

Lindsay: Yeah, I mean just keeps going over ... This has nothing to do with forgiveness. This has nothing to do with grace for Jay Hopson. This is about football. He's doing this for football because he wants to win football games, and that's the problem that came down from day one, right? They're trying to make these big moral decisions, they're about football. That's where their morality stops and ends. Shireen?

Shireen: Yes, thanks Linds. Jess, I wanted to thank you and Dan for really making it all so easy for people who don't necessarily know all the history, like Brenda said. I also, to understand it so thoroughly and very much what I took out of it is that as Brenda duly noted, it's not only about Art Briles. It's about Starr. It's about players. it's about a system of rich men who are powerful and they're spitting whatever narrative they want. In this case, it's the Baptist idea of redemption and second chances, which I found very interesting, and particularly I wanted to touch upon this too. How they emphasize the Christianity of this and how ... I thought it was very poignant that in your piece you also talked about, there was Bible verses and there were people that were actually, they were on the sidewalks, and statues everywhere.

I thought that was really important to understand, for people to understand what Baylor physically looks like and what that type of school is, and how there were young female students who were attracted to that place because of what they believed was a safe space. Particularly if their idea of what religion is would be that safe space, but it's basically been twisted. I'm quite familiar with communities who take religion and twist it for the misogynous violent purposes. I'm talking about men. So I really appreciated that, and particularly this idea of second chance U and how this is very much about money. This is very much about football. It's about a system.

I find it a bit daunting in that way, and I was just wondering had you and Dan checked in and know what that sense is like, and did any at all communities on that advocate for women and against rape talk about that at all? Did they touch into that? Were there any communities that were like, "No this isn't actually what our faith teaches us," and the point of like Art Briles was not doing the Lord's work? I'm just interested in that as well.

Jessica: You mean on Baylor's campus?

Shireen: Yes.

Jessica: Back in 2015 when we wrote the original piece, I looked very hard to find I guess the feminist group on campus, to get their take on it, and I couldn't find anything at the time. I don't think that's true anymore. I think there's a much more vocal group on campus. We write about the vigil that we went to in early 2016, which was pretty quick afterwards. But I believe that there is still a continued voice now on campus that probably existed before, but was way harder to find, and that's nice to see. So I do think that that is something that's changed on campus, at least from the outside that's what it looks like.

Shireen: So Jess, there's another thing I wanted to ask, and I know that I probably ... This whole aspect of the religion being tied into the university because Baylor being universe strong. Brenda used a word that she talked about, Art Briles' mission, and that was really interesting to me because this whole redemption narrative reminds me strongly of this idea of missionary work, which is also rooted in violence and racism and power. It's almost like, and correct me if I'm wrong, a lot of the recruits that had histories of that violence and assault, were they predominantly black? So this whole narrative spun as well was, "Okay. We're this proper institution rooted in Christian faith and we can bring these people and fix them." That was literally the narrative spun in a way, you could say. Because that's what I took out of it.

I find that another aspect to the way that you and Dan reported it, that's something that I took out of it. So someone that has literally come from a brutal Colonial history, where my parents and ancestors are from, that's something that I took out of this, and I'm glad that you pointed out in a very subtle way so the reader could interpret that as they wanted to. But that's something that I also got out of it, because this whole idea of we're doing this because whoever's a "good Christian man" and what that means is up to the reader to decide. But I just ... That's something that I took out of it too.

Jessica: That's interesting, and one thing we didn't end up reporting on in this piece because it was ... Just another inside baseball thing for people who don't know, but investigative journalism like what you see on the page, is probably 40% of the things that the reporters actually know or have heard or whatever. For lots of reasons stuff doesn't make it in, but I'm pretty sure this has been reported on before. I will say that Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach at ESPN have a book about Baylor called Violated, that if people are interested, that's book length treatment of a lot of this stuff.

But one thing ... That's so interesting Shireen, and thank you for bringing that up. This didn't make the piece at all, but Briles had actually hired a chaplain for the team and brought him in. He shows up in lots of people's stories, which I find fascinating. For example, the first person we ever reported on was Sam Ukwuachu and his trial in August of 2015, and part of that story is that that chaplain was the first person that that woman had reported to. Then that same guy took Ukwuachu on a mission trip that next year. And so all of that is there, that entire ... Exactly what you're talking about is just deeply embedded in all of this stuff, which is part of, like the localized story about Baylor. We can talk larger about campus sexual assault and football and the system of college football, but that is a particular part of the Baylor story, is how they think about religion and-

Lindsay: Yeah, and one of the things that really struck me in the piece, there were so many, but was that right after Baylor hired their Title IX coordinator in 2014, Patty Crawford, who has a big role in this story and in coming forward and exposing the culture at Baylor. One of the things that you reported Jess, was that when she first got there and started to observe sexual assault prevention trainings, she said they weren't even allowed to use the word consent when talking to students unless the students were married. Otherwise, it sounded like she was telling students that they could break the student conduct code's policy around sexual activity. It wasn't I believe until, what, 2015, that you could start actually even talking about consent at Baylor, which is just in any official capacity.

We're not talking about the '60s. This is 2014. That's just staggering to me, and I think shows ... There's a lot of talk about, "Well this isn't just Baylor," and of course it's not just Baylor. But there is a, I think conglomeration, I don't know what word I'm looking for really here, of factors that join together to make Baylor as extreme of an example as it is. I believe it starts with, as you talk about in the piece, this decision to make sports into this religion there, and then to actually use religion as a suppression. Then that combined with the isolated nature of things, combined with the pressure on Briles to win at all costs, and combined with his affinity going back to when he coached in high school, which is another thing you get at in this piece, is that when he coached in high school, he would overlook allegations of rape.

So there was just a lot of factors joining together at once to make Baylor into what it is today, and then the title of the piece is How Baylor Happened, and I think it does paint such a deep picture of that, and purity culture is a big part of that. Brenda?

Brenda: Yeah. I think that apropos of this discussion is Brittney Griner and the Baylor Women's Basketball program, and Kim Mulkey. I think it's really important to look at these things organically, like they're part of this whole landscape. You know, you all do this in your work. I just wanna add to this discussion that when she was asked about the 52 rapes by 31 football players over four years, her response, "If somebody around you, and they ever say, 'I will never send my daughter to Baylor,' you knock them right in the face.'"

Jessica: She said that to a, like on court after a game.

Brenda: Yeah. Well, a post-game speech.

Jessica: To the crowd.

Brenda: Yeah.

Jessica: To the crowd! Yeah, sorry.

Brenda: So, yeah. No, no, please do your outrage. I mean it's unbelievable. So I think Brittney Griner's experience there, the ban on homosexuality until, what, very recently Jess. I think it was 2016, '17. I can't remember. Anyway, it should never have been anyway because Baylor does take federal money for certain things, and it does use state money. It should be a violation in all kinds of ways. So I mean there's a whole atmosphere that was also created around the women's basketball team, so I just wanna throw out there that there's other pillars in this university that have supported this kind of misogynist culture.

Jessica: Yeah, and of course one of the big stories that came out in the last few months was ... I think we mentioned in the piece, was that there was a fraternity president who got that really lenient plea deal from the DA. So you can ... The other women, the women that we actually interviewed for the story, none of them had anything to do with sports, the people who harmed them. So you can find lots of points in the culture.

I did want to, we all want to, but I want to bring up Nicole Auerbach's reporting on Southern Miss, because I do think we can talk very specifically about Baylor, but I do have this belief, and I said this to my husband before we started recording this morning, I do feel like if you dig anywhere though in college football, you're gonna find something. This is maybe just my level of cynicism at this point on this topic. So Jay Hopson at Southern Miss, he tries to hire Briles. It doesn't happen. He posts this terrible note about how, all the Christian stuff about Briles and redemption. But one in the lines in there was that he would still be the head coach, and so it would be his job to deal with these things, not Art Briles.

Well it turns out, Nicole Auerbach at The Athletic, she reported that, was it last year, a couple years ago, that Hopson tried to bring in a player who twice had been reported for trying to rape someone at knife point.

Lindsay: It was earlier this year I think. It was just like ... Yeah, yeah.

Jessica: Earlier this year, there you go. Then I read at Deadspin that he also, when he was at Alcorn State, tried to bring one of the Vanderbilt players, which I know we've talked about Vanderbilt on this podcast. Four players were all convicted or took a plea deal around a gang rape from 2014. He tried to recruit one of those guys while the guy was still, I mean he brought them onto campus and he played one game, and then there was a bunch of press. He cut him. So Hopson has a pattern of "redemption" stories around players. Briles is just one of the many, and so there is a part of me that thinks ... I mean obviously I wrote a book. There's just rot in the system in general, and if you dig, you'll find it there. So kudos to Nicole Auerbach for that reporting, for bringing to light that there are patterns here, and we should always be looking for patterns.

Lindsay: Last week Grambling State senior Shakyla Hill notched a quadruple-double with, get this, 26 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists, 10 steals, in a win over Arkansas Pine Bluff. This came just 13 months after her last quadruple-double. To put this all in context, the 5'7" guard is the fourth woman in Division I Women's Hoops to accomplish this feat. There's only been one man in Division I NCAA hoops to ever do this. She's the only man or woman to do this twice in Division I NCAA hoops. She made history. She was all over the news, and she was nice enough to sit down with me for an interview last week. So thank you Shakyla, and I hope you all enjoy this.

I am very excited today to have here with me the quadruple-double artist herself, Shakyla Hill from Grambling State. Shakyla, thank you so much for being on Burn It All Down.

Shakyla: Thank you for having me.

Lindsay: So, let's just start. Let's go way back. When did you fall in love with basketball, and how did you develop such a diverse skillset?

Shakyla: I've been in love with basketball for as long as I can remember. I have a picture, I have a busted chin as a kid, and it's for Christmas I got a basketball. I had to be at least three or four, so I've been playing it for as long as I can remember. I have three brothers, and we kind of all just developed together I guess we could say.

Lindsay: I love that. So you grew up playing with the guys, like a lot of girls' basketball players do of course.

Shakyla: Yes.

Lindsay: So why Grambling State? What was the recruiting process like in high school and what made you settle on Grambling State? Because it's in Louisiana, correct?

Shakyla: Yes.

Lindsay: And you are from Arkansas?

Shakyla: Yes.

Lindsay: Okay, all right. So how'd that process go about?

Shakyla: Well initially I didn't even wanna play basketball in college. I wanted to go to Grambling, somewhere kind of close to home. It's only three hours from home. I wanted to go to an HBCU. Then Coach Pierre, who's the coach that recruited me, he's also still the assistant coach, he just kept harping like, "You need to come down here. You need to meet Nadine Domond. You need to try this." He called me literally every day and I got so annoyed I committed.

Lindsay: That's amazing. So I'm guessing you were a high school basketball standout if you were getting recruited so hard?

Shakyla: Yes.

Lindsay: So why didn't you want to play in college initially?

Shakyla: Well my brother went to Louisiana Tech, and when he used to come home, he used to just tell horrible stories about how much they ran and how much they did. Then he was just like, "If you wanna do it in college, it becomes a job. You might not have as much fun as you used to. You might not love it." So I was like maybe I don't ... Well, I said I didn't wanna lose my love for the game, so I didn't wanna go to college and ruin that for myself.

Lindsay: Have you lost your love for the game? Like is there-

Shakyla: No. What's crazy is it's actually grown. The stories, they were true. The running and the… like, it’s totally different. But it actually made me grow to love the game and the process for the game so much more.

Lindsay: That's really incredible. So why was it ... I feel like here we are in Black History Month and you've been so vocal about being proud that this happened at an HBCU. Why were you so set on going to an HBCU?

Shakyla: I honestly, I don't know. Whenever I was coming out of high school, to me, where I was from, it just sounded like a cool thing to do, to be around your same people, to experience. I went to ... Actually originally I'm from Jacksonville, Arkansas. So there's a very diverse culture. I went to school on the air force base, so you can imagine how diverse I grew up. But then it was just like something about going to an HBCU was so different for me and so I wanted to try to experience it.

Lindsay: Unfortunately, we've seen athletics at HBCUs, they're such a storied tradition there, but they don't get nearly as much attention as they used to, right? We don't read about the records being broken there. You've been, I mean you're wearing t-shirts on interviews promotion HBCUs. You're so proud, which we love so much. So why is it important for you that you've been able to continue that tradition?

Shakyla: I feel like it's so important to me because HBCUs, like you said, you really don't see them in the news. We don't get the same facilities as other schools. We don't get the same trainers. We don't get the same just experiences period as bigger schools or PWIs. So the fact that I did this and I'm at an HBCU and I get to represent us as a whole, that even though we're lower funded, even though it's only one really centralized group of people, we're still doing the same thing that everybody else is doing.

Lindsay: Oh. I love that so much. So what are your next steps? What are we gonna see you do next?

Shakyla: Maybe I'm thinking I could get another one, but hopefully me and my team, we pull this season out and we win our tournament, our conference tournament, and after that go to the NCAA and become one of the first HBCUs to pass the first round.

Lindsay: That would be incredible. We will definitely be rooting for that. Now let's go back to earlier. I asked how did you develop such a diverse skillset? Was it playing with the guys? I was reading recently an interview, my friend Ava Wallace at The Washington Post did with Sabrina Ionescu, who kind of said that it was because when she was playing with the guys, they wouldn't pass her the ball, so she had to be the one who would get the rebounds first. Or otherwise she wouldn't be able to get the ball. Was it similar for you? How did you learn how to pass and ... Because we know about scoring. You can learn how to score, but how did you learn to pass and rebound the way you do?

Shakyla: Actually, it's probably the same exact story as Sabrina's. Playing with the boys, they were always more athletic, faster, whatever. So being the only girl, it was kind of like you were just a figure out there on the court, until I kind of proved myself, that, "Hey, I can rebound. Hey, I can pass." So I kind of think it has a lot to do with playing with the boys.

Lindsay: So, what are you ... I know last time this happened, which was just 13 months ago, which is ridiculous, you got a shout out from Lebron James. You were the talk of the town. What has the reaction been this time? Has it been any different? I know you've been ... I mean you've been on media everywhere. What has it been like to get it twice?

Shakyla: Actually, the reaction is the exact same, from the rude comments from men to the support from my school, from the support from the nation, NBA players. Well, Kevin Garnett put me on his Instagram story, Dawn Staley. The experience and the entertainment and the attention has been exactly the same.

Lindsay: That is really great to hear, although we still need Lebron to give you another shout out.

Shakyla: Yeah, we do need to get Lebron back. He needs to pay a little more attention to his mentions.

Lindsay: You know, I think he's been a little distracted by free agency this week-

Shakyla: Yeah, definitely.

Lindsay: I'll send him a text message. Don't worry. I'll make sure he's notified. So let's talk about the hate. This is something we talk about on this show a lot, is the amount of what we like to call fragile masculinity that women's basketball-

Shakyla: There's so much of that.

Lindsay: Seems to trigger in men. So have you been experiencing that? What are people saying, and how do you respond to that?

Shakyla: Actually, I ended up, my school ended up having to say something to me, because usually I let the comments fly, but somebody had commented under SportsCenter's picture, and it had so many likes. Like, "This happens in the WNBA all the time. They'll probably have 79 next season. This isn't anything." But then he was like, something about the NBA. That's why it's only been one in the NBA, because it's a men's sport. It made me so angry that I said something, and my school was like, "You have to take that down. You can't say stuff like that to certain people." So I really ... But typically I normally handle it well. If I can read it I'll just scroll past it.

It reminded me, every time I see something it reminds me of something, I think it was Sue Bird, she had said it's cray you can get recognition from people like Michael Jordan, Lebron, the best of the best, but Jim and Joe on the couch are trying to tell you they can take you one-on-one. Literally that's what I think of every time, because it's people that literally sit on their couch all day that get under pictures and complain about women's basketball.

Lindsay: It's one of the most mind-boggling things. I don't think I'll ever understand it. We've got a question from a couple of my co-hosts. Number one from Shireen, she wants to know what is your sneaker of choice?

Shakyla: My sneaker of choice would have to be some Jordan 3s.

Lindsay: Ooh. Good choice, good choice. Brenda, who is a professor, she wants to know what academic classes are you enjoying?

Shakyla: I actually only have one class to graduate, and that's Criminal Research II, so that's the only class that I'm taking.

Lindsay: Okay, so what is your major?

Shakyla: My major is criminal justice with a minor in psychology.

Lindsay: So, is that what you ... Obviously let's go for pro basketball first, but is that something you see long term is working in criminal justice?

Shakyla: Initially when I came to school, I wanted to go to law school, but professional basketball is top of my list right now, so I'm hoping that I won't even have to take another route.

Lindsay: Okay. Absolutely. So let's talk about that. I mean because we haven't seen that many players from HBCUs really make the step into the WNBA, have you been talking to coaches? How is that going? Because training camps are coming up. What can we expect?

Shakyla: Actually, at this point I don't think I can talk to anybody, but-

Lindsay: Oh, that's right. That's right. Yes, okay. No violations, no violations.

Shakyla: But it's definitely something that's on my mind that I've talked with my own coaches and my parents. So we're all really worried about this season right now, but long term that's definitely something we've all talked about.

Lindsay: Are you the type of person who gets more motivated by the fact that this step is so rare? I actually don't know how many have made this step. So does that motivate you more, the fact that you weren't recruited by a UConn, that you weren't on this big list and that you're doing it for a smaller school?

Shakyla: Actually, that's probably one of my biggest motivations, like the fact that I was overlooked, but also the fact that I come from such a small spot and such a big central plant, and that people are really paying attention and it's not because I did something bad or something that I wasn't supposed to do. I'm bringing good attention to HBCUs and smaller networks that usually don't even get this type of attention. Then there's probably multiple girls that have been overlooked that think, "Even if I go to a HBCU, it won't matter anyway." I'm giving them the chance to be like, "You can do whatever you want wherever you want."

Lindsay: That's incredible. Well, I know there are tons of girls and boys looking up to you. We are certainly fans, and we will be rooting you on either the rest of this season, and hopefully for many years in your pro career. Thank you so much Shakyla.

Shakyla: Thank you.

Lindsay: All right, I hope you all really enjoyed my interview with Shakyla Hill, because I did. Okay, so on a little bit lighter of a note, we wanted to discuss some non-apologies. Shireen, please get us started.

Shireen: Thanks, Linds. The faux-pology. What does that mean? What is that? Let me give you a fabulous example. Let's say hypothetically there's a person who owns a baseball team, in I don't know, a land called Phicago. We'll just make this up. They're called the Phicago Phubs. The person's leaked emails go out and they are offensive, Islamophobic, xenophobic, sexist, downright anti-black. Now when this gets leaked, the Phubs owners, who were coincidentally that person's children, say that they're not associated with the club whatnot, so that person released a statement. Now let me give you a fabulous, fabulous faux-pology example.

Now it says, "I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails. Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I've said things that don't reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong." Well thank you. Thank you so much Joe Ricketts for giving that, and you might have known that my Phicago Phubs are really the Chicago Cubs, and we're talking about Joe Ricketts here. So it might come to some that it's no surprise considering how involved this particular family is with Republican politics, but the reality is that this type of apology for offending people of a particular community, all these communities are marginalized.

We're talking about Muslims. We're talking about blacks. We're talking about ... It's just really, really offensive absolutely. So this idea of non-apology that they issued also actually brought out some responses from people from those communities. We're gonna talk about this. We're gonna talk about the non-apology apology. I feel like Joe Ricketts' apology is absolutely stunning. It's like out of a 10, it's probably a 9.5. so us at Burn It All Down have a couple of really, really good ones. I mean we've got ones like you absolutely know, we've got ... I did some research for this segment. We're talking about everything from Gary Barnett way back in the day. We're talking about Kobe Bryant. We're talking about John McEnroe who had another sort of style for his apology, a refusal to actually apologize at all, which is another style we see of a non-apology.

So one that I'm gonna highlight before I pass it around to my amazing co-hosts, is one of my personal faves, very recent was Martin Solveig's non-apology to Ada Hegerberg after she won the Ballon d'Or, and I think it also ... I mean for me this one was one of the highlights. I think this was definitely a 10 out of 10. Martin Solveig's non-apology was, "I explained to," and then he uses her Twitter handle. This was on Twitter "the buzz. She told me she understood it was a joke. Nevertheless, my apologies to anyone who may have been offended, and most importantly congratulations to Ada."

So what we're gonna do very quickly is break down that 10 out of 10 so everybody can understand how to achieve this level of nonsensical vacuous apology. So when he starts off this non-apology, he starts off this non-apology by clarifying that he explained and that she agreed that it was a joke, so that's out of the way. Then the vague, "Nevertheless, my apologies to anyone who may have been offended." The wording of this is stellar.

Jessica: Yeah, it really is.

Shireen: Like it's not my fault that you misinterpreted what an asshole I am. Then he ends with, "Most importantly," brings it back to Ada. He includes a photo that he looks terrible in. She looks like she's comforting him for actually being such a sexist asshole. So it was  very, very well done. Good job to Martin Solveig for that ridiculous one.

Jessica: For his non-apology.

Shireen: For his non-apology. I do really love, and I'm just gonna add this, Eni Aluko reply to him because I loved it. Her reply on Twitter was, "Pathetic apology. Everyone who has an ounce of decency and respect for women is offended you nob." So that was just brilliant. So in addition to the non-apology, it was also fun to see the responses to those, so thank you Eni Aluko for speaking literally on behalf of anyone who was offended who Martin refused to actually address. Jess?

Jessica: Yeah, so I wanna do one that really falls into my wheelhouse that happens all the time, and I'm sure it will happen this year, so I wanted to just shine a little spotlight on it. Perhaps you all will remember late last year when the Senior Vice President of Player Personnel for the Washington NFL team, Doug Williams, found it necessary to "apologize" after justifying his team's waiver claim of linebacker Reuben Foster, who had been accused of domestic violence multiple times over, and by saying ... This is what Doug Williams said, "Basically what you're doing here is you're taking a high risk chance. The high risk was the beat up that we're gonna take from PR. We understood that from a PR standpoint and we're taking it."

Those were his actual words for explaining their decision to take on a player who had lost his most recent job after another report of domestic violence. So, well it turns out that Doug Williams then of course was the one who had to weather the PR storm that he created, and so was sent out to apologize. He did so by, and this will not surprise anyone, he did so by repeatedly referring to women in his life, including, "My wife, my mom, my sisters, and the six daughters that I have." He called what he said insensitive and said he wouldn't make excuses for it, then added, "For me to make comments like I did, I want to apologize to anybody out there within earshot, especially the ladies of this area across the country."

Shireen: The ladies.

Jessica: "Like I said, I've got six daughters that no way in the world I would tolerate anything like that, so for me to just say something like that, I just want to apologize." So there's just nothing that I hate more than the apology around gender violence that mentions that you're the son of a mom, the husband of a wife, the brother of sisters, or the father of daughters. And bonus, he did the thing. The, "No way in the world would I tolerate anything like that." He never actually addresses what he said and why it was wrong. He just threw up the shield of his mom and his wife and his daughters and said he wouldn't tolerate the very thing he was minimizing so he could tolerate it. This is just such a classic non-apology around this topic that I wanted to highlight it. It's so good.

Lindsay: It's so good. Every time it makes me want to punch someone, which is a great feeling. So this is on a much less serious note because it just has to do with sportsmanship and with a player winning a point in a tennis match, but honestly it is my favorite non-apology of all time. It happened between Milos Raonic and Juan Martín del Potro in the Canada quarterfinals, way back in 2013. So this was the Rogers Cup quarterfinals.

There was ... Raonic, the Canadian, won the match 7-5, 6-4. But del Potro was up a break in the second set and serving it 4-3 when Raonic ran up to put away a short ball and his left foot slipped and it touched the net right as the ball bounced. The umpire did not see this and awarded the point to Raonic, which gave him a break point. Del Potro protested during the replay. You could clearly see that Raonic touched the net, which if you touch the net you're supposed to automatically lose the point. Tennis players are not allowed to touch the net. It was very clear to everyone that Raonic had touched the net, but the umpire wouldn't change the call because he didn't feel like he was allowed to, and Raonic could have admitted to it and given the point to del Potro, but Raonic did not.

This was a big turning point in this pivotal match. So afterwards, it became a big controversy in tennis world. Del Potro came up and said he was very upset about it and he said about the end, "I think everybody saw what happened." So he was very pointed. Impressed Milos Raonic was asked about this, and someone asked if he thought that the point was del Potro's, and Raonic responded, "Hypothetically, yes. Technically, no." This has become the hypothetically technically apology, which is just the most ridiculous of all time. This is Raonic admitting that the point should in theory have been del Potro's but in reality it was given to him, and so what is he supposed to do?

He did a few days later actually come out and apologize, but hypothetically technically has lived on in tennis lore, and I'm ... I wanna encourage you all to use it in your own lives, because it just works for so many things.

Jessica: Hypothetically technically.

Shireen: Hypothetically technically. That's like a hall of fame non-apology right there.

Lindsay: It's hall of fame. It's really so good.

Jessica: You could name the hall of non-apologies Hypothetically Technically.

Lindsay: Hypothetically Technically. Hypothetically, I was a sexist asshole. Technically though, all I said was, you know? It works for all of them. And honestly it's words you can insert into most existing non-apologies. The hypothetically technically, it already exists, you just have to add it in. It's already the perfect thing. Bren?

Brenda: Yeah, my non-apology has been going on for eight years. It's an eight year non-apology apology by Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan soccer player. I get that you've heard about this non-apology already. Back then, Luis Suarez used the word negro to refer to Patrice Evra in a Liverpool Manchester United game. He was found guilty and banned eight games and fined 40,000 pounds when he refused to acknowledge this is racial abuse. And he used cultural norms and said that in Uruguay, negro is not the same. And it's not, he's right. He's absolutely right. However, this non-apology twisted that to claim he didn't racially abuse Evra, which he did.

So yes it's true that he used something absolutely unrelated, and their argument was whether he called Evra negro 10 times or eight times, and that he used that as a reason to threaten to hurt him and et cetera. So it's not only did he use it to get out of taking responsibility for his racism, but he then used it in a way to sort of go back and forth. Then it gets worse, right? Because in 2012 he refuses to shake Evra's hand and continues to feel victimized by his own racism. It's all in the response, so I'm just gonna tell you his response in 2011: “Enojado por las accusaciones del racism.”

They translated as that, "I am upset by the accusations of racism." Actually the translation of that is, "I'm annoyed." So not only is he a racist and not apologizing, but he's annoyed that he has no sort of pass on this. He says, "I go to the field with illusions like a little boy who enjoys what he does, and not to cause fights." So it's gross. His reaction shows that he's more racist than even what he did, the reaction alone. So yeah, I would just ... Anyway, it's the worst apology non-apology. He has said he was sorry that people thought he was racist.

Jessica: I bet he is sorry about that.

Brenda: Yeah, he's sorry. He's sorry-

Shireen: High scoring non-apology right there. So good.

Brenda: Yeah. It's up there. They had still no handshaking eight years later.

Lindsay: That's amazing. Shireen?

Shireen: Yeah, just to wrap this up I think what Suarez did, and it's no surprise. It's the specific incident that Brenda is referring to that the reason I can't stand him, and the fact that he bites humans. The results though-

Brenda: The biting is way better than the racial abuse.

Shireen: Way better, yeah. But he-

Brenda: What a hierarchy.

Shireen: He's just ... All of this is so interesting, and what Suarez did is make himself a victim out of all of this, which is another kind of weight thing that we find. Like, "I can't believe I'm so insulted that you would think I'm a bad person." Yeah, because you are. It's the same thing that Ricketts' saying, that Muslims are naturally my enemy. That's ... And then saying, "Well I don't think bigoted things are good. They're not my values." So you could absolutely insert, "Are Muslims my enemy? All Muslims? Hypothetically, yes. Technically, no." You can ... I'd just like to reply to him with that, is that the damage that you do and how you deal with this continues the trauma for the people that have been affected by what you've done. That's why I just think this entire subject is so fascinating, so I want to thank you all for bringing such stellar examples of non-apologies to this discussion.

Lindsay: All right. Let's now go to the favorite segment, the burn pile. Bren?

Brenda: Yeah. I'm burning something I can't even ... There's not garbage dumps big enough for this one. So Macarena Sánchez, the Argentine player who's launched the first lawsuit in history against the Argentine Federation because she was fired, we went over this a couple episodes ago. What's amazing is that her case keeps getting national attention. It was in The New York Times this week and The Guardian, and that's really great. She's started to receive death threats. They're really serious. She's put a lot of them on social media. She's gone to the police. I'm just floored.

I mean I understand machismo, I understand why women's sports makes a certain type of conservative men uncomfortable and why it is a threat to them having totally monopolized labor, time, and national heroism and all of that stuff, but I'd like to burn the deep misogyny that has surrounded her case and the reaction that she has to deal with every time. The fact that Twitter has not shut down some of these accounts immediately, ones that have guns in them and say, "There's a price on your head and we can't wait to kill you," literally. You know, all she's really asking is to get paid to be a professional soccer player.

Lindsay: That's so scary.

Brenda: Which she's been, and I'm just ... It's a sad burn, but it's also an angry burn, because you know, these people who are coming at her are not coming at her with identities. They're not brave people. They're cowards that are trying to make her afraid. So I just want to burn all of that.

Group: Burn!

Lindsay: Shireen?

Shireen: Thanks, Linds. I had a lot to burn this week. Ricketts, racism against Mo Salah a lot. But I really wanted to talk about this because it's been in the news, and we've been hearing since the sacking of Coach Alen Stajcic of The Matildas, the Australian Women's Soccer team, that we've been hearing a lot of conversations about a culture of bullying, intimidation. Less than 20% of the players did not feel safe and that it was an environment that in which they could thrive. But there's something very specifically that I wanted to talk about, and we'll link this article from Athlete Ally. It's sort of like a statement released talking about responding to reports of homophobia in Australian soccer. Now there are some executives on the FFA, the Football Federation of Australia, who have allegedly said that his sacking, Stajcic's sacking, was because of a "lesbian mafia."

Now, I couldn't believe it when I heard that initially, and I heard some rumors. I have a source very close to that federation who confirmed that this was the case. I think this is problematic for so many reasons. We abhor homophobia in sports. There's no place for it, but the fact that this was happening systemically at the federation, the executive level, is ... We're not surprised about this. It's still disgusting and deplorable. So I'm very happy that ... And there's not a lot of players who have necessarily talked about this. We're also six months away from the Women's World Cup, and this is a team that is potentially going to shake the standings internationally, and they should.

So there must have been a lot of really awful stuff happening for, A, the sacking to happen, and B, for them to want to hush it down, hush up what's happening. So I want to burn this, but I want to point out the bravery of those who can speak about it and have been, but I just really essentially want to burn this type of thinking because it's disgusting. Burn.

Group: Burn!

Lindsay: All right, I this week would like to put Gian-Franco Kasper, the President of the International Ski Federation, onto the burn pile. In an interview this week published in a Swiss newspaper, Kasper very eloquently said that he really prefers working with dictators to organize ski events because they can just do them without asking the people's permission. He said from the business side, "I just want to go to dictatorships. I do not wanna argue with environmentalists."

Brenda: God.

Lindsay: He also called climate change, "So called climate change," and he said that whenever it's cold at these skiing events and people come up to him shivering, he greets them with, "Welcome to global warming."

Jessica: Oh my gosh.

Lindsay: This is the same man who used to say that women were not allowed to participate in ski jumping because their uteruses might fall out. So I would like to just throw on the burn pile the fact that this man still has a job, and thrown on the burn pile climate deniers and people who worship dictators. Burn.

Group: Burn.

Lindsay: Jess?

Jessica: Earlier this week, ESPN's Outside the Lines published a report about the death of Linda Goldbloom, who died in late August last year. It turns out that she was the third known person in Major League Baseball history to be killed after being struck in the stands by a foul ball. It happened at Dodgers Stadium, and according to the OTL report, "The accident happened in the top of the 9th inning when a San Diego Padres batter fouled back a pitch. The ball, which was hit a little to the first base side of the home plate, sailed into the loge level just over the area protected by netting, and struck Goldbloom's head as she sat in section 106, row C, seat five. The coroner's report says she died from acute intercranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma. She was a long time Dodgers fan and was at the game to celebrate her 79th birthday and her 59th wedding anniversary."

It took OTL reporting it in February of 2019 for there to be any public disclosure outside of her family about what actually killed her. Neither the Dodgers nor MLB acknowledged what had happened. This is probably because this is part of a larger conversation about the use of netting to prevent injuries in the stands. The league seems reluctant to mandate it, though suggests it. Just this last year was the first season when, according to OTL, "All 30 Major League teams have protective netting extending from beyond home plate to at least the far ends of both dugouts to safeguard especially vulnerable sections of stadiums lower bowls."

But Japan, which has a crazed baseball culture, probably put ours to shame, has managed to put up extensive netting for this exact reason. There was an excellent HBO Real Sports about this issue in April of 2016 where you can see what all Japan has put in place and what that's like compared to the MLB. I'm not a baseball person as most of you probably know, so I don't personally have a hard line position on nets or no nets or how many nets, but I did want to today acknowledge Linda Goldbloom's life and her death, something that both the Dodgers and the MLB should have done. I'd like to burn the fact that they did not. Burn.

Group: Burn.

Lindsay: All right, before we move on, just want to take a moment to remember Vikki Orvice, a trailblazing athletics correspondent for The Sun and active member of Women in Football, who died of cancer at the age of 55.

Also want to remember 10 teammate players who died in a fire that engulfed a dormitory at the youth team training center of one of Brazil's biggest football clubs Flamengo.

Now we want to take a moment to lift up some of the badasses of the week.

First of all, all the women officials of the ALKASS International Cup in Doha, Qatar, which is the first where all matches are officiated by female referees as system referees and fourth officials.

Wanna shout out Canada's Alysha Newman, who sets a new national indoor pole vault record. Also, four Antiguan women, Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis, and Samara Emmanuel, who made triumph out of a tragic legacy on January 28, becoming the world's first all-black team to voluntarily row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Alex Clarke, Michelle Stapleton, Cianna Lieffers, and Krista Funke, who made the first all-women officiating crew for a male midget AAA game in Saskatchewan history.

Hayley Wickenheiser, the most decorated player in Canada Women's Hockey, who will be admitted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in May. Congrats, Wick.

Also, wanna give a shout out to all of the NWHL All Stars who are playing in the All-Star Weekend, which is a big success in Nashville.

And the Fed Cup playoffs are still going on as we speak, so we can't give a shout out to the winners. So let's just congratulate all the women's tennis players who are playing for their countries in Fed Cup this week.

Now can I get a drum roll please?

All right. We have 15 year old freshman Mahailya Reeves, who benched 360 pounds on Saturday, smashing the Florida bench press record by 55 at the 1A state championship. If you have not seen the clip of her doing this, it will be the thing you need to watch to get your week off to a good start. It is incredible the way she's interacting with her coach and the joy afterwards. I just love it so much.

Okay, all right. What is good in your lives this week friends? Shireen?

Shireen: What's good in my life is this ginger that I'm chewing on, because it will prevent me from getting even more sick. I have something that I'm really excited about, but I can't yet say. I'm gonna keep saying that every week until I'm allowed to say it. Also, I just wanna shout out La Rose Bakery in Milton, Ontario for making my daughter's 17th birthday cake, which was absolutely delicious. It was like this fresh raspberries and crème cake, and I'm not a cake person, but I literally ate a chunk of it. It was just absolutely beautiful and she was really happy. That was nice, and I just ... That was really fun this week considering how cold it was. That's it. I'm happy to be back recording because it was a rough week.

Brenda: I am thankful for all of my friends who are keeping me from feeling like I'm going The Shining. Being in February is very ... It's inside life, and with three kids, inside life can turn Shining. It's been really nice because I've just been getting together more often with friends actually than in the summer, like going to their house for a pizza so I don't have to cook or whatever. I'm just grateful for people sharing the miserable experience that is February in upstate New York.

Lindsay: Friends make everything better. Jess?

Jessica: Yeah, so mine's maybe obvious. I went on vacation this week with Aaron, and we went to the Redwoods. It actually snowed while we were in the forest, so it was really cold but it was beautiful. We were the only people there basically, so we had the park to ourselves.

Lindsay: Oh wow.

Jessica: Yeah, it was really lovely. Then we went down to Sonoma and we drank a lot of wine. We had a good time.

I wanted to mention I read two books while I was on vacation, both by my friend named Amy Gentry. The books are Good as Gone and Last Woman Standing. They're fiction. They're thrillers. Both of them are about what it means to be a woman in this society, and so I just ... I highly recommend them. Good as Gone, it's about how we women survive up against the expectations and judgments put on us. Then Last Woman Standing, it's about a stand-up comic, but it's about #MeToo survival and vigilante justice. I just love them. So Amy Gentry's Good as Gone and Last Woman Standing.

Lindsay: Oh, I love that so much. Yeah, this was another unfortunately tough week to kind of come up with anything. The news cycle has not been fun and the weather has gotten back cold, but you know what? I'm just gonna say I'm very thankful to be here with you all and if everyone can send me some good vibes, I'm trying to get a couple of reporting trips approved for this month, that let's just say Burn It All Down listeners would love these stories. So everyone please send good vibes. You know, and it's an election ... We're already gearing up for an election campaign and I work for a political newsroom, and so I totally understand that it can be hard to get trips. Let's send some good vibes please. Thank you.

All right, thank you all so much for listening to this week's episode of Burn It All Down. You can find us on SoundCloud, iTunes, Patreon, Stitcher. Look, we're pretty much everywhere. I mentioned our merch site is on Tee Spring. We're on Twitter at burnitdownpod. We're on Facebook at Burn It All Down, and our website is www.burnitalldownpod.com. We just cannot thank you all enough for the support you show us on a week in, week out basis.

I do have one specific request, which can you please, please, please go to iTunes and leave us a review? We know that some of our listeners have not yet left us a review, and these reviews really make our day actually ... It really does help us as we are trying to maybe promote the podcast and take the next steps. Being able to point to these reviews, show other people how you guys feel about us, it's one of the more helpful things that you can do. So thank you again, and we'll be here next week.


Shelby Weldon