Episode 97: Live from New York F’ing City – International Women’s Day 2019!
The crew’s all together for the first time and recorded LIVE from Columbia University on March 8, 2019. We announced the breaking news of the USWNT lawsuit for equal pay. Then we discuss women in coaching, both the challenges and importance of representation. In honor of International Women’s Day, each co-host focused on a woman athlete they thought deserved more attention.
Of course, we all set things we hated this week in sports aflame in the Burn Pile and celebrated the wonderful accomplishments of women in the Bad Ass Women of the Week.
For links and a transcript…
“Q&A with Georgia head coach Joni Taylor on postseason, personal balance and program future” https://www.macon.com/sports/college/university-of-georgia/bulldogs-beat/article227149259.html
“UGA coach was taunted, called ‘preggers’ and fired for being pregnant, lawsuit claims” https://www.macon.com/news/local/article227173624.html
“Barstool Sports Stole From Her. Then the ‘Insidious’ Harassment Began.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/barstool-sports-stole-from-her-then-the-insidious-harassment-began
“Woman cyclist forced to stop race after catching up with men” https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/04/sport/cycling-women-belgium-intl-scli-spt/index.html
“Evil Men Sentenced To Prison For Giving College Basketball Players Some Money” https://deadspin.com/evil-men-sentenced-to-prison-for-giving-college-basketb-1833075677
“More GCU women’s soccer players come forward with abuse claims” https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2019/02/25/grand-canyon-university-women-soccer-players-coach-abuse-claims-derek-leader-malorie-rutledge/2910694002/
“Egyptian Squash Players Nour El-Sherbini and Ali Farag Win PSA World Championship in Chicago” https://egyptianstreets.com/2019/03/03/egyptian-squash-players-nour-el-sherbini-and-ali-farag-win-psa-world-championship-in-chicago/
“Journalist Scoops Sportswoman Of The Year Award” http://gmzimbabwenews.com/index.php/2019/03/02/journalist-scoops-sportswoman-of-the-year-award/
“Chiquita Evans becomes first woman to be drafted into the NBA 2K League” https://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2019/3/6/18253138/chiquita-evans-nba-2k-league-draft-warriors
“Former women’s national player coaches A’s” https://www.mlb.com/news/veronica-alvarez-coaching-in-athletics-camp
“In the Winner’s Circle HSBC Women’s World Championship with Sung Hyun Park” http://www.lpga.com/news/2019-in-the-winners-circle-hsbc-womens-world-championship
Brenda: Welcome to this week’s episode of Burn It All Down. It may not be the feminist sports podcast you want, but it’s the feminist sports podcast you need. We are recording in front of a live audience at Columbia University in New York fucking City! Before we begin, we’d like to recognize that we are on Lanape territory, and we acknowledge the importance of settler colonialism.
I’m Brenda Elsey, associate professor of history at Hofstra University, and I’m joined by all of my co-hosts for the first time ever in 97 episodes.
Lindsay: Yes. In person.
Brenda: We have Shireen Ahmed, the fiery freelance sports writer, Law and Order aficionado from Toronto, Canada, who today was named on the 2019 Muslim women in Sport Power list.
Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress in Washington, D.C.
Jessica Luther, freelance journalist from Austin, Texas.
And Dr. Amira Rose-Davis, Assistant Professor of History and women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University.
Before we begin, we have got to thank Dr. Frank Guridy, Associate Professor of history at Columbia University. As well as our partners at Hofstra University’s Cultural Center for making this happen. We’d also like to thank Farrah Jasmine Griffin, the chair of the brand new and amazing African American and African Diaspora studies department here-
Brenda: At Columbia University.
Brenda: Also, to Sharon Harris and Sean Mendoza for all their logistical support. They are the main sort of staff people here. And to Elena Cabral out of the journalism school who located this space for us, so thank you very much to all those wonderful people. As ever, we need to shout out are amazing patrons. We could not do this without you. And we would like to dedicate this show to Barbara Bosner.
Lindsay, could you tell us about a little exciting breaking news today?
Lindsay: Yes. Okay, so just a couple of hours ago, the US Women’s National Soccer Team escalated its ongoing wage dispute with the US Soccer Federation when it filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, which we are very-
Lindsay: In solidarity with them. It happened a little late for us to do a whole segment on it this show, but of course, stay tuned. We will revisit, but I wanted to kick this off by reading a quote from the lawsuit, which to me is just one big mood, I would like to say.
Lindsay: “So, despite the fact that male and female players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their teams and participate in international competitions for their single common employer, these female players have been consistently paid less money than the male counterparts. This is true, even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players-”
Amira: Say that.
Lindsay: “With the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions.”
Brenda: What better news on International Women’s Day.
Brenda: Happy International Women’s Day. So for the first segment, we’d like to think and take a moment about the state of women and coaching in sport. Opening it up we’re going to have Lindsay.
Lindsay: Me again?
Brenda: You again, ’cause you have Joni, Joni.
Lindsay: Yeah, Joni. Okay, so a couple of weeks ago there was big news, even you might have heard it on our Badass Woman of the Week segment where Joni Taylor, the head coach of the Georgia Women’s Basketball Team gave birth less than 12 hours after a victory over Mississippi, after she was coaching in a victory over Mississippi. And then two days after giving birth, she was back on the sideline. She surprised her team and came back to the sidelines. We lauded this, it was on the show and she got lots of Superwoman headlines. But to me, there was another side to this which is, heavens, this should not ever have to happen.
This is incredibly unrealistic and are we just setting now really kind of a dangerous precedent. And I know that wasn’t her goal but I think it gets, to me I got incredibly bothered by it. It made me think a lot larger about the pressures that we put on women and coaching, especially mothers in coaching. And how much that in order to fix the statistics that we’re going to talk about a little bit later in coaching, we have to do a better job figuring out this maternity rights in coaching thing.
And Jess is going to talk a little bit about, there was another lawsuit in Georgia athletics that was about discrimination against a pregnant woman, a pregnant coach. And that made me think again, did Joni feel like she had to get back there on the sidelines in order to keep her job in this incredibly competitive market? Maybe they didn’t tell her that, they might even have told her the exact opposite, but the pressures of the industry and the expectations that we put on women to not have being a woman make it any different than being a man, right. A man could be back on the sidelines two days after … had a baby, and it wouldn’t be remarkable. So the woman wants to do that as well. So, 80% of athletic directors are white men. And they are the ones, we have to always remember that these are the ones who are hiring coaches of any gender in college athletics. It is white men doing the hiring.
And it made me think, how much of this starts at the top? So much of this is from the top down. I recently spent time with a women’s basketball team where the head coach very much encouraged the women on her staff to take time for their families on a daily basis. She said, “I trust you to get the work done, even if you have to sneak out for a recital at three o’clock. We’re a team. If you need to go, if there’s a doctor’s appointment you have to go to, somebody else can take care of it. I know you’re going to get your job done.” And she said though the most important thing all the women on that coaching staff told me was they had never been empowered like that from someone at the top before, right. It might not have been said, “Don’t do this.” But they were never strictly empowered.
And I think that in order to really make more progress for women in coaching, what we have to do is empower more women to be able to be mothers, and to be able to get the job done and kind of stop lauding the superhero status of getting back to the bench two days after giving birth. I don’t think anybody should do that. I know Jess, you had some thoughts on this-
Lindsay: I’m the only person on this panel who hasn’t given birth, so I know that people have more thoughts in it that I do, ’cause there’s a lot I don’t know. I don’t really want to, but keep going. Okay.
Jessica: Yeah, I mean I do think that there is sort of this dangerous narrative around, yeah can y’all hear me? Dangerous narrative around this and it’s so hard, because we don’t want to take away from what as an individual was a spectacular thing she did. And she was really clear when earlier this year in January that she wanted to return as quickly as possible. That this is a goal of hers, and so as an individual making her choices, but we want to think about it systemically and the pressures on her. And so, I think it’s really telling that Georgia UGA’s Deputy Director of Athletics on March 5th, there was a quote to the Macon Telegraph, and they said, “Her swift return is one of the many ways that coach Taylor exemplifies her dedication to UGA and our community.” And I think that’s a really … We have to really pause and think about what that message means to other pregnant employees, and people who are going to have to make these decisions.
One thing I kept thinking about, I’m going to just be graphic for a second-
Jessica: That when she returned to be on the bench two days after giving birth, like she was probably still literally bleeding from that. Like, she was absolutely still having very real physical symptoms, because that’s how bodies work. Y’all didn’t know you’re gonna learn that today.
Jessica: And so that quote came out on March 5th. On March 6th, in the Macon Telegraph there was a report about an ex coach for the University of Georgia, so the exact same university. The women’s equestrian team. Her name is Alexandra O’Toole, and she’s suing because she says that she was fired in May of 2018 when she was seven months pregnant after being called ‘preggers’ by her boss and having quote, “Endured taunts about her pregnant condition and questions concerning her priorities.” And so maybe, Joni Taylor, this was a choice she was making on her own that she wanted to do. At the same time, though, we know that there was at least one other parent coach in this exact same space who felt like that was being questioned.
Jessica: And so, there’s so much here, and I know that Amira is going to, I think, Amira next. That we’re going to talk about the scarcity for women in coaching like that you’re really trying to hang on all the time.
Amira: Yeah. And so that’s such a great point to think about this maternity issue is one of the many barriers to the sidelines for women who want to be coaches. And I think as Jess mentioned, to think systemically, it really requires us to continuously up and some of our nostalgia or kind of romantic feelings around Title Nine, and to be able to think of this legislation as something that is one step, but not a completed step at all. And so, Title Nine, when it’s enacted in terms of college sports, the percentage of women coaching women’s sports is over 90%. Close to 96%. Now, today that’s under 50%. So one of the things that you have as a consequence of Title Nine when it becomes institutionalized, becomes not super lucrative, but moderately. Relative to men, not lucrative. But more lucrative because now programs actually exist.
Unsurprisingly, women as coaches are exiting programs as they’re becoming formalized and institutionalized and actually mimics something that happened before Title Nine at historically black colleges and universities where there was robust athletic opportunities before Title Nine. And as they started to formalize even those opportunities in the late 20s and early 30s, black women coaches were pushed out in favor of Cleve Abbott, at Temple at these schools developing programs. So it’s the pattern. But I also think that it points to idea about cycles and pathways where it’s really hard to be what you can see. And so, it’s equally as hard to figure out, how do you become a coach? Especially if you don’t see that at all.
So I remember, and I mentioned this on the pod before, Rutgers basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, trailblazer coach. She sued her high school to integrate their cheerleading squad so she can be a cheerleader, but if she asked her why she wanted to be a cheerleader, she said, “It got me on the sidelines. I could yell them the boys from there.”
Amira: And so, I think that that’s really instructive about the kind of myriad of ways people had to get really creative to find a pathway into coaching. And I think that the other part of that is that that image, that representation matters, but also that image can really control our connotation of coaches. So I want to end thinking about Dawn Stanley, who gave a really great quote about this.
Amira: And she says, “I’m very aware of what my success represents. I’m also very aware of what my failure would represent.” And this is a piece she wrote The Players’ Tribune, “Black women in coaching positions are held to higher standards, especially because there’s so few opportunities. And their stereotypes that we have to navigate. Like being an angry black woman on the sidelines.” And she goes on to say she’ll see a picture of her next headlines that could be joyous. They could have just won a national championship, but the face that she’s making, she scowling, she’s yelling at the refs. And so she talks about even with being on the sidelines, the pressure to temper yourself and knowing that if you step outside of this box, whether that means you take too long of a maternity leave, or you’re too angry or whatever could result in you losing your job and there’s not that many opportunities. And your chances for employment, you don’t get a lot of second chances either.
Shireen: Yeah. Thanks, Bren. One of the interesting things is when we say, well there’s very few opportunities or women actively coaching men in sports. They’re like, “No, there are some.” When I mean you I don’t mean flame throwers. I mean like angry white men will literally be like, “There are women, yes.” And I’m quoting from SB Nation here, “Of the roughly 2600 coaches employed by the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS and MLB, and this includes minor league affiliates, there are six women.” So it’s, “Okay, guys everybody calm down. Yeah, there’s six women.” Now, when we look at the caliber of the women in these coaching positions, they are not mediocre men. They are phenomenal, phenomenal athletes, coaches. So we’ve got Kristi Toliver of the Washington Wizards right now, also plays for the Mystics.
And she’s not being paid for some ridiculous reason that I think someone else can elaborate. I’ll just be mad and it’ll go to the Burn Pile automatically. We’ve got-
Brenda: I can explain it later. Explain later.
Shireen: Becky Hammon, who’s at the most wonderful, with one of the most amazing coaches in the NBA pot, Gregg Popovich, who is my president. I’m Canadian, but I consider him my president.
Amira: Prime minister.
Shireen: No, Christine St. Claire is my prime minster. Very clearly, very clearly. She’s the captain of the Canadian Women’s Soccer team, for those that don’t know. We you all do know, obviously. Then there’s-
Lindsay: You might have mentioned it once or twice on the show.
Shireen: Maybe once. There’s Phoebe Schechter, sorry, Becky Hammon’s assistant coach to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Phoebe Schechter at the Buffalo Bills, also assistant coach. We’ve got Jenny Boucek, Dallas Maverick assistant coach as well. Katie Sowers, who is defensive assistant coach for the 49ers. And then we’ve got Haley Wickenheiser, who’s the most decorated player in women’s hockey in the world. And she is Assistant Director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs. So we’re not talking about just like, “Oh, I’m going to give you a job because so and so saw you coach your son’s junior high school team.” I’m not saying that’s how it always happens, but sometimes it can. The point is is that, how are the opportunities being afforded? They’re not being afforded necessarily. And we have to sit back and examine that. What do you have to do other than win a World Championship in many cases that these women have done in order to even qualify for an assistant coaching role for men? You all know how I feel about that.
Brenda: So, I don’t want to leave this segment without mentioning everywhere else that doesn’t have a Title IX, and what that means for women in coaching as someone who works in Latin American, on Latin American women’s soccer, I just want to talk about mediocrity for a second. Jesus.
We have to look at how corruption in major sports organizations, whether it’s FIFA, whether it’s the IOC, whether it’s CONMEBOL, whether it’s the Argentine Federation, the Brazilian Federation, allows for a mediocrity when it comes to women that shows a gross neglect and lack of respect for what they do. And corruption’s not unlinked. And people treat these things in sports media as very different things, and they’re not. Because there’s no transparency. There’s no way to even hold them accountable for these practices. So, I’m just going to talk a second about the Brazilian National Women’s team, which is coached by a man named Vadão, who has never had a winning season in men or women soccer ever-
Brenda: In his career.
Brenda: When he lost his job for being terrible in the second division of the Brazilian men’s League, he got the job of Women’s National team coach again. And so it’s corruption that breeds this and allows this to keep going as well. And it’s not the only thing, of course. There’s over-misogyny and sexism, but corruption is a central part of it that I think doesn’t get the play that it should. Of course, this isn’t just Brazil, so I don’t want to caricature a place when, let’s be honest, we got the tax returns for US Soccer. And 2018 fiscal year, former coach Jürgen Klinsmann got $3.354 million just for not coaching.
Amira: That was his severance pay.
Lindsay: As his severance, and Jill Ellis, coach of the World Champions Women’s National Team-
Jessica: Wait for it.
Brenda: Her base salary is $291,000.
Amira: But Brenda, we else got paid more than Jill Ellis?
Brenda: Tab Ramos, the U-20 coach for the men.
Amira: And who else?
Amira: And U-23. Everyone.
Shireen: Can you even name those coaches, I cannot.
Brenda: And their assistants, and also the president of US Soccer Federation. So, everybody basically that didn’t get a team to the World Cup, and when it. So it’s not just in Brazil, it’s not exclusive to it, but I do have to say it is a scourge in global women’s soccer. And right now, I just have to mention that the Colombian women and their struggle, there are denunciations going back from U-17 National Women’s players against their coach. And this type of thing also, it just breeds this climate in which the abuse of women is completely allowed with impunity. And so there’s women in coaching and there’s women in coaching and there’s different aspects of that. Linds, do you want to add something quickly?
Lindsay: Yeah, I mean, this is just iterating it’s what a coach recently told me which was, “The biggest sign of progress isn’t going to be when a woman is higher as a coach of an NBA team, it’s going to be when she’s fired, and then gets another opportunity,” right?
Lindsay: When she’s fired and then gets to go again. That’s when we can have a celebration.
Brenda: I think that’s the right note to end this segment on.
So for our second segment, we wanted to do something a little bit more happy for us. You know, very off brand.
Jessica: We can try.
Lindsay: We can try.
Brenda: And for International Women’s Day, I asked my co-hosts to pick a woman athlete that they felt did not get enough attention, historically speaking. And I’m going to start with Amira.
Amira: Yeah, and I broke the rules because I didn’t choose an athlete.
Jessica: Rule breaker.
Brenda: Yeah, okay, all right.
Lindsay: A woman in sports.
Amira: Rules are more suggestions.
Brenda: They’re aspirational.
Amira: Okay, so.
Shireen: Or suggestions.
Amira: So, I picked Dr. Donnis Thompson, who was a black woman. And actually, okay I lied, she was an athlete, but that’s not the significant part of what I’m about to say. So she was from Chicago and right after Hawaii got statehood, they went after her and asked her to come be the coach of the track and field team or really start the team at the University of Hawaii Manoa. So, she leaves Chicago with four black girls that she recruited to go down to Hawaii with her, and she sets up a track and field program mirrored off the program’s existing at HBCUs at the time. And while she’s there, she turns University of Hawaii Manoa’s program into a full-fledged track and field program. They also start a volleyball program, and a golf program as well. And she starts working in dialoguing with Congresswoman Patsy Mink right at the time that Patsy Mink is offering Title Nine.
And so, Patsy Mink, in Congress talking about Donnis Thompson said, “Donnis Thompson was one of the individuals who inspired my authorship of federal Title IX legislation by highlighting the inequities and funding of women’s collegiate sport.” This is a woman who, as she was there through the ’60s and into the ’70s started with a budget of $5,000 and no scholarships, and developed within just a decade, women had 30% of scholarships at University of Hawaii by the time of the end of her tenure the budget had quadrupled. They hosted the first Women’s College Golf Tournament there, and their volleyball team became nationally ranked and for 10 seasons never dropped out of the top three.
Amira: And so she is a trailblazer and often who’s overlooked when we think about the history of Title Nine particularly as it applies to women’s athletics, and I think it’s really great because she’s A, a black woman but also it shifts our geography so we can think about Hawaii and how she’s dealing with the intersection of Jim Crow and colonialism in the 60s. And just to end with a quote, when she was made the first women’s AD at the University of Hawaii Manoa as the program started to formalize after Title Nine she said, “Yeah.” And somebody scoffed, “Should the women’s AD be a woman or should we like find a qualified man to do it?” And she said, “It’s absolutely important that the women’s athletic director is a woman. Women need that visibility. They need to have a role model, someone who can do the prodding and get things done. And not just at the University of Hawaii, but across the nation.”
Jessica: Yeah, I’m so excited about this. I want to talk to you guys today about Ayami Sato, who is easily the best female baseball player in the world and she plays for the best baseball team in the world, which is Japanese National team. Maybe, y’all don’t know that women play baseball, but they do. And they actually do the World Cup. I went in August of 2018, so I actually got to see them play and it was thrilling and she’s spectacular. So, Sato was so good that she actually won the MVP award for the last three World Cups. This is the first time that’s ever happened. The first two came after she shut out the eventual silver medalist in the finals. So in 2016, they beat Canada and in 2014 they beat the US. And so Japan’s actually won six straight of these titles. They are easily the best. They have the only professional women’s baseball league in the world in Japan, and you can tell when you watch them play they’re just like a machine. It is a really thrilling thing to watch in person.
Sato though, she has a fastball that’s been clocked at nearly 80 miles per hour. Let me see, let me get this right. I’m not a baseball person. These are my moments my baseball lack of knowledge comes out. Okay, so she has a peek curve ball spin rate, which they clocked at this year’s WBWC, the first time they actually had this measurement. Hers was measured at 2,583 RPM. Clayton Kershaw, a great American pitcher in the last decade has an average of 2,373. She spins the hell out of that ball when she throws it. And so I just love her. I just think she’s wonderful and she cares very deeply about women’s baseball. So, this is a quote that she gave me when I got to interview her through her translator, but she says that she wants quote, “The whole world to make a better environment for women’s baseball. The more media covers the women’s baseball, more people will know women’s baseball is there.” And then she said that she likes to do interviews because, “Hey, I’m at the World Cup. Women’s baseball is here.”
Brenda: Yes. Shireen.
Shireen: I don’t like rules either. And this is very difficult-
Brenda: So hard.
Shireen: For me. Shocking, I know.
Lindsay: Poor Brenda.
Shireen: I’m so unruly. So I actually initially started off in my instinct. My visceral reaction was to say Briana Scurry. I have to talk about Briana Scurry.
Shireen: Growing up in a world where soccer is very predominantly white, she was the first woman of color that I saw play even though I’m across the border. She’s an American retired goalkeeper, and in my opinion the most ridiculously underrated and least amplified player of the 1999 Dream Team. She’s World Cup champion, she stopped the penalty kick-
Shireen: So, this is critical, because that tournament was one on pens, and I’m like, “How did we not hear about her?”
Amira: And why it took so long to get her into the Hall of Fame.
Amira: Don’t get me started.
Shireen: Don’t spoil her. I’m coming to that. She gave the US an advantage for that and propelled their victory. Scurry was the starting keeper for the US Women’s National team for four World Cups, helped the team to win two Olympic gold medals. She was the founding member of the WSA, and she played three seasons of starting keeper for Atlanta Beat, which we all know that the league folded. Her career is total of 173 caps, which is incredible. And she’s a second amongst female goalkeepers in the world. She was elected to the national Hall Soccer Fame just in 2017. Like Amira said, why it takes so long? Because the majority of the team had been there before her.
Amira: Oh wow.
Amira: Makes me so angry.
Shireen: Very angry.
Amira: I can burn it professionally.
Shireen: She was the first woman goalkeeper and the first black woman to be awarded that honor. So maybe that’s why. She’s an assistant coach at the Washington Spirit. Okay, so we love us some Briana Scurry and very recently, during the She Believes Cup, Adrianna French the current US Women’s National Team had Scurry’s name on her.
Shireen: That made me cry a little, just a little.
Jessica: Everything makes Shireen cry a little.
Shireen: I don’t cry a lot. Okay, so my other selection, and this is really important for me, I know. I’m sorry, Brenda. I’m so sorry.
Brenda: She says, “I just gonna mention Briana really quick.”
Lindsay: In a sentence.
Shireen: We did a lot of rehearsal for this. It went over. At the age of 22, Nawal El Moutawakel was the first Moroccan, African and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the 400 meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Now, I talk about her because it’s really important for North African, for continental Africa, for Muslim women to recognize this. Her race was watched live in her hometown which is Casablanca, and the whole town came out and partied in the streets. And this is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And when we think of traditionally urban Muslim women, we don’t think of them hurdling to gold. And this is why it’s very important. The King of Morocco decreed that all girls born on that date will be named after her.
So because of her victory, which is, if you meet a whole bunch of Nawels that are like what, 20 now? That’s probably why. She raced and studied while… she raced and trained while studying physical education and physiotherapist the University of Iowa at Iowa State, and she had been to the Mediterranean games, the Arab championships. The African championships in while all those before meddling. She pioneered the way for many, many Moroccan and North African young girls. She became a council member of the International Association of Athletic Federations, she was appointed Minister of Sport in Morocco in 1997, and she became the first Muslim woman ever to be elected to the IOC. I know we’re like IOC, and is currently the vice president of the International Olympic Committee. She’s vice chair of the Laureus Awards, the sports company. She still holds an annual charity run in Casablanca and about 40,000 girls come out to it. And she also chose what she wanted to wear while she did this, and this is, I’m just going to underline. So.
Brenda: Thank you, Shireen. Linds.
Lindsay: Okay, I did follow the rules, actually.
Brenda: Thank you.
Lindsay: You’re welcome. Wait, now I gotta find my notes. Okay, so I wanted to pick someone in women’s basketball history. If you follow my work, you probably are not surprised. It’s really hard to figure out who to highlight, because there’s so many amazing pioneers. But I just want to talk a little bit today about Ann Myers Drysdale. Were you happy with that choice, Erica?
So in 1974 was a big year for Ann. She was the first player to be on the US national team while still in high school, and then later that year, she became the first woman to get a four year athletic scholarship to any college when she was at the UCLA basketball program. On February, 18, 1978 at UCLA, she got the first quadruple double in NCAA Division One history.
Brenda: All right.
Lindsay: Which of course, we recently had a Shakyla Hill on the show, which talk about the quadruple doubles and all that amazing-ness, but Ann was doing it first. In 1976, she was on the US team at the Olympics to win the silver medal, which was a really big deal at the time. Because at the time, it was all and of course the USSR won that year too, but Soviets dominated basketball. The US was not a basketball powerhouse. This was really the US announcing itself as a contender on the international stage. Which of course, now we think of as the given. In 1978 she was the first overall pick for the Women’s National Basketball League. The name of the team is incredible. It was the New Jersey Gems, which I just love, and so she played, that league only lasted for about three years. And like many Women’s Leagues that we talk about in the show had money problems and then fell out. But it was still pioneering time in women’s basketball, and I think they learned a lot from that, that later on helped leagues like the WNBA learn to last.
The biggest thing she’s probably known for is that in 1980, the Indiana Pacers signed her to a 50,000 no cut contract.
Lindsay: And she was in their training camp for three days playing alongside the men who she said she regularly played pickup games with and everything. She was too small, she was cut. She didn’t make the team. But she then, even though she didn’t make the team, the Pacers then hired her to become a color analyst for the team. Which if you think that there aren’t many women in the NBA there are pretty much exactly amount of women doing color broadcasting for the NBA as there were playing. So she ended up pioneering in that level too. She’s gone on to be really involved in women’s basketball. She’s been the vice president of the Phoenix Mercury and worked in the front offices. And it’s just an incredible time, I just love thinking back to that time and basketball history and love thinking back to Ann.
Brenda: Yay. Last but not least, I get to go. Will not cry. Miraildes Maciel Mota, you probably don’t know, but you might know her as Formiga. Formiga is the brilliant midfielder hailing from Salvador, Brazil. Formiga means ant in Portuguese. It’s a name that she’s actually embraced. She sees herself as the worker, the soldier, the team player par excellence. She started on the Brazilian women’s soccer team at the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup as the only player now who has presented in all six additions also of the Olympic tournament. When she was born on March 3 1978, football for women had been legally banned in Brazil for 37 years. She is the last player on the squad who was born in the time of prohibition. She has also been the lone Afro Brazilian player on the team at many, many points in her career. This is her 24th year playing on the national team. It means she has also been on the team longer than many of her teammates have been alive.
Jessica: Wow, okay.
Brenda: And in case you’re wondering, she usually plays all 90 minutes. She is an attacking midfielder and she runs miles, miles in those games. She’s a gem, she’s a treasure. You cannot find her jersey in Brazil, you cannot buy it, it’s a disgrace. But we get to see her one last time for at least one more World Cup this summer in France. I’m pretty damn grateful. Happy Birthday, Formiga.
Brenda: I’m not stalking you. Regular fandom.
Lindsay: Sure, sure.
Brenda: Okay, now this is the part of the show where we take some things we’ve been on fire about all week in sport and we set them a flame. It is the Burn Pile.
Brenda: Lindsay, start us off.
Lindsay: Oh, okay. All right. I’m starting off with an old friend of the show, I would like to say. Old friend of the Burn Pile, is better way to put it.
Lindsay: Barstool Sports. So, this week…
Brenda: We just yell burn now.
Jessica: That’s it. Lindsay’s done!
Amira: Inject it to my veins, I love it.
Lindsay: That was good, that was good. Do that again.
Lindsay: As Brenda calls it. I can’t remember anyway.
Lindsay: So, this week comedian Miel Bredouw, and I apologize that I’m saying that wrong but we’re going to power through. So, this week, she had a very big Twitter thread. She said that in December, Barstool Sports stole a video that she had made back in 2016. She’s a very popular comedian. And they tweeted it out on their account as a promo for the Women’s Vertical Barstool, which is on twitter @chicks. So just @chicks. So she was upset that they-
Lindsay: Stole her material to use for promo for Chicks. And so she filed a digital media copyright act saying that they had to take it down. Now, in response, Barstool’s lawyer reached out and tried to get her to rescind this DMCA, and the lawyer told her if she rescinded to notice he would give her a $50 gift card to their online store.
Brenda: A real treasure there.
Lindsay: I had to pause. That is just so much.
Shireen: Possibilities are endless.
Lindsay: Yeah, the possibilities are endless. Our friend Robert Silverman at The Daily Beast reported this week, he went back and did some investigating and found out that from January, 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018 Barstool’s been sued 11 times for copyright infringement. So, this is not a lone act. They’re taking other people’s material online, using it to promote themselves. When Miel called this out, she is now not only been offered a $50 gift certificate, but she’s been harassed non stop on all of her online platforms, because she refused to take it down. She has a podcast, and she said she had to get people to shut down the podcast Twitter account because there was so much harassment. So, we would like to throw that on to the Burn Pile. Burn!
Brenda: Nicely done.
Okay, I’ll take prerogative. Mine’s quick, because it’ll be clear to you. Two weeks ago the mayor of Warsaw and former parliament member Rafal Trzaskowski signed a landmark declaration to support the LGBTQ plus community. His declaration is the first ever of such a kind to be signed in central eastern Europe, and the first document to officially recognized LGBTQ plus rights in Poland. On Friday night, Legia Warsaw fans declared their opposition to civil rights with a huge banner unfurling in the stadium. It took up almost, I don’t know, good quarter of the entire gigantic stadium saying, ‘Warsaw free from’ F word epitaph. They also had an LGBT, I guess Q are clear, with a big ‘No welcome.’ Polish football fans have long faced violent hooliganism associated with far right politics. The club took about a week to respond. Must have been a real moral dilemma. I mean, do you protect people’s civil rights, do you defend that kind of hate and violence? I guess it put them in an entire quagmire. And when they came up finally with a statement, they said, and this is through translation, “This hurts the reputation of the club.”
So, how many times…
Amira: It took a week to come up with that.
Brenda: It took a week to come up with that gem, and how many times, it’s akin to a gift card. I would just like to say, how many times have we seen the reputation used as a way to justify sexism, racism and homophobia? It’s disgusting. It has no place in football, and I want to put it on the Burn Pile. Burn!
Shireen: Okay, so this is literally, women cyclists were forced to stop because men are slow at a Belgian race. You might have seen this headline last week, and I remember I had to read it twice. I’m like, “Okay, that’s a metaphor for life, but what is?”
Lindsay: It’s a metaphor for life!
Shireen: An awkward moment occurred when Swiss cyclist Nicole Hanselmann man had broken away from the pack and had an incredible lead at the 30-kilometer mark, but officials at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad had asked her to pull over and wait when she caught up to the support vehicles of the men’s race that had begun earlier. So she’s a former Swiss road champion, but she had a two minute full lead and the gap needed to be secured because the women were too fast. Now, when cycling, two minute lead is quite a bit. You’re on momentum, you’re going forward, you’re full of adrenaline. It’s really important. Can you imagine being forced to pull over and the justification is that, “Well, you’re too fast and they’re too slow.”
So unfortunately, because of this Henselmann ended up placing 74th, because of this. And she told the cycling news quote, “It was a bit sad for me because I was in a good mood. And when the bunch sees you stopping, they just get a new motivation to catch you. And we could see the ambulances of the men’s race, and I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and then it just kills your chances.” Unquote. So, I want to burn race officials who had no other way to handle this, the situation, but to penalize women’s cyclists because they’re too fast. So yeah, no, burn. Burn!
Brenda: So great.
Amira: So you might have seen that this week former Adidas Director of Global Sports Marketing, Jim Gatto, and the consultant Merl Code, and the sports business manager Christian Dawkins were all sentenced to prison for their role in corruption scandal. Which was essentially getting a little bit of money to some players for the first time ever. And so while the sentences are relatively lenient, six to nine months respectively. What I want to burn is the moral outrage, particularly of the NCAA. Obviously, we don’t have a Burn Pile without taking shamateurism to task. The NCAA, and the US attorney who prosecuted this who said quote, “These sentences begin to reflect the magnitude of harm that these defendants caused through a scheme that not only defrauded multiple public universities, but…” Oh, wait. “But upended the lives of young student athletes and corrupted a game cherished by so many.”
Jessica: Oh my gosh.
Amira: Like, magnitude of harm? What’s harmful is this system were schools and coaches and seemingly everybody profits, but the players who providing the labor. Harm is players being hungry, harm is people being killed, and nobody looking or caring or looking the other way. Harm is policing students who want to do a memorial fundraiser for a teammate that was killed by their football program, and then having to check and beg through the NCAA to see if that GoFundMe, if that Memorial Fund was legitimate. They have to get their stamp of approval, which is not the first time. Harm is selling at minimum $2,000 tickets to a Duke UNC game only for your star player 36 seconds in, to bust out of his mandated shoes that he has to wear because of these deals. In a league that he has to play in because they’re operating as a glorified farm system for the NBA.
Amira: That is harm. Harm is the entire system that values players when they are laboring for them and then discards them. That wants to control their bodies, their voices and their labor. Spare me your moral indignation. Burn that shit down. Burn!
Jessica: I should have gotten to go before that.
Shireen: No, your burn is good.
Brenda: Burn it, Jess. Burn it.
Shireen: Lovely, your burn.
Jessica: Thank you, Shireen.
Lindsay: It’s lovely!
Jessica: Okay. This is serious, serious. So this is a good old fashioned Burn Pile, but I wanted to send some love to the women’s soccer players at Grand Canyon University, because 12 current and former players have reported that their coaches have been verbally, mentally and physically abusive for the last two and a half years. GCU is a Christian University in Phoenix and it’s a D-1 athletics program. One player, in particular said that in August of 2016, she was forced to run and do squats and lunges for two miles, outdoors in triple digit temperatures eventually causing her to pass out. And she had to be revived in an ice bath to regain consciousness. Her memory of it is that she went black and woke up in the ice. According to the player the head coach had ordered the workout as punishment for a preseason loss.
The women want the coaches removed, but the school says that an internal investigation didn’t turn up enough to fire them and then they site support from most athletes as a reason for inaction. Which makes you wonder what percentage of athletes have to report their coaches for abuse before it’s enough to warrant action. The school is characterizing this as a financial shake down from the players. Which you might remember, it’s something that we have heard from Michigan state when it comes to Nasser. It’s all garbage it’s just normal, normal garbage. And yet another example of athlete’s reports of abuse being undermined by the very educational institutions that are supposed to support them. And I would like to burn that. Burn!
Brenda: After all that burning garbage, now let’s celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women in sport with our Badass Woman of the Week segment.
Brenda: There’s a whole bunch this week. Women been doing a lot.
Honorable mentions go to Egyptian squash player Nor El Sherbini, who won the World Championships in Chicago. The $1 million prize money is equally split between the male and female winners, and this is the biggest purse ever offered in squash, sponsored by the Walter family.
Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team-
Brenda: Which won the NCAA gymnastics championship with a 197.775, which is only point two points ahead of second place UCLA. Kyla Ross won the all around as well as the vault and the bars, and former Badass Woman over the Week, Katelyn Ohashi won the floor with a 10.0.
Okay, Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek of Germany won the gold at the world two-women’s Bobsled Championship at the Whistler Sliding center in British Columbia, Canada.
Brenda: Jamanka, of course, Canada, Jamanka is also the Olympic European and World Cup champion.
Former University of Connecticut Husky and women’s basketball legend [Rebecca Lobo is the first UConn player to have her number retired. Number 50 will hang in glory forever.
Lindsay: Who wrote that line?
Shireen: I love the Huskies.
Brenda: Congratulations to sports journalists Grace Chirumanzu who won sports Woman of the Year in Zimbabwe for her incredible feats as a karateka.
Canberra United Dynamo, Rafiloe Jane is the current vice captain of Banyana Banyana, the South African National Women’s football team and got her 100th cap at the Cyprus cup last week.
Chiquita Evans, the first woman drafted into the NBA 2K League.
Brenda: California senior Kristine Anigwe notched a massive 32 points and 30 rebounds-
Jessica: 30 rebounds.
Brenda: [crosstalk 00:45:58] A pause there sorry.
Brenda: 32 points and 30 rebounds.
Shireen: Tim Duncan levels of rebound.
Brenda: I think better than-
Shireen: Better than Tim.
Brenda: I don’t even know how there’s time for them. And becoming the first Division 1 player in 17 years to score at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in the same game.
Jessica Mendoza has been named by the Mets. [crowd cheers]
Lindsay: Tell us how you really feel.
Brenda: Mark’s Mets. Yeah, we are in New York, it’s not only Yankee New York. As a baseball advisor for the club. This is in addition to her role as an analyst for ESPN.
Sloane Martin will become the first woman to work as a play-by-play announcer for the boys State Hockey Tournament in Minnesota.
Lindsay: Can’t be easy to get into.
Brenda: And we’d like to also shout out the women’s soccer tournament winners this week the She Believes Cup, England Lionesses.
Amira: I mean.
Brenda: They’re laughing over my tears. She Believes Cup, yeah. Cup of Nations Australia Matildas. Algarve Cup Norway. Cyprus Cup North Korea.
Veronica Alvarez is the new coach with the Oakland A’s for spring training. She’s working with the teams minor league players as a special guest instructor.
And can I get a drum roll please?
Jessica: An actual drum roll. First one in 97 episodes.
Brenda: Can you come to our house every Sunday morning and this happens.
It is South Korea’s Sung HyunPark. She took the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship. Park made nine birdies on her way to her sixth LPGA Tour win. She is 25 years old. Incredible. Thank you.
Brenda: And for our final segment, what’s good in your world, Shireen?
Shireen: This! Yes!
Brenda: To wrap it up, Burn It All Down lives on SoundCloud, but can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Tune In. We appreciate your reviews and feedback, so please subscribe, rate, and let us know what we did well and how we can improve. You can find us on Facebook at Burn It All Down. On Twitter at Burn It All Down Pod, or on Instagram at Burn It All Down Pod trend. And you can email us at email@example.com. Check out our website www. [crosstalk 00:48:38]burnitalldownpod.com. It sticks with you. Where you’ll find previous episodes, transcripts and a link to our Patreon. On behalf of Shireen Ahmed, Amir Rose-Davis, Lindsay Gibbs, Jessica Luther and this fabulous New York City Columbia audience, keep burning on and not out.
Jessica: That went so smooth. We did it.