Episode 99: WWC 2023 Bid Process, Mental Health & the NBA, and Powerlifter Dr. Melissa Forbis

At the top of the show, Brenda, Shireen, and Lindsay talk about ESPN releasing the NCAA WBB bracket early and ruining the party- literally. [2:11] Then the crew talk about the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 bid process and some of the countries vying to host, and what is means for the future of women’s football. [7:37] Brenda chats with elite Powerlifter and Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Melissa Forbis about the sport, strength and feminism. [21:12] The women talk about Mental Health awareness and the NBA plus Adam Silver’s unnecessary and tone deaf commentary. [39:01]

Of course, you’ll hear the Burn Pile, [49:54] our Bad Ass Woman of the Week, starring the Canadian Tennis player Biana Andreescu, [57:01] and an extra long segment of what is good in our worlds. Because why not? [1:02:28]

For links and a transcript…


“FIFA receives record number of expressions of interest in hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup” https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/news/fifa-receives-record-number-of-expressions-of-interest-in-hosting-fifa-women-s-w

“Women’s World Cup: South and North Korea interested in hosting tournament” https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/19/football/fifa-womens-world-cup-2023-north-and-south-korea-spt-intl/index.html

“La FIFA confirma a Bolivia como candidata para organizar el mundial femenino de 2023” http://www.la-razon.com/marcas/mundian-femenino-bolivia-fifa_0_3113688643.html

Melissa Forbis’ instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lamaliciabkln/

“NBA commissioner Adam Silver on mental health of league: ‘A lot of players are unhappy'” https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-commissioner-adam-silver-on-mental-health-of-league-a-lot-of-players-are-unhappy/

“The NBA’s Age of Anxiety” https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/the-nbas-age-of-anxiety

“The courageous fight to fix the NBA’s mental health problem” http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/24382693/jackie-macmullan-kevin-love-paul-pierce-state-mental-health-nba

“Paris Saint-Germain condemn Patrice Evra’s ‘homophobic’ rant” https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/mar/19/psg-win-legal-battle-uefa-financial-fair-play-investigation

“UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s new floor routine: Viral star removes Michael Jackson music after ‘Leaving Neverland'” http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/26322939/ucla-gymnast-katelyn-ohashi-new-floor-routine-viral-star-removes-michael-jackson-music-leaving-neverland

“Buccaneers Add Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust as Full-Time Assistant Coaches” https://www.buccaneers.com/news/buccaneers-add-maral-javadifar-and-lori-locust-as-full-time-assistant-coaches

“Introducing Telegraph Women’s Sport: A new era of unprecedented coverage” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/womens-sport/2019/03/18/introducing-telegraph-womens-sport-new-era-unprecedented-coverage/

“Atletico v Barcelona Breaks Women’s Attendance Record” https://www.beinsports.com/us/soccer/news/atleti-v-barca-breaks-womens-attendance-recor/1142341

“Jessie Royer and Aliy Zirkle race through ‘whiteout snow globe’ to finish 3-4 in the Iditarod” https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2019/03/14/royer-and-zirkle-finish-3-4-in-the-iditarod/

“Minnesota Whitecaps win NWHL championship” https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/03/17/minnesota-whitecaps-win-nwhl-championship

“Poulin Wins Big at 2019 CWHL Awards Show” http://www.thecwhl.com/poulin-wins-big-at-2019-cwhl-award-show

“Bianca Andreescu ranked 24th in world after title victory at Indian Wells” https://www.cbc.ca/sports/tennis/bianca-andreescu-wta-ranking-1.5061126


Shireen: Welcome to this week’s episode of Burn It All Down, the feminist sports podcast you need. I’m Shireen Ahmed, freelance writer and sports activist in Toronto, Canada. On this week’s panel, we have the absolutely phenomenal and president of the feminist for Lionel Messi Fan Club, Dr. Brenda Elsey, undeniable genius and associate professor of history at Hofstra University. We have the indomitable and brilliant, plus my best cuddling companion, Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress in DC. Before we start, I would like to think our patrons for their generous support and to remind her new flame throwers about our Patreon campaign. You pledge a certain amount monthly as low as $2 and as high as you want to become an official patron of the podcast.

And in exchange for your monthly contribution, you get access to special rewards with the price of a latte a month, you can get access to extra segments of the podcast, a monthly newsletter, and an opportunity to record on the burn pile only available to those in our Patreon community. So far, we have been able to solidify proper funding for editing transcripts and a phenomenal social media guru, Shelby, but are hoping to reach our dream of hiring a producer to help us with the show. Burn It All Down is a labor of love and we all believe in this podcast.

But having a producer to help us as we grow would be amazing and we’re so grateful for your support. We have a bloody brilliant show for you this week. Starting off with a discussion on the Women’s World Cup 2023 bid. Brenda will talk to Dr. Melissa Forbis, champion power lifter and professor. And then, we’ll talk a little bit about the NBA and mental health. Well, let’s get at it.

So, it’s March madness, and we’re all excited. Everyone’s getting their brackets ready. I don’t get my brackets ready; I just pretend and then jump on the bandwagon that suits me, which is actually always UConn Huskies for women. There’s no bandwagon, pretty ambitious blind loyalty. For the men’s, I’m like whatever. Now, Lindsay, tell us about this ridiculous thing of ESPN leaking the bracket, the women’s bracket early.

Lindsay: Yeah. Monday is the selection show for the women and all day you’re building up to the moment at 7:00 PM. I think it was scheduled where the bracket is gonna be revealed, and it’s just every single year the teams gather around the TV’s together and wait to see if their name is going to pop up on the screen. And when it does, they cheer and hug and it’s just … it’s a big moment. It’s a big moment, especially for the players who don’t make the tournament often. But honestly, it’s just a moment that every single college basketball player dreams off. So, I was headed to Maryland to be there for their watch party cause I do some coverage of them for the athletic and up at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon where it starts coming over at Twitter that ESPNU, that channel was showing the women’s bracket.

What happened is they had a bracket reveal show for the men because the men’s bracket had come out the day before. So, they were doing an entire bracket breakdown, but what was happening is while these people were breaking down the men’s bracket, the women’s bracket was showing on the side of the screen.

Shireen: Oh my God.

Lindsay: It went on for, I’ve heard it as much as 20 minutes. I feel like it was as many as five at least. This wasn’t a flash on the screen and then immediately take off. It seems like somebody just completely crossed the wires. So, it was awful because once that’s out there, you have to report it if you’re a news reporter. That’s not like you’re going and digging through ESPNs archives. That’s on a national television show. It ended up that once the word got out that the bracket was out, ESPN released, moved up the selection show from 7:00 PM to 5:00 PM, but of course everyone had already planned their selection show parties for 7:00 PM so you can’t move them up that quickly.

It was chaos and it was sad. The big scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal of course, but these are like just kind of some stereotypical moments that people dream of and it was taken away and that’s sad.

Shireen: Brenda, it does talk about incompetency of ESPN here.

Brenda: Well, I have this whole sour feeling this year, which is I went to Michigan state, a huge fan of Michigan state athletics, had no idea about the horrors that were taking place while I was there. And honestly, I’m the worst person this year. I think they should all be home studying for make ups.

Lindsay: Oh, professor Elsey, I love it.

Brenda: I know I’m the worst person, but I just can’t help it anymore. I’m grading midterms and looking at these students and thinking, they are not real students, they are not able to have that experience and I know it’s like crappy on my part because it ruins everyone’s fun. I’m not invited to any parties anymore. So, no.

Lindsay: You’re not invite to parties. That’s my department. I invite you to my parties all the time.

Brenda: Exactly. I know. Nobody …

Shireen: I feel in your class, Brenda, I would probably be on academic probation. I feel like that would be the case. But that’s okay. I know Lindsay, what you’re saying about people planning their parties and people wanting to have a really good time and it’s part of the experience and I feel so gutted for those athletes who actually really deserve it. So, I really hope that they get it. It’s like a reveal. It’s like a fun thing that was taken away from them. What do we think ESPN can do to make it up to them? Can they give them all like, I don’t know, a case of something? Can they give them all?

Brenda: They’re not allowed to. [crosstalk]

Lindsay: They could give them money, but actually they can’t, which I will talk about later in the show. You know what? And that’s the thing is like there’s no coming back. People are comparing this to something that happened a few years ago where a CBS employee I believe purposely leaked the bracket for the men, but it was very close to the actual show when that happened, and it was kind of one rogue employee. Whereas, well, this is a mistake, it just seems …I think the reaction people are having is it just seems like the type of careless mistake that you would never really have for the men’s tournament.

I think that’s what’s sad and look, it comes from a situation where all these players are already feeling a little bit of disrespect. It’s not happening in a vacuum and so I think that compounds this also. But look, at the end of the day, it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but I was at on Monday.

Shireen: Let’s get started with the show. Brenda, can you take us through the women’s World Cup bid process and what’s different and what’s exciting in this one?

Brenda: Well, just as we’re getting excited for the 2019 World Cup this summer in France, there are strange things at foot around the 2023 Women’s World Cup. How could there not be? Anything that FIFA … when we were just talking on the show about the mistaken reveal, I was thinking to myself, oh my goodness, that could be so happen.

Lindsay: That would be a FIFA thing.

Brenda: That would be on brand. So, following the usual timeline, we would have already be waiting for the decision and expecting it before the event happens this summer. But FIFA has now announced that the decision won’t be made until next March, March of 2020, which is at least a year behind what has been happening. So, it’s a little bit concerning. There was also originally FIFA announced that the votes would not be declared publicly. Now they’re saying that they will be. Basically, who chooses the host is the 37-person council of FIFA, which is elected by the whole congress.

If you’re wondering about female representation on that council, at least one woman must be elected per confederation. So, as you’d guess, there’s exactly one woman representative for each confederation. So, that’s six, none of whom have a particularly high profile. And so, that is going to be interesting to see how that’ll play out in the decision. We have nine host countries or bids that have come forward. This is the most ever for a Women’s World Cup. But it’s also probably part of a situation where it doesn’t have so much to do with the host country’s interest in women’s football, but are prompting or hope for further development money if they do get the cup.

And we can talk about this, some of these countries have no developed women’s football at all. Like in the case of women.

Shireen: Wait a minute, are you saying there’s dis-ingenuity in women’s football?

Brenda: I’ll just list these then open it up to you guys. So, what I’ve got is Argentina, Australia, that’s the bid where they’ve been lobbying for a year and a half now. Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and a joint North South Korea bid. So, I’m going to throw it back to you both. Is there one of those countries and you feel like particularly excited about?

Shireen: Lindsay.

Lindsay: None of them are in my backyard. No, I would say, but I don’t really have, I would say a favorite here. What I would like is the country who will put the most of the funds that they receive to actually developing women’s football. And I would like to see some sort of promise and way to hold them accountable for that as opposed to what I would fear, which is getting these funds, getting all this attention and just you’re using it to grow men’s football in their countries. But look, I think that it’s certainly exciting to see … there’s been a lot of talk, and Brenda, I’d curious for you, we’ve got the Argentina is in the mix here, and they of course, just started, just sanctioned cause we talked last week their professional women’s team or women’s league.

I’m curious, it seems like that’s probably not a coincidence that they’re trying to prove that they take women’s football seriously. Of course, North and South Korea is fascinating. We talked so much of South Korea and North Korea politics surrounding the Olympics and that’s just hard. For me, it would seem like the favorites would be New Zealand and then … I don’t know, I’m torn here. I will say, I’m sorry. The most productive thing I have to say is at least they promised that nobody can have artificial turf for this World Cup.

Shireen: Yeah. I think what I’m just gonna pipe in here is that I feel a strong sense of accountability that people should deserve the World Cup. You’re not doing women’s football a favor by hosting. So, Brazil, you’re on this list, but I’m not feeling you, I’m really not feeling you in terms of deserving that’s just because your land has brought some of the most phenomenal footballers of all time. You don’t get to have this. I do have a lot. I see the way that the Australian, the AFF is, the Football Federation of Australia, I see how they’re hustling, I see in Ann Odong, I see that crew down there and they are hustling. These people want this World Cup and the momentum is building. There’s so much excitement around the Matildas like the players and the culture, like the photos coming from Australia, from their recent a cup of nations. There stadiums are filled. There are little boys with Sam Kerr Jerseys on.

I think that’s also key here because we’ve got to actually acknowledge that. Now, the other thing is, is that Bolivia, I don’t know how to say this, but they don’t strike me as being on, and don’t get me wrong, I really do think that the Women’s World Cup can help amplify women’s football in that area that is hosting. It definitely did so for Canada. There was already strong women’s football culture, soccer culture here anyway, but it just helped. But Bolivia, I don’t know. I don’t want Bolivian women’s soccer fans coming after me, but you’re just not in my peripheral vision at all. I don’t know. Bren, it’s your expertise.

Brenda: It’s a disaster. I don’t know how they can say that they have a national women’s league.

Shireen: Well, do they?

Brenda: That’s supposed to be a requirement, not necessarily a professional league. So, I think that’s how some places interpreted that rule was that it had to be a national league, but not necessarily professional, which has always been confusing. But that’s why Columbia explicitly started their league two years ago was to try to put the bid in for this cup. And since then, we’ve seen the head of the federation charged with sexual harassment. We’ve seen the league fall apart. We’ve seen players that are in under 19 situations accusing the coaches, assistant coaches of sexual assault. They would have to really clean house to even convince me. So, I would say Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, it makes me so sad because there’s never been a Women’s World Cup in South America nor in Africa.

And so, obviously I’d love that. Brazil already has all of the infrastructure to do it and so does Argentina because they’ve hosted the men’s World Cup.

Shireen: And so does South Africa.

Brenda: South Africa, personally would my favorite. I’ll say that because I would love to see it in effort. I would just love to see African get it, but then again, what confederation doesn’t have a ton of graft. As soon as I say the word, the African confederation, then I go, “Oh God.”

Shireen: Yeah, to my mind, even the high achieving Nigerian Women federation didn’t pay their players. So, if we’re going to talk about do they deserve it? The federations are all completely fucked up. But the players deserve it, the fans deserve it. But then that’s where we run into this stupid political process ’cause that’s what it is.

Lindsay: And then it’s like, you wanna reward the fans, you wanna reward the players, you wanna reward the culture, but you don’t wanna reward the corruption. And you can’t do one without the other and that’s really difficult. One question, we’re not really talking about Japan, which is of course, a team that’s actually won the World Cup. What are our thoughts about Japan?

Shireen: I love Japan. I love everything Japan does and not just because of the Homare Sawa. No, it’s a lot because of her. I think that they are strong contenders. I don’t know if they have the infrastructure as such to be able to do it, but I’m not sure what it required building. I think that, for me, this is a prediction. I think Japan, South Africa and Australia will be the front runners here. Those are my predictions. I would love to go to Japan like I would love to go, and for this, that would be really exciting. I’m super intrigued by North Korea, South Korea joint bed. I just don’t want to see Dennis Rodman anywhere there. I just …

Lindsay: That’s fair. I wake up every day hoping to not see Dennis Rodman anywhere.

Shireen: The political scientist in me is so interested in north and South Korea as a joint bid because we’ve seen, when the PyeongChang Olympics me saw joint teams, we saw things happening, collaborations between the athletes reaching out. So, for the betterment of women’s football, if that’s what it takes for them, I would be really interested. I would super go to North Korea. I would try my best to go. I’m feeling like I would get my VISA rejected, but I’m just saying I would try.

Lindsay: Do we think, obviously there’s a lot to be skeptical about here, and we’re good at talking about that, but is it a good thing that this kind of record, number of bidders like it seems, am I being naive and thinking like that’s a good sign, I’m excited about that? Am I being naive?

Shireen: Okay. I’m gonna let Brenda go first. Bren.

Lindsay: Okay.

Brenda: No. Because look, as soon as the country, I’m kidding, as soon the country, I’m half kidding. Because as soon as the country’s bid, what happened, and this is something to be excited about, is that you can go in the local media of Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, and it immediately like prompts attention in and of itself. I do think that’s cool and look, my heart would be full if it goes to South America. I would also be very nervous just because of the terrible things that happen just on the daily there in women’s football. But yeah, I think that in and of itself lends, I think does generate some positive coverage of the women’s teams in those spaces.

Shireen: Yeah, I agree with Brenda 100%. I love this question that my instinct is to be half glass full and to say, “Hey, well, let’s starts discussion.” It can have Bolivian fans going, “Hey, we’re bidding for the World Cup.” Wait a minute. Women play football like so it can even be as basic as that. It can be as conversation starting up. And to be very honest with you, the 2015 Women’s World Cup, I couldn’t find a Louisa Necib jersey anywhere. I couldn’t find one. So, even the host country now, four years ago, didn’t have readily available kits with their own national team players. So, it’s not like we can look and say, “Well, France is so ahead of everyone.” No, they’re are not. Where they are now is vastly different from where they were five years ago.

It’s a process. And I did desperately try to look for the Louisa Necib jersey. I just simply couldn’t find one. I went to Brazil and couldn’t find a Marta Jersey. There’s all these things. I can’t even name a Bolivian national park at the moment, so I need to work on that. But also, as someone who writes about it, I’m like, oh, this is really interesting. I would really like to be able to have that opportunity to research, and for those reasons, it could be interesting stories. But on the whole, I’m gonna say it’s positive that there’s a lot of bid cause that means there’s more hustle and bustle and discussion about it. But Brenda, I’ll throw it to you for last word on this.

Brenda: Yeah. I mean it’ll be interesting to see how this all rolls out. I will be waiting. I think it’s frustrating that it’s another year before we have a decision. So, ultimately, I’m super pissed off at that. We already know the 2026 hosts of the men’s game.

Lindsay: Unfortunately.

Brenda: Yes. So, I feel deeply, yeah, frustrated by that. I think that part of what your point Shireen about France evolving over the last years is a really, really good one. But they need the time to do that. So, by announcing it in March, 2020 you’re giving them three years instead of five. And for whatever country that is, it’s going to be sort of short changing that process and not having the development money coming in over those years and things like that. But anyway, we’ll stay focused on this summer for now and keep our eyes on what happens until April 16th, which is the deadline for the bidders really getting serious.

Shireen: Next, we have Brenda interviewing master power lifter, an anthropologist of sport. Dr. Melissa Forbis, who’s preparing to compete in the IPF, International Powerlifting Federation World’s Competition in June.

Brenda: I’m so excited to be chatting today with Doctor Melissa Forbis. She’s a cultural anthropologist, activist and elite Masters powerlifter. Currently a visiting scholar at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University. Dr Forbis has published on gender indigenous rights and the Zapatista movement and state violence. Her writings have appeared in the U.S. in Mexico and in Chile. Her decades long community work spans issues such as sexual violence, immigrant rights, and prison abolition. But today, she’s here to talk to us about powerlifting. She’s working on a new edited volume that I just want to throw out there for those of you who might be working on such topics. It’s called “Physically Feminist, Strength Sports as Insurgent Practice” that she has co-editing with Dr. Katie Rose Hejtmanek and Dr. Noelle Brigden.

So, those of you who are interested in contributing or following along, you can find Melissa Forbis @lamaliciabkln on Instagram. We’ll put it in the show notes and on Twitter @mm_forbis. That’s a long introduction that is well deserved. How are you Melissa?

Melissa: I’m great. It’s great to be talking with you.

Brenda: Well, thanks for coming on Burn It All Down. I wanted to start by just asking you how you came to powerlifting.

Melissa: So, I of course know you Brenda through soccer. Soccer has been a passion of mine. I played it since I was a little kid, played it at pretty high levels, and I’d always looked at weights for soccer. So, I’d like to stay strong for soccer and was still playing pickup games with this left wing football group and kept getting injured. Also, was lifting in a gym environment that was sort of mostly men and they were very hostile to women’s presence. A friend said, “Why don’t you come with me to this other gym? It’s just all weight lifting women and men, LGBT people and racially diverse.

So, I went there and started training and these powerlifts, and they said to me, “Hey, why don’t you learn the correct form and do powerlifting?” I’m like, “Okay.” And then, a few months into it they said, “Well, most of us here compete and why don’t you just compete?” I was like, “No, I’m not good enough.” The attitude was, “No, you don’t need to be good enough. It’s really fun. Let’s just do it.” So, I did my first meet in December, 2013, and just loved it, got really hooked. Mostly because the atmosphere of the other women who were competitors, everyone was cheering each other on. People who were going head-to-head were just cheering each other on helping each other and it seems like such a different kind of competitive sports environment.

‘Cause I was ready to give up regular sort of league soccer because people still yelled at each other even though we weren’t winning anything. And this just seemed like a thing. It also coincided at a time for me, sort of a hard lifetime and I’ve found that being in the gym and focusing on strength and these lifts was actually a really nice kind of way to get away from work and life stress and just focus on me and strength. So, that’s how I got hooked.

Brenda: Since you’ve been hooked, have you noticed the numbers of women increasing? Have you gotten more involved in the competitive aspect?

Melissa: It’s fascinating to me, and I think I really got into it, even though I had been lifting weights since I was a teenager. I got into the sport right at a sort of the point of transformation because there were a lot of women lifting, and I’m a master’s lifter, so that’s over 40 and there are different age groups after that when it really started to get popular. Part of it’s from crossfit getting popular and then people actually wanting to lift weights more competitively and seriously. Yeah, it just expanded from there. So, the first national meet I went to after local meets was massive, and it’s just gotten bigger since then.

My Federation, which is USA Powerlifting, has grown to being somewhere between a third and a half women of 22,000 members, which is small. It’s a niche sport, but the number of women has really grown just incredibly across all like age and weight class divisions.

Brenda: And you’re competing in New York City, right?

Melissa: So, I actually compete internationally. I started locally and then did national meets. And in 2016, I was an alter for the national team. 2017, I won the national championship. 2016, so I was on the world team and went to actually compete for the U.S. in Minsk, Belarus and I won gold in the squat and silver overall. And then this year I will be going as part of the US national team to Sweden, to Helsingborg, Sweden and competing again.

Brenda: Congratulations. And you also referee. What is the role of the referee compared to soccer? For those of us who are coming in it into this conversation with more soccer knowledge, what is that like?

Melissa: It’s interesting because I think I have gotten sucked into it. I became a club coach and I became a referee. And one of the things about being a referee I think is really useful for lifters is you’re giving back to the sport because it is kind of a volunteer thing, but it really sharpens you as a lifter because you’re looking for the lifters to do all of the commands that you give them. They have to do it correctly. They have to say on the squat where you have the bar on your back, and you step back, and you squat down just below parallel. So, you’re making sure that the bench press touches the chest and then presses up, and the arms are locked out or in the deadlift. You’re locking out sort of knees and shoulders.

I think it’s really different because you’re looking at individual performance, and you also have to look at the different biomechanics of all these different kinds of bodies. I don’t know, it’s a lot to look at, and it’s also, I think like soccer, it’s also very, very fast because you get one lifter after another, and you’re sitting there in a chair like watching one thing after another. But it does, I think knowing the rules definitely makes you a better lifter, and I think refereeing makes you a better lifter.

Brenda: So, in the last couple of years at least it’s come to international intention, the role of transgendered athletes in powerlifting. Can you give us a little bit of a sense of what those conversations and tensions have been like?

Melissa: I think this is all something that is really developing as we speak, so I can speak to it a little, which is that there has been a policy prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in the US in drug tested federations. So, I’m part of a drug tested federation because of the use of hormone replacement therapy and other things that lifters may take, but they may not. And I think a lot of trans athletes were competing at local levels, but recently, there was a case of a trans woman in Minnesota who won and came out as trans, and the federation sort of double down on its policy of prohibiting trans lifters. Part of it is a confusion of whether being trans gives you a performance advantage and that obviously the IOC guidelines, the NCAA guidelines, which allow trans athletes.

I think there’s a lot of resistance to accepting those because of this idea of drug testing and not giving therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone for trans men or in the case of trans women it would actually be to reduce androgen. So, it’s a very interesting way of these things conflated. I personally think it’s a lot of underlying both ignorance. I was talking to a friend about this and how suddenly when we talk about trans Athletes, people who’ve only taken biology in high school like 20 years ago are experts in the highest level biology around sports and hormones and other issues and just sort of transphobia. So, a lot of excuses that are actually trying to hide transphobia.

For me, I think there’s no reason why a policy can’t be crafted that would allow trans athletes to compete because we don’t see anything that points to performative advantage. I think exclusion makes no sense. And the other thing that actually for me as a woman in sports and soccer and also sort of elite powerlifting now, one of the things that is very upsetting to me is the way that within the organizing around this, so there have been petitions, there may be a policy change proposed, at least in my federation, not in the other federations that are drug tested, but in mine, this May, there will be some proposals to change this, that it’s mostly been men who are the most outspoken for prohibiting trans women and wanting to do this in the name of saving women’s sports for women, which I just find ironic because these are mostly people who could care less about women’s sports. I’ll just say that.

But are suddenly now up in arms trying to save sports for us. We’re talking about also a very small number of trans women who would be competing. And I’m quite open, personally, I compete internationally, and I’m open to competing against trans women in these circumstances, following IOC guidelines or other guidelines and it’s sort of astounding that they want to save us, and we’re saying, “Well, maybe let’ see how this goes.” I have like a list of 30 things they could do first. Like how about gender pay equity so that we can afford this? How about childcare at meets? How about more women in leadership? Go watch the women’s soccer game, go watch the women’s basketball games.

Brenda: Where are they proposing that trans women lift then if they can’t lift with women?

Melissa: They’re proposing that they don’t, or at least not in a drug tested federation, but in a non-drug-tested federation, many of the people are using performance enhancing drugs. So, for trans athletes who don’t want to use those substances, it wouldn’t be any kind of fair competition. I think these things are evolving, but mostly it’s this idea that somehow being a trans athlete who does use hormone replacement therapy or other kinds of medications, that they’re doping. This to me is the part of the problem is rather than seeing it as within a medical condition that you can get a therapeutic use exemption like you can for the Olympics, it’s a medically necessary tool for your health and wellbeing, mental and physical, that they’re seeing it as doping, which is cheating and hiding to gain advantage.

And so, trans athletes are being very open and honest about who they are. It makes no sense to me logically, but I think also this is the thing with women you know and other people of color, other folks coming into powerlifting in greater numbers is that it’s facing a culture that was very traditionally masculine and confronting an entrenched culture that may not, either understand in the best of cases, or I’m in the worst welcome that kind of diversity in the sport, and I do say may not understand because I think there are generally some people who are open, but really don’t have the resources or tools to be able to understand what this is about.

And then there are others who are just really not interested in anyone other than men really taking up space. I will say that the reason I started lifting in my federation is because it did seem very open to all sorts of people.

Brenda: What do you think, is there a generational shift that’s happening? Is it more in the master’s division that you see that entrenchment or?

Melissa: Well, that’s interesting because so as a master’s lifter and along with some other Masters lifters I know is, I don’t think it’s generational in terms of age as much as generational maybe in terms of the sport. So, like who’s been in the sport for a very, very long time versus who is newer and coming into it, as well as, like I said, there’s just some underlying … what we find all across the world it’s either transphobia or sexism or race. There are those kinds of attitudes that exist as well. But I think generationally, in terms of the sport, who started these federations developed it and what their ideas of it are. And now, that’s all kind of breaking open because other people are seeing …

Especially I would say for a lot of women, women of color, strength sports as … facing the contemporary moment that we’re in, in terms of a lot of repression and hostility and violence that getting strong and we see self defense classes becoming more popular. Getting strong both physically and mentally because I do think powerlifting, it makes you mentally strong. When I have over two times my body weight on my back and I’m needing to squat down below parallel, it’s a feed of mental strength for my mind to say like, “You’ve got this, just do it.” I think those are things that people need really to confront the world we’re in right now.

Brenda: Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming competition in Sweden and how we can follow?

Melissa: Yeah. So, it’s the IPF, International Powerlifting Federation. It’s classic worlds, and that means I don’t use equipment other than a belt and knee sleeves, not the big suits like people do. And if you go to the IPF International Powerlifting Site, they’d have a livestream, and USA Powerlifting will also have a live stream of worlds. That’s in June. June 4th to 15th. So, I’m early on because they’ve put the masters early on and then it’s the juniors and then the open, which is not actually age limited, but anyone who qualifies as an open lifter, like you’re the top elite lifters, period, is in the open. Yeah, that’s how you could follow it.

Brenda: Is there a particular team that you usually feel like poses a big challenge?

Melissa: The US. I do. Two years ago, master’s women across the board we won all of our master’s one to the different master’s division. The master’s women from the U.S. one the team trophies and the men have as well. And then, with the open, it’s a little more mixed. The U.S. has some amazing lifters who win, but people from Australia, Great Britain, Russia, the Scandinavian countries, there are South African lifters, Indian lifters, Canadian lifters, these Ecuadorian women who I’ve seen, Brazilian women, yeah, it really depends. It’s interesting on the weight class, different matchups I think you’ll see different things also with the men’s and women’s teams of who brings different people.

U.S., at least in terms of master’s women does pretty good job. I think with my nominations right now, but with my master’s group this time. There’s a Hungarian woman who’s really strong and a Canadian woman who’s really strong. And maybe some others who I don’t even know about. It’s actually kind of amazing to me because … so for me, in terms of being a master’s lifter, because people often just think about these things in terms of younger people being strong, it’s not necessarily that you can’t get really strong when you’re older, even if you start when you’re older. I actually, two years ago, qualified to lift in the Open, even though I’m a master’s two lifter, I qualify to lift as an Open lifter. Definitely, I’ve talked to some women when I’ve been refereeing, and they’re watching their high school children, and I say to them like, “Oh well why don’t you get into this?” And they’re like, “I never could at my age.”

I always say to them, “But I’m your age. Come on.” Even just on a basic level of you don’t have to compete, but when I’ve gotten bone density scans, my DEXA scans, my bone density is 2.1 times women my age and 1.3 times women in their 20s. So, I’m a proselytizer on that.

Brenda: Well done, Melissa Forbis. I’d like to thank you for being on Burn It All Down, and we’ll be following you this summer at the Worlds.

Melissa: Thank you so much and I love you all and your podcast and I always make my students listen to you. So, thank you so much for being there.

Brenda: Thank you.

Shireen: Up next, we’re going to have a little discussion about mental health in the NBA. Linz, can you take us through this please?

Lindsay: Yeah. Okay, so last month at the Sloan Conference, MIT Sloan sports analytics conference to be specific because we like to be specific here, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, I had a conversation with Bill Simmons of the Ringer formerly of ESPN and that conversation, Adam Silver said that what surprises him about NBA players these days is that when he meets with them, they’re truly unhappy. He just said, a lot of these men are generally unhappy. And he said, he doesn’t think it’s so much just the pressure and the stress of their jobs, which seemed cushy to a lot of us, and obviously they’re playing a game, but look, there’s a lot of stress involved with it and there’s a lot of attention and there’s a big spotlight and it would get to you. It would get to me. But Adam Silver said, “I think it’s less calculated than a lot of people think. The reality is that most don’t want to play together. There’s enormous jealousy among our players.”

He also said, “If you’re around a team in this day and age, they’re always headphones on. The players are isolated and they have their heads down.” I think that there’s a lot of ways that we can take this conversation. Talking more about mental health is always great thing to do. A lot of the WNBA players, Imani McGee-Stafford, who we’ve had on this very podcast have led the way in discussing the fact that they have depression, they have anxiety, that there are mental illnesses in being a professional athlete, that these things are not mutually exclusive. And obviously in the NBA, Kevin Love has spoken up. He’s been really out front. Recently, Trey Young.

I want to honor that discussion and I want you guys to weigh in on that part of it. But there’s another part of me that feels a little bit like millennial shaming. Like, oh these kids always on their devices, they’re so unhappy type thing. And I wonder, I have a hard time believing that phones and social media generally are leading to more instances of mental illness. I just think we’re talking about mental health in general more than we were 20, 30 years ago. That’s kind of where I come down on that. Did you guys get the same impression about the conversation or do you think that maybe Adam Silver’s completely right.

Shireen: Bren.

Brenda: I work with that age group day in and day out and I usually find when you start to classify younger generations as having x problem, you’re immediately awful. I don’t want to be that person that says, oh look what the youngsters … what’s wrong with … The kids are all right, but I do think that the intense social media presence in their lives is anxiety provoking and not just for them, but for older people as well. I do think it’s isolating to a certain extent. I do think it might inhibit. I think it gives you an out in a social situation and it makes it difficult for you to integrate into a group that you don’t know. So, I could see that in a locker room. I certainly see it in a classroom where if a student is a little bit nervous, they get to class early. Maybe 10 years ago they would have struck up a conversation and now it’s like immediately revert to phone.

Shireen: I feel like I’ll be the defender of the mobile device in the sense of there was just a lot of rhetoric, and I’ll tie this back into the NBA players and athletes. But people saying, “Well, go outside, you’re avoiding nature.” I’m one of those people that when I struggled very heavily with my own mental health, my phone is where I went for support because a lot of my friends were online. And if I was in a situation where I couldn’t talk to somebody about it, that support was from my phone. I hadn’t even met Lindsay until before March 8th of this year. March 6th is the Lindsey and I first cuddled. You’d think that staggering, like we’ve been through 90 plus shows, but I hadn’t met her. So, through my phone is how I access friends. That’s how it is. So, maybe someone’s support is on there.

And I always get back particularly with mental health to the idea of you don’t know what someone else is going through. And this happened very specifically in August when there was a big piece … not in August, I believe it was before that. Demar DeRozen who was at the Raptors talked about his mental health and everybody was like in a frenzy. There’s this really insightful piece. I can’t remember who wrote it, I think it was Jackie McMullan talked about the mental health issue. And in that, DeRozen had said that money isn’t everything. So, the struggles you have coming with you before, don’t get an operator or eviscerated because you have money now. And the response that he often gets is, “Well you’ve got money, you shouldn’t have problems.” And remember what Becky said, “More money, more problems.” So, it’s not that simple.

It’s really not that simple. You see, Demar DeRozen was very often on his headphones and on his phone. He was coming in, and maybe he’s getting support from somewhere. Maybe he was getting … as he came into the Scotiabank Center, maybe he was getting support. We don’t know. So, it’s easy for Adam Silver to sit there and opine about the kids are unhappy. Like Adam Silver doesn’t know shit about shit. So, I’m not gonna defer to his comments on mental health of all things. I barely deferred to his comments on basketball. I don’t feel like that’s doing that, and it’s in a way of us taking away those opportunities. Yes, I agree, social settings, but then we let the coach, and the teammates build on that.

Does it show on the court? Do they look like they have chemistry on the court? Do they feel happy in that space? So, they want to be on their phones for a little bit, let them be on their phones. When it matters, do they do what needs to be done? Are they connecting with their teammates? Are they happy? Let’s let’s look at that. I don’t know. Those are just some of my thoughts. Lin.

Lindsay: I think that there’s two separate discussions here. Which is why I had a problem with conflating the two really. I think we need to remove the stigma around mental health in society and especially among men, and particularly black men. The stigma increases when you get into the marginalized communities. I’ve heard a lot of … that’s not me saying this. I’ve read the studies. I think that is such an important part of this. You don’t want to shame people. You don’t want to make it, “So, well, if you just weren’t on your phone all day, you wouldn’t be depressed.” Or, “Well, if you just opened up, if you just talked to this one person, you wouldn’t be depressed.” You don’t want to make it seem like it’s as simple as putting your phone down.

“Cause it’s not. That’s not what mental health is. Now, if you’re talking about team building and camaraderie. Of course, there can be some intersectionality here, but then yeah, I can see how being on your phones all day seeking all your validation from the outside world and isolating herself could be tough on that. In that case, I’m all for teams, and coaches in particular, hello coaches, you’re the leaders, figuring out ways to step beyond that. I know that coach Pop, the only part of the patriarchy that we like here at Burn It All Down.

Shireen: Yeah, Pop, my president. Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah, he has team dinners where everyone’s off their phone. Everyone’s not allowed to be on their phone. There has to be some sort of team building and camaraderie. And I am all for coaches and for players pushing that forward. You want to be close to your teammates. It’s important. Same time, this is a business, you don’t know who to trust. It’s so complicated. I just want to say that my fear about comments about Adam silver really tying mental health so closely to the millennial generation and social media devices is it, it’s not talking about the overall problem, which is get therapy, seek medication if that something you’re interested into. Finding people, finding ways to cope so that you can become a better person and taking away that stigma so that you can talk about it.

And guess what, sometimes when you’re feeling anxiety as Shireen said or when you’re feeling deep depression, the last thing you want and the last thing that’s helpful is to be forced into social situations. You need that alone time. You need that solace. I think my problem with this was the conflating of the two and I felt like it took the conversation a step backwards.

Shireen: Bren.

Brenda: I agree. I also think one of the questions that you raised in the beginning, Lindsay, was about, are we just talking more about mental health or is this becoming a particularly more pronounced trend? Actually, I think both of those things might be true without conflating the two issues. I think they both may be happening. That doesn’t mean that they’re caused, that there’s a causal relationship. That the social environment and the cell phone stuff is causing or … do you know what I’m saying? But I think we might be seeing both and I think that we should see it as a positive thing if we’re having more discussion. Frequently, people will say that more and more at universities we’re seeing needs of mental health services. You do get occasionally people criticizing that and it’s really wrong.

I think you’re right, it does contribute to kind of larger shaming that takes place and it does take us backwards. So, I concur on all that.

Shireen: Now, for our favorite segment of the show, the burn pile. Lindsay, what do you have to burn?

Lindsay: I don’t know if you all saw this, this week, but in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Tom Izzo got incredibly bad at his freshman forward, Aaron Henry, and he shook his finger in Henry’s face. His teammates had actively restrain him. And even to the point where in the huddle when Tom Izzo was sitting down, he got back up and went after Henry. There is one thing I think coaches absolutely have the right to raise their voices at their players mid game and get intense and all of that. But I feel like what Izzo was doing was just on another level, and it brought back all these conversations about bullying in sports and toxic masculinity and this, let’s face it, unequal balance of power that exist when your coach is making millions of dollars, and the coach happens to be a white man and the players, young black men are making absolutely nothing.

The conversation around this was absolutely absurd. At first, people got mad, but then there was a backlash at players and analysts and coaches calling anyone who got mad about this soft, maybe a snowflake and saying, this is just what coaching is. But I don’t think that that’s true. I think that you could absolutely coach in intense situations without belittling and physically going after your players. If you can’t, then you’re not a good coach. You’re a bully, and a good coach and a bully or not the same thing. Maybe I’m soft, I get that. But guess what? That’s okay. Maybe we all need to be a little bit more softer when sports come into play because this was just ridiculous. I thought it was very interesting on a T&T panel about this, the two people who didn’t like this were Candace Parker, and honestly I’m forgetting the name of the other male player who was beside her, but that’s okay cause Candace Parker is the most important.

They were saying, “Look, we had tough coaches, they never wagged a finger in our face.” Well, I’m actually just gonna focus on this for the burn pile. Let’s just throw finger wagging Tom Izzo and those who enable coaches who bully and demean their players onto the burn pile.

Shireen: Burn.

Brenda: Burn.

Shireen: I’m going to go next and this week I’m actually going to burn Patrice Evra’s homophobic comments. Just a content warning for anybody out there because this is pretty jarring. Yes, this is the same Patrice Evra who was racially abused by Luis Suarez who everybody knows I cannot stand, but when the world sort of rallied around Patrice Evra when he came forward with what Luis Suarez had said to him, but what ends up happening here is that, fast forward, and Patrice Evra, who was defending Manchester in a recent match against Paris, he basically used the F word and the homophobic slur aimed at the Paris Saint-Germain fans. The PSG club has spoken up about it and said it was unacceptable and PSD had actually lost to Manchester and it was sort of like he said it was a misunderstanding.

So, this was his reply, it was a misunderstanding. But in a strongly worded statement, PSG had said, “Paris Saint-Germain condemns Patrice Evra’s homophobic insults aimed at the club, its representatives and its former players in a video released yesterday. These remarks have profoundly shocked the club, which is particularly committed to the values and respect and inclusiveness.” And that’s really, really, really important for them to do that. And this is also Patrice Evra, who was condescending in the way that he clapped while Eni Aluko was commentating.

He famously clap for her after she said something really brilliant and astute because that’s what she is and her punditry. I think it was really disappointing in that way for him to do that. And also, his reaction and a lot of the reaction online from various clubs, including fair like organizations, was that his lack of accountability of what he said was very, very disappointing. So, instead of saying, “No, I screwed up, I’d like to do better.” He is like, “No, it was a misunderstanding. I didn’t mean it that way.” Well, this whole thing of, it’s not what I meant or this doesn’t reflect who I am, It actually reflects exactly who you are. So Patrice Evra, I’m metaphorically burning you because that was disgusting. Burn.

Lindsay: Burn.

Shireen: Brenda.

Brenda: Keeping in on the disgusting track. This week Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro visited the White House. The far right and quite corrupt president, the one from Brazil said, in his remarks, that Brazil and the US are joined “In their effort to ensure liberties and respect to traditional family lifestyles, respect to God, our creator against the gender ideology or the politically correct attitudes and against fake news.” Bolsonaro has targeted LGBTQ community since coming into office and feels as though president Trump really is his ideological compatriot.

And at that point, President Trump nods along to this sort of stuff and knowing that these are all code words, politically correct is like, I can’t say the racist shit I want to anymore. So, there’s translations for those types of things that are clear. At that point, Trump’s nodding along and he gives Bolsonaro a U.S. men’s National Soccer Jersey with his name on the back saying he was honored to present him. So, Trump’s got this national men’s Jersey number 19, hands it to Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro then digs up his own Brazilian shirt and he says to Trump, “Well, I’m giving you this as a reflection of number 10, worn by Pele, the most talented soccer player ever.

So, to see Bolsonaro invoke an Afro-Brazilian player, all the while that they’ve got the death of Marielle Franco, which has never been properly investigated while they’ve targeted clearly black citizens in Favelas is just stomach turning. So, I want it to burn the jersey, the shirt exchange of Trump and Bolsonaro. I understand that soccer can’t be removed from politics, but I’d love if these two politicians be removed from soccer. So, burn.

Shireen: Burn.

Lindsay: Burn.

Shireen: And now it’s time to amplify some amazing people in sport.

I want to start this segment by recognizing and congratulating the NWHL champions for 2019, the Minnesota Whitecaps, two-one in overtime against the Buffalo Beauts. What an incredible game it was last week. Just want to congratulate the Whitecaps franchise, the players, the community, the family. It was an incredible win.

Also, I want to shout out Hayley Scamurra of the Buffalo Beauts for being named the 2019 NWHL scoring champion. Jillian Dempsey of the Boston Pride for winning the 2019 Denna Laing Award, and Jonna Curtis of the Minnesota Whitecaps for being named the 2019 newcomer of the year. Congratulations to everybody. What an incredible NWHL season that was, it’s been so thrilling.

I also want to shout out the CCWH awards for last night. Today is the final of the Clarkson Cup played by the Canadiennes of Montreal and the Calgary Inferno.

So, last night at the CCWH Awards rookie of the year to Victoria Bach from Markham Thunder, coach of the year, Jim Jackson also Markham Thunder, goal tender of the year, Alex Rigsby of the Calgary Inferno. The Jayna Hefford Trophy Went to Marie-Philip Poulin of Les Canadiennes, my prime minister, and this is an incredible award because it’s actually voted on by other players. So, it’s really, really beautiful. The CWHL MVP award also went to Marie-Philip Poulin and this is the third year that she has won both the Jayna Hefford and the CWHL MVP: 2016, 2017 and now 2018 so that was really, really incredible. Congratulations to all this phenomenal hockey players. And we can’t wait to watch the Clarkson Cup final, which will be aired on Sportsnet. It’ll be available on cwhl.com, and there’s other ways to watch it.

So, our honorable mentions first bon courage to Anna Kessel, the first ever editor of the women’s Sport, the Telegraph in the UK. So, Anna is seeking to amplify and cover women’s sports with a team that includes track superstar Dina Asher-Smith, tennis matriarch, Jules Marie, Arsenal footballer Jordan Nobbs, rugby star Maggie Alphonsi, sports journalists, Vicki Hodges, and football reporter, Katy Wyatt, as well as sports journalists, Katie Rowan. So, we’re looking forward to their incredible coverage.

I would like to say congratulations to Barcelona Femeni and Atletico Madrid Feminino for drawing a crowd of over 60,000 for what’s widely known as a women’s El Classico last weekend.

Now, this is really fun. The Iditarod happened earlier in the month and just want to say congratulations to Two Rivers Musher, and for those that don’t know, a musher is someone who drives a dog slide. She has Aliy Zirkle has been racing near the front of the pack in this year’s race and she’s completed the Iditarod 18 times. She finished second place, three straight times and was followed by three consecutive top 10 finishes. She has the best race record amongst women competing in the Iditarod, so just wanted to shout that out.

Also, wanted to shut out the India Women’s National Football team for winning the South Asian Football Federation Women’s Cup. They beat Nepal three-one in the final. The entire match is on youtube if anyone wants to go see.

Katelyn Ohashi, the UCLA gymnast who went viral with her Michael Jackson’s floor routine completely changed routine and the wake of the documentary about Jackson’s sexual abuse leaving Neverland. She debut the new routine at the PAC-12 Championship this weekend and then included music from all female artists, Tina Turner, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and of course, she scored a perfect 10.

Also, I want to shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have hired two full time female assistant coaches, Maral Javadifar, an assistant strength and conditioning coach, and Lori Locust as assistant defensive line coach. We love seeing that. Yay, for the Buccaneers.

Now, may I get a drum roll please? I was gonna ask for it again cause I’m like, on the bar that was like a two. Okay.

Lindsay: It was real bad.

Shireen: That was bad. But that’s okay. I would like to award this year’s Badass woman of the week to Canadian and Mississauga native, Bianca Andreescu for being got undressed scoop for being the youngest winner of Indian Wells. She won last week in a stunning, stunning victory, actually promoting her to 24th in the world rankings. And we just found out again, she beat Angelique Kerber I think yesterday too, when again, and she’s just absolutely shining. Her star is rising. We’re so excited about this. So, congratulations to Bianca Andreescu.

Now, tell me what’s good. Lindsey, tell me what’s good.

Lindsay: Okay. What’s good for me right now is the new show on Hulu, Shrill, which is based off the book by Lindy West and stars, Aidy Bryant from SNL. I have not gotten this much joy out of a show, perhaps ever to the point where I’m literally four episodes in. I know there are only six episodes, and I don’t want to watch the last two because I don’t want it to be over. So, I’m saving them. I think everyone should watch this show. I think it’s got universal themes that everyone can relate to about finding your voice and fighting for yourself. But look, let me be honest, especially if you are an overweight woman, I think this show will mean a lot to you.

I have never seen anything like this on screen that I could relate to in this way. I wish that I had seen something like this on screen when I was a teenager, but honestly, the 32-year-old me needs this just as badly. I already know I’m gonna watch it multiple times. I’ve already cried multiple times. I’ve laughed multiple times. It is so smart, so, so good and it just really, honestly means a lot to me. I don’t want to get too emotional. But yeah, everyone should go watch it. It’s really made my life.

Shireen: That’s beautiful, Lindsay.

Lindsay: It’s called Shrill, Brenda.

Shireen: What’s good for me is that I’m prepping this week to go to the conference which is of the International Association of Communication and sport in Boise, Idaho. So, I will be going to Boise on Friday. My keynote is on Saturday, but Dave Zirin will actually be speaking on Friday night, so I’m going to catch a little bit of that. I’m also excited to meet up with my friend, [Molly Hannity 01:04:16]. She’s a professor, and we’ll probably hang up there. I’m really excited, I’ve never been to Boise. I am going to eat a lot of French fries, which always excites me because I really like French fries, and I feel like I’m a connoisseur of French fries and that my training has been mostly from Prince Edward Island potatoes.

I also have just been really excited cause my little guy, Mustafa won a gold of his volleyball tournament yesterday and I’m very, very proud of him. And my other guy is going for goal today at a tournament called the Bugarski Cup. Of also going to celebrate the new word I can say today, the Buccaneers. So, I’m gonna say that, try to put that into my vocabulary, just casually. I don’t know where I can insert Buccaneers, but I’m gonna try to do that. So, I’m trying to be super positive about that and happy and what’s good. I’m just generally excited about life. Bren.

Brenda: It’s spring. Yeah, and I love that. So, I’m really excited I got some starter scenes already going in my sun room and I’m just desperately looking forward to summer. I am looking outside at my backyard and it’s the first time that it hasn’t … I cannot see white, that there is no snow. That is amazing. Also, my neighbor and one of my best friends, Seth Kramer from Ironbound Films made a movie about sports. He’s a documentarian and it’s called “Heading Home: The tale of Team Israel.” Really fascinating. Really interesting staff about the baseball team who participated in the Baseball World Cup a couple of years ago. And so, I’m going to go and see that at Rhinebeck films. It’s called Upstate Films. I’m psyched about that and that’s pretty amazing to make up a movie. It’s hard. Spring movies gardening.

Shireen: Beautiful.

Brenda: So, sorry, I forgot to mention basketball. So much great March madness. Okay.

Shireen: No, you can totally do that because I was gonna say I’m really excited for the Clarkson Cup. I couldn’t go to the final today, but I’m definitely gonna watch it live and I’m so excited that it’s being aired at three different places. The NHL network is also gonna air it. I think I said that, but I just really want to reiterate that. It’s an exciting time. And guess what? Major networks are doing stories about women’s hockey that they’ve suddenly discovered. So, I’m just excited about that. I love women’s hockey and just … Bren, throw in another what’s good. Why not? You know how I feel about rules?

Brenda: Yeah, there’s a lot of soccer, CONMEBOL is playing friendlies right now. And so, the US G League game is Tuesday and I’m definitely into that.

Shireen: Brilliant. That’s it this week for Burn It All Down. Although we are done for now, you can always burn all day and night with our fabulous array of merchandise, including mugs, pillows, keys, hoodies, bags. What better way to crush toxic patriarchy in sports and sports media by getting someone you love a pillow with our logo on it. So, the Teespring address is a teespring.com/store/burnitalldown. Burn It All Down lives on SoundCloud, but now can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn. We appreciate your reviews and feedback. So, please subscribe and 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 @BurnItAllDownpod, or on Instagram @burnitalldownpod. You can email it us, burnitalldownpod@gmail.com, and check out our website, www.burnitalldownpod.com, where you will find previous episodes, transcripts, and the link to our patrion. We would appreciate you subscribing, sharing, and reading our show, which helps us do the work we love to do and keep burning what needs to be burned and keeping us by add to the bone. On behalf of Lindsay and Brenda, I’m Shireen, and as Brenda says, keep burning everything but not burnout. Is that what you said?

Brenda: Burn on, but not out.

Shireen: Burn on, but not out.

Lindsay: That’s a little bit more efficient. Yeah, that’s good.

Shelby Weldon