In this episode, we are joined by Ricky Volante. Ricky Volante is co-founder (with friend of the show Andy Schwarz) and CEO of the Professional Collegiate League, attorney at The Volante Law Firm, LLC, and an Adjunct Professor at the Harvard Extension School and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He also co-hosts the Forward, Thinking podcast with PCL Chief Operating Officer David West.

The first half of the episode takes a deep-dive into the Professional Collegiate League (PCL), a league determined to transform the dynamics of college basketball by putting players first. Ricky provides an exceptionally clear and methodical breakdown of the league's origins, mandate, and precisely how it will address the myriad forms of exploitation that define college sport today. The second half of the show focuses in on the horror unfolding on campuses across the country right now as athletes are subjected to the pandemic with little recourse to protect their health and no say in their working conditions. We discuss what both Ricky and the hosts have learned of late in talking to athletes across the country, the amazing resistance that has emerged in the PAC-12 and Big 10, and concerns about the viability of and potential backlash against a labor action that has come together so quickly.

You can find out more about the PCL here. You can check out Ricky’s piece (with friend of the show Andy Schwarz) on the O’Bannon case in the Marquette Sports Law Review here. Check out the piece your End of Sport hosts wrote for the Guardian about what college athletes are experiencing right now here. You can find Ricky on Twitter @RickyVolante13.

For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Credit @punkademic)

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

__________________________________________________________________________

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

***Content warning: In this episode, we discuss the ways that individuals used harmful and abusive methods in their coaching tactics and their impact on athletes.***

In this episode, Johanna and Derek are joined by Jennifer Sey, a seven-time member of the United States National Gymnastics team and a 1986 national champion, to discuss her career in gymnastics as well as her work to shed light on some of the harms that have become synonymous with the sport as of late. Since retiring from gymnastics, Jennifer has become a w world-renowned author and producer, publishing the 2008 book Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams and producing of the recent Netflix documentary Athlete A. Jennifer has also worked at Levis for over 20 years and is currently the company’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer. 

In the first half of the episode, Jennifer walks us through her experiences as an elite gymnast and the cruelty she faced during her career, before illuminating some of the ways that gymnastics might be considered as a cult. In the second half, we turn our attention to the super-popular Netflix documentary Athlete A and we discuss its significance – both culturally and politically, and some of the ways the sport can move forward despite its problematic past.

Check out Jennifer’s op-ed in The New York Times titled “How Gymnastics Culture Breeds Abuse” and follow her on Twitter @Jennifersey.

For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Credit @punkademic)

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

__________________________________________________________________________ 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

In this episode, Derek is joined by national sports columnist Kevin Blackistone to talk about the sports industrial complex, social and political upheavals and rebellion in the sports world, and how sports media upholds, contributes to, and silences racial violence, racism, and white supremacy. Kevin Blackistone is a long-time national sports columnist now at The Washington Post, a regular panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” a contributor to National Public Radio and co-author of “A Gift for Ron,” a memoir by former NFL star Everson Walls. He is also Professor of the Practice in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he teaches courses on sports reporting and on sports, protest and the media.

The episode begins with Kevin’s take on the place of sports media in considering wider cultural and social implications of sport and sporting culture. They talk about the complicity that sport media have in contributing to, reinforcing, and suppressing white supremacy and racism, which Kevin has written about in his piece “The Whitening of Sports Media and the Coloring of Black Athletes,” published in the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy. The two then shift the focus to the powerful role that athletes have in mobilizing social and political change and specifically address recent statements made throughout professional sports leagues, including the brilliant work done in the WNBA by athletes like Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, and others. The episode concludes with a discussion of the exploitation of predominantly black athletic labourers in the NCAA, which Kevin has written about in The Washington Post, and some of the futures we can envision for both the NCAA and higher education more generally.

You can keep up with Kevin at The Washington Post or on Twitter @profblackistone. Please also check out the documentary Kevin is producing on Native American mascotry in sport called Imagining the Indian, and perhaps refresh with our own discussion with Jacqueline Keeler on the same topic.

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

In this very special episode, Derek and Nathan are privileged to be joined by three men's revenue sport athletes to discuss a range of issues in college sport. First, they talk to University of Michigan football player Hunter Reynolds and then University of Minnesota football player Benjamin St-Juste, co-founders of the new activist organization College Athlete Unity. Then, they speak with Wake Forest University basketball player Miles Lester.

The conversations with Hunter and Benjamin hit on the reasons for founding College Athlete Unity and what they hope to accomplish, as well as what it has been like to be on campus for 'voluntary' workouts over the summer and now the beginning of formal team activities. All three interviews also deep-dive in the life of a campus athletic worker, including the recruiting process, a typical day in the life of an athlete, the quality of education received, attitudes to compensation/exploitation, and the physical toll of high-performance sport. 

Learn more about College Athlete Unity here. Sign their petition here. Read the UCLA football letter here. More on Rudy Carpenter and the PAC-12 here. Find our article on canceling college football here. You can find College Athlete Unity @cau4justice, Hunter Reynolds @hunt_xxvii, Benjamin St-Juste @Benj_Juice, and Miles Lester @mileslester23.

Hunter Reynolds chats with us at 2:35

Benjamin St-Juste begins at 51:38

Miles Lester begins at 1:32:00

For a transcription of this episode, please click here.  (Credit @punkademic)

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

In this episode, Johanna and Nathan are joined by Kurt Streeter to discuss the remarkable work of WNBA superstar Maya Moore to free the wrongfully imprisoned Jonathan Irons. Kurt Streeter is a sports journalist at the New York Times, where he primarily writes stories related to race, gender and social justice. Prior to coming to the NYT in 2017, he wrote for ESPN, the Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also a former athlete, and in his younger days played college tennis at California Berkeley and was world ranked by the ATP Tour for three years.

The first half of the interview breaks down the Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons saga. Kurt succinctly explains details of the case and Maya Moore's involvement and grapples with questions related to racism, the carceral state, and the politics of racialized women athletes, as well as the challenges of reporting a story of this nature. In the second half of the episode, Kurt reflects further on his own experiences in the sport media complex, including his time at ESPN, as well as his long-time choice not to write on sport despite his own athletic history. Finally, at the end of the episode, Kurt, Johanna, and Nathan puzzle out the complex dynamics of non-revenue college sport and the way racism shapes higher education in the United States.

You can find Kurt's recent story on the freeing of Jonathan Irons here. You can find his story on the activism of women athletes outside of the limelight here. You can find his lengthy feature on why Maya Moore left basketball here. You can find his massive feature on Jim Thorpe here.

Check out some of Kurt’s other work below:

https://aidsoversixty.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/kurt-streeter-latimes-amid-ill-and-dying-inmates-a-search-for-redemption-care-atonement-first-of-two-parts/

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2012-apr-23-la-me-riot-rodney-king-20120423-1-story.html

https://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-c1-cal-freshmen-20130816-dto-htmlstory.html

https://niemanstoryboard.org/stories/the-girl-a-surprise-in-the-ring/

 

Click Here for transcription of this episode (credit to friend of the show @punkademic). 

 

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 
 
***Content warning: In this episode, we discuss the ways that individuals used harmful and abusive methods in their coaching tactics and their impact on athletes.***
 
In the explosive second part of this interview with former US national gymnastics team choreographer and long-time Karolyi collaborator Geza Pozsar, all three hosts and guest delve into what the Karolyis reveal about gymnastics culture in communist Europe and the capitalist US. Geza powerfully makes the case that Bela Karolyi's abusive methods were a function of his deficiencies in technical knowledge, for which he overcompensated through overtraining and harsh discipline. Indeed, rather than viewing Bela as representative of Eastern methods, we should understand that he failed to thrive in the communist system. It was only in the US that he was fully embraced thanks to a capitalist preoccupation with winning at all costs. Geza also makes the case that although there has been the scapegoating of particular figures in the horrific scandals of violence and abuse that have rightly haunted US gymnastics in recent years, many other complicit figures have not been held accountable, including the mainstream media itself.
 
For more on Geza Pozsar, check out Dvora Meyers' terrific piece here. You can find Geza on Twitter @GezaPozsar.
 

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 

***Content warning: In this episode, we discuss the ways that individuals used harmful and abusive methods in their coaching tactics and their impact on athletes.***

In the first part of our interview with former choreographer for Béla and Martha Karolyi, the Romanian Communist State, and US national gymnastics team, Geza Pozsar takes us through his experiences living in Romania and working for the famous gymnastics’ duo in the 1970s and 198-s. This is the first part of all the history about the Karolyi’s and the Communist Romanian sport system that is left out of every Western media portrayal of the coaching duo. Geza explains how Bela’s coaching tactics in particular were not representative of the Communist nor Romanian sport system. Rather, their system was much more brutal. Geza does not excuse the Karolyi’s methods and condemns them as he has done for the last 10+ years. Importantly, he contextualizes their world and his role in it by recalling the pressure that the Romanian state placed on winning medals in international sport, and also the high stakes involved for coaches if they did not produce Olympic champions in terms of their daily life at home. These conditions, along with Geza’s assessment of Bela’s limited technical coaching abilities, explain their motivations for defecting to the West to try their hand at coaching careers there. By contextualizing this history for us, Geza moreover confirms the dangerous fallacies in our anti-Communist, pro-American, capitalist narrative of Cold War sport that we have discussed in episodes prior. 

 

For more on Geza Pozsar, check out Dvora Meyers' terrific piece here. You can find Geza on Twitter @GezaPozsar.

 

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 

*Content Warning: this episode explores the topics of physical, mental, and sexual abuse in sport*

 

In the second episode with Georgia Cervin on the international history of women’s artistic gymnastics, we tackle the topic of abuse and especially sexual abuse in the sport. Georgia explains how contrary to contemporary popular media portrayals, American gymnastics’ coaching culture was rife with abusive elements before the Karolyi’s and Nasser arrived on the scene, as famous gymnast Jennifer Sey has repeatedly spoken about in her published work and public speaking. The Karolyi’s built on the cultural foundations of American gymnastics when they arrived, thereby contributing to—but not instigating—the abuse of girl gymnasts.

 

Georgia moreover gives us her take on the recent documentary Athlete A. While she explains her critiques of it, Georgia also shares with us what Athlete A does really well in portraying the women’s story to the audience. As a former gymnastics coach herself, we discuss the limited training opportunities for coaches based in healthy and educational methods. Lastly, we hear about Georgia’s recent collaborative work interviewing former elite gymnasts and providing practical suggestions to FIG and other gymnastics national governing bodies on healthier coaching practices (which were almost categorically ignored), and why women’s artistic gymnastics can and should be a feminist sport. She cites the resurgence of adult female gymnasts, using 45-year-old Oksana Chusovitina and 32-year-old Chellsie Memmel (with an IG following of nearly 45k!) as a positive trend for the sport.

 

If you missed it, don’t forget to check out the first episode with Georgia that provides the pre-Karolyi history of the sport!

 

You can find out more about Georgia Cervin and her work on her website.

 

Her collaborative report on how to healthily sustain gymnasts’ careers into adulthood, which was almost completely ignored by the sport’s most important bodies and leaders: “Coming of Age: Towards Best Practices in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.”

 

Instagram account for Chellsie Memmel, the 2005 World Champion who is documenting her adult gymnastics journey and has nearly 45k followers.

 

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 

**Content warning: this episode explores the political and cultural foundations of gymnastics that helped open the door to the abusive nature of the sport that we know well today.**

In the first of a two-episode interview, Johanna dives into a crucial conversation with Dr. Georgia Cervin that is almost completely left out of ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast account of gymnastics culture in Heavy Medals: how the international history of women’s artistic gymnastics helped lead to the sport’s abusive culture today. Cervin traces the sport’s harmful core beginning with its femininity-obsessed and racist foundations in International Gymnastic Federation (FIG)’s Code of Points. She explains how the female leaders of FIG used the Code of Points partly to dictate and ensure that the sport—and thus its female athletes—conformed to the IOC’s Western notions of white femininity.

This concept of gymnastics’ femininity underwent drastic changes in the second half of the 20th century. Female gymnasts were initially coached exclusively by women (men were banned from the competition halls!), and the sport was steeped in balletic traditions to emphasize femininity and grace in adult women. Starting in the 1970s, male coaches increasingly became assistant coaches and justified their presence as being necessary to physically train and support female gymnasts in acrobatic movements. They moreover facilitated the changes in gymnasts’ age and maturity levels, encouraging the training of increasing young and less-physically developed girls.

Georgia ends the episode by explaining how after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, former Soviet coaches sought jobs abroad and were welcomed with open arms by gymnastics leaders in Australia, for instance. These developments forever altered the global culture of women’s artistic gymnastics.

Stayed tuned for Part II, where we continue this history by looking specifically at the ‘Karolyi foundation,’ as coined by Scott Reid in his episode, in the US and how it compares to the pre-existing gymnastics culture in the US. 

While we wait for her forthcoming book to be released, her most relevant publications include “Ringing the Changes: How the Relationship Between the International Gymnastics Federation and the International Olympic Committee Has Shaped Gymnastics Policy,” and “Gymnasts are Not Merely Circus Phenomena: Influences on the Development of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics During the 1970s.

After listening to the episode, check out our recent piece "Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 

In this episode, Derek, Johanna, and Nathan speak with Kelly E. Wright about linguistic racialization in the world of sport and sports media. Kelly E. Wright is a Ph.D Candidate in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, where she studies Sociophonetics, Neurolinguistics, and Historical Sociolinguistcs, focusing on the link between Linguistic Production and Perception. Her work on linguistic racialization and sport, including an algorithm that predicts an athlete’s race based on the words written about them, has appeared in The Undefeated and been discussed in Deadspin.

This is a fascinating conversation about the psycho-social and political dynamics of language and how they play out in discourse around sport. Kelly Wright offers both an accessible introduction to a complex field of study and a sophisticated and interdisciplinary account of how language contributes to the production of race but also can be used as an instrument of anti-racist resistance. Kelly also talks us through the horrendous backlash she received to her popular intervention in The Undefeated and makes a note-perfect case against the vicious exploitation of graduate, contingent, and athletic labor on campuses.
 
You can find Kelly's article in The Undefeated here. You can find a discussion of her work in Deadspin here. You can find Kelly on Twitter @raciolinguistic.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

@Derekcrim

@JohannaMellis

@Nkalamb

@EndofSportPod

www.TheEndofSport.com

 

**For a transcription of this episode please click here. Huge thanks to @Punkadmic for making this happen!**

 

Load more

Play this podcast on Podbean App