In this episode of The End of Sport Nathan and Johanna speak with Dr. Lucía Trimbur, an Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and a Global Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Trimbur talked with us about her forthcoming ethnographic work about the concussion crisis in football, and interweaves insights about her past work on boxing into an absolutely fascinating conversation.

In the second of a two-part show, Dr. Trimbur dives into her recent piece for Tropics of Meta on the horrific evidence showing that the NFL used the common medical practice of ‘race norming’ to alter (lower) the cognitive levels of Black football players in order to argue that their cognitive functioning levels were less impaired than that of their white counterparts, in order to exclude them from being able to claim compensation from the NFL. We moreover discussed the important issue of how difficult it was for her to find a home for this important work, as the mainstream media outlets she pitched it to were—unsurprisingly—not interested in spotlighting the work.

She also walked us through her understanding of the position and function of athlete activism in Trumpist America (from this piece), and the enduring power that athletes have as demonstrated by and even beyond the NBA wildcat strikes this summer, and how more athletes should be like the WNBA players.

For the remainder of the episode we discussed the growth of Sport Studies as a field (which she published an academic piece on here) and the challenges that sport scholars continue to face across different fields as some non-sport academics continue to not see our work as being valuable enough to hire into their departments. The episode concludes with an honest look at Dr. Trimbur’s athletic career as a D1 college athlete and the difficulties she encountered while training as a boxer for Come Out Swinging.

Dr. Trimbur’s first book, Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason’s Gym can be found here.

You can find Dr. Trimbur on Twitter!

 

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

Research Assistant: Abigail Bomba

__________________________________________________________________________

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 of The End of Sport, Nathan and Johanna speak with Dr. Lucía Trimbur, an Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and a Global Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Trimbur talked with us about her forthcoming ethnographic work about the concussion crisis in football, and interweaves insights about her past work on boxing into an absolutely fascinating conversation.

In the first of a two-part episode, Dr. Trimbur walks us through her ongoing research for Lights Out: The Creation of the Concussion Crisis for Columbia University Press on the innerworkings of a football program at an un-named Ivy League school. She specifically focuses on their conversations about the concussion crisis, in terms how athletes, coaches, trainers, etc. approach the issue and calculate their daily and long-term decisions for playing the game. She also is doing research beyond the field to understand how the game, schools, and the NCAA has historically adapted to the concussion crisis in terms of rules and penalties.

She moreover shared how–surprisingly to her and us—quickly the football program agreed to allow her to study them by joining their meetings, practices, games, and much more. Dr. Trimbur shared how in both her past study of Gleason’s Gym for Come Out Swinging and the concussion one, people proved more than willing to share their insights and even sought out her attention and feedback at times.

Stay tuned for the second part of the interview, where we talk about the harmful racial politics behind ‘race norming’ in the 2015 NFL Concussion Settlement (she wrote about it here), the role of athlete-activists in Trumpist America (published about it here), the position of Sport Studies in the academy (here), and much more!

Dr. Trimbur’s first book, Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason’s Gym can be found here.

You can find Dr. Trimbur on Twitter!

 

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

__________________________________________________________________________

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: this episode discusses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse within Canadian soccer.**

In this episode of The End of Sport, Johanna and Derek are joined for a second time by Ciara McCormack, a former professional soccer player with the Vancouver Whitecaps and whistleblower on abuses within the Canadian soccer system, about the physical emotional abuse that former coach Bob Birarda inflicted upon players.

In the second of a two-part show, Ciara walks us through what it was like to return to the Whitecaps years after experiencing abuse from Bob Birarda and team and, fascinatingly, talks about what ultimately led up to the release of “A Horrific Canadian Soccer Story” and how it was received by the team, fans, and media (who, unsurprisingly, were not very supportive). In the balk half of the episode, Ciara talks about what is next now that Bob Birarda has been arrested and charged. We finish with a discussion about the wonderful work Ciara is doing to change the sport for younger generations.

Ciara McCormack is a former college and professional soccer player who played soccer at Yale University and the University Connecticut, and later professionally for a wide variety of top teams for 7 years ranging from the Boston Renegades and Vancouver Whitecaps Women to teams in Denmark, Norway, and Australia. She also played for the Republic of Ireland from 2008-2014. She was the 1st Canadian player to make it to the Champions League Final. To top off her achievements, she also has a whopping total of 3 Master’s degrees on subjects related to women’s soccer.

Importantly, Ciara has spoken out publicly about the verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse that she experienced on the Whitecaps and in Canadian soccer. Finally, Ciara is the founder of Girls Can Soccer and TOPP Soccer, both of which we will certainly get to in the interview.

You can find Ciara on Twitter!

 

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

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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: this episode discusses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse within Canadian soccer.**

In this episode of The End of Sport, Johanna and Derek are joined by Ciara McCormack, a former professional soccer player with the Vancouver Whitecaps and whistleblower on abuses within the Canadian soccer system, about the physical emotional abuse that former coach Bob Birarda inflicted upon players.

In the first of a two-part show, Ciara details her own background in soccer and what led to her professional career in Vancouver before shifting focus to her whistleblowing on the harms being done to athletes in the system. The show then quickly turns to a discussion of everything leading up to Ciara’s decision to post a widely influential blog in 2019, “A Horrific Canadian Soccer Story.” Ciara paints a bleak and absolutely necessary picture of problems in Canadian soccer, Canadian sport more generally, and a system that is built upon the centralization of top-down power in the sport. And…as you would expect, we even get into media complicity in the whole thing.

Ciara McCormack is a former college and professional soccer player who played soccer at Yale University and the University Connecticut, and later professionally for a wide variety of top teams for 7 years ranging from the Boston Renegades and Vancouver Whitecaps Women to teams in Denmark, Norway, and Australia. She also played for the Republic of Ireland from 2008-2014. She was the 1st Canadian player to make it to the Champions League Final. To top off her achievements, she also has a whopping total of 3 Master’s degrees on subjects related to women’s soccer.

Importantly, Ciara has spoken out publicly about the verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse that she experienced on the Whitecaps and in Canadian soccer. Finally, Ciara is the founder of Girls Can Soccer and TOPP Soccer, both of which we will certainly get to in the interview.

Stay tuned for Part II next week!

You can find Ciara on Twitter!

 

 

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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 of The End of Sport, Derek, Johanna, and Nathan are joined by David West and Ricky Volante, co-founders of the Professional Collegiate League — an upstart professional basketball league that aims to enable athletes to benefit directly from their labor by offering both an education and compensation – to talk about recent developments in the league, what is happening in college basketball, and to rage against the college sport machine and sports media complex.

In the first half of the show, we chat with David and Ricky about the PCL and where it has gone since we last spoke with Ricky in the summer. We talk about the release of the PCL’s first team, the Washington Stealth, and the FRESH release of its second, the Carolina Flight. Then, in the second half of the show, we shift the discussion to everything going down in college basketball, including the to be applauded comments made by Pittsburgh Head Coach Jeff Capel about so-called ‘amateurism’ in college basketball, the watered-down version by Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski, and the ongoing harm being done to unpaid college athletic workers, including the tragic events that took place over the weekend when Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson collapsed mid-game.

A return guest, listeners will be familiar with Ricky Volante, who serves as the league’s Chief Executive Officer and he is also an 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 our other guest today, former NBA all-star forward, 4-year star forward at Xavier University, and PCL Chief Operating Officer David West.

You can follow David, Ricky, and The Professional Collegiate League on Twitter!

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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, Johanna and Nathan have the pleasure of talking to philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò about racial capitalism, elite capture, epistemic deference, and sport. Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and author of a boatload of crucial scholarly and public interventions, including recent work in Boston Review, Dissent, Foreign Policy, Aeon, The Nation, The Appeal and on and on. He is also working on a book entitled Reconsidering Reparations that considers a novel philosophical argument for reparations and explores links with environmental justice.

The conversation takes us through Olúfẹ́mi's interventions of the past year and how they help us think through issues of politics, justice, and labor in the context of elite sport. We begin with an overview of racial capitalism as a theoretical framework and its application to the summer strikes in the world of basketball. From there we move to elite capture and how capitalism and its elites relentlessly appropriate struggles around identity, focusing on the saga of Colin Kaepernick. Finally, we turn to his brilliant recent article in The Philosopher to unpack the pitfalls of epistemic deference and how a more constructivist approach to standpoint epistemology might help us conceive more just futures in the realm of high-performance sport.

We cannot recommend that you check out Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò's interventions of the past year more strongly. They are accessible and exceptionally thought-provoking. Check out his piece on elite capture in Boston Review here. Check out his piece on security in racial capitalism in Aeon here. Check out his co-authored case for climate reparations in Foreign Policy here. Whatever you do, definitely check out his masterpiece in The Philosopher on standpoint epistemology and epistemic deference here. You can also listen to a wonderful discussion he has with Daniel Denvir on The Dig unpacking the epistemic deference piece here.

You can follow Olúfẹ́mi on Twitter @OlufemiOTaiwo!

 

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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 wide-ranging interview, Johanna, Nathan, and Derek talk to Adia Benton about how we can understand the bizarre and disturbing US experience of pandemic from an anthropological perspective and what we can learn from pandemic sport in the United States. Adia Benton is Associate Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at Northwestern University and the author of the 2017 Rachel Carson Award-winning book titled, HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone (University of Minnesota, 2015).

The first part of the conversation grapples with how to read Covid denialism's many manifestations, the relationship of Americans to their health care system, questions of securitization and militarization, biopolitics, and how a vaccine roll-out is likely to look. This is not a conversation about sport, but it is one worth your time.

In the second half, we touch on a range of issues inspired by Adia's provocative work and thinking, including the ways we might understand Covid-19 as a form of disease exceptionalism in the world of sport, what to make of Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller, and how we might think about injury and harm through the lens of reparations.

You can find Adia Benton's book HIV Exceptionalism: Development Through Disease in Sierra Leone here. You can find her terrific interview with Daniel Denvir on The Dig podcast here. You can find a published interview with her on pandemic sport in The Nation here. You can find her on the discursive implications of pandemic here.

You can also follow Adia on Twitter

 

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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 the second of our two episodes breaking down the US election with some of our favorites guests, Johanna and Nathan have the pleasure of again being joined by The Atlantic writer Amanda Mull. A long-time Georgian, Amanda provides a thorough breakdown of what happened in her home state and what to expect in the coming Senate run-off elections. The conversation then pivots to a discussion of how sport may have impacted the election, and how it in turn may have been affected, with the healthy dose of college football talk you might expect. Finally, we take the temperature on where we stand as in the context of pandemic sport and what the prognosis is for the United States as we hurtle into a potentially catastrophic winter of health crisis.
 
Check out Amanda's recent piece on how the pandemic has broken Americans' understanding of what to fear here. Check out her piece on Georgia's authoritarian governor here. Check out her masterful piece on college football's great unraveling here.

 

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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 somewhat off-brand episode, Johanna and Nathan are joined by friends Dr. Maximillian Alvarez (our first repeat guest!) and Dr. Sina Rahmani to wade through the all-consuming political moment in the United States. Maximillian Alvarez is host of Working People and editor-in-chief of The Real News. Sina Rahmani is host of The East is a Podcast and producer of The Red Nation.

After our election-based two-week hiatus, this is a ranging conversation about the implications of the U.S. election. We dig into debates on the left about 'woke' politics, fascism, and how much there is to celebrate when an imperial power selects a new figurehead. We also delve into the role of media, both mainstream and alternative, and return to the question of the significance of sport in left media, and how both sport and politics offer ways for people to cope with and negotiate capitalist life.

You can follow Maximillian and Sina on Twitter!

 

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

Show Producer: Tristan Loper

 

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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, all three hosts have the great pleasure of speaking with organizational and critical race theorist Victor Ray about his crucial work on racialized organizations, and how his intervention helps us think through both the world of sport and the current political moment in the United States. Victor Ray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. His incredibly influential work on race and organizations has appeared in scholarly journals such as the American Sociological Review, American Behavioral Scientist, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Contexts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and Sociological Theory. His public scholarship appears in venues such as Washington Post, Newsweek, and Boston Review .

In the first half of the conversation, Victor walks us through organizational theory and critical race theory, and what it means to bring them together in a theory of racialized organizations. He explains the materiality of race and racism and why we need to understand race as "of" rather than "in" organizations. In the second half of the conversation, we shift to the context of sport, and how sport is saturated with racism, from the language used to describe it to the organizational structures of sporting spaces. Finally, we finish by discussing the current administration's assault on critical race theory and what it augurs for November 3 and beyond.

You can find Victor Ray's article on racialized organizations in American Sociological Review here. You can find a version of that argument written for non-academic audiences in Harvard Business Review here. You can find his recent Washington Post piece on the assault on critical race theory here. Finally, you can find his co-written (with Louise Seamster) critique of the teleological understanding of race for Sociological Theory here.

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

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian

__________________________________________________________________________

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

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