Thursday Dec 31, 2020

Episode 58: “A Horrific Canadian Soccer Story” with Ciara McCormack, Part II

**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.





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