Bradford, Rose Davis, Penn State And Co discussed on The Takeaway

The Takeaway


Do they make a sound joining me now. A mirror rose davis assistant professor of history and african american studies at penn state and co host of the feminist sports. Podcasts burn it all down a mirror. Welcome back how is a pleasure to be here and bradford. William davis is an investigative reporter based in new york exploring race class and help especially within major league baseball and the wider sports industry. Welcome back to you. To bradford exactly so amirah. How do athletes use the press to make a point if they don't get any press yeah Well one of the advantages over the last decade or so has been social media which has really been a disruption to this long history of black women's protests being overload of marginalized sporting lives being kind of not considered. And so they he move in silence. A lot But they also reach out and use a variety of tools at their disposal whether it's social media whether it's zoom Elizabeth williams and the dream on the whole wnba for instance lived on 'cause with kimberly crenshaw with activists on the ground And didn't necessarily work in the spotlight to do the work that they were doing. But bill really really strong connections That a lot of people missed a lot of people just didn't see popped up because they changed the course of history in the way. They impacted the georgia elections And so we see new tools building but they still are interacting with the media in various ways and a lot of times. It simply reminding them that they're they're again saying hello. This is what you're missing. You're missing this. You're telling it in a very simple narrative and we're going to continue to tell our story into live our lives. I'm an insist right. You cover us but we're not gonna go back before so it's interesting this point about the the use of new tools but also I'm just so impressed. By the ways that as emerging activists right they were in contact with folks around philosophy and theories of activism and bradford. I guess i'm i've been back and forth on trying to think about whether sort of the pay inequities The realities that folks like you know players on the atlanta dream get played paid so much less than big league players if that might actually constitute a space of relative freedom or capacity in other words. If you don't make ten million or twenty or thirty million is it easier to risk it or not. That's a great question. I have to wonder that the economic proximity to the realities of racial injustice. Not to say that it doesn't affect anyone regardless of the class status but it certainly is more threat when you on the economic martin's as well. I wonder if that closeness from league that is newer and also has to deal with institutional sexism and racism Leading to just less fruits of You know a capitalistic. Sports industry kinda get is just makes it a little bit more tangible about the need for change and desire to fight forward like that language of economic proximity to the to the realities that come from that racial inequities brethren also wondering then part of it is you know so Women's teams women's basketball teams like we saw with the atlanta dream. We saw this with newark liberty when they were out in front around black lives matter kind of wave one. But i'm wondering other other kinds of sports where you may have a queer folk men women playing but simply because of the kind of sport it is. It receives less media attention absolutely. I mean you know. The women's game has been shaded in this. Since the moment it's it's been inaugurated in the nineties. I mean i was just a kid. You know when the the w started belykh you know. I grew up sadly making but also hearing plenty of jokes about light. All they can't dunk. Oh they can do this or that you know. There's always been a fight where they had to kind of respected and dignify on the terms of its own sport as something that is equivalent and clearly in some ways greater than the way the men's leads choose to move so that's a that's a real. That's a real real problem. It's exacerbated by not having enough women in sports media especially women of color that was a recent study done that showed the incredibly low Percentages of women of color blatant including nobel limits. A black woman who are actually in credential. Sports me but there's lots of lots of potassium people want you know on blogs and twitter but people who actually get to go to games interview them and then write him up for a paper the magazine or whatever spewing in between that's a huge huge issue and and of course people who are using that word again proximity more proximate to the lives and interests and you know and you know. Sporting culture of women's leagues are going to not only want to cover the league but also be able to cover it better in some ways and not being hired or promoted in the ways that they ought to be. So i've really. That's that's a problem in a barrier that leads to less coverage in the sort of persistent discrimination that the league has to continue fighting a mirror. I want to go back to dave's iran's point at the at the very beginning of our conversation and even to what bradford with just saying and i'll just put it this way. Is sexism helluva drug for sports media. Yes sexism racism the intersection especially as a hell of a job. I really liked that phrase that us economic proximity bradford Because to your earlier question is it easier freedom. Well if you have less you also You know it's very easy to to have that taken away too when you mentioned at the top of the show when they were wearing protests shirts in the summer of two thousand sixteen the league tried to find them right for those shirts and i think one of the reasons why the wnba is such a useful conduit to have these conversations about black women is because they're really the canary in the minds of the of the Exemplify right how. It's very easy to slip through the cracks and be overload so sports that don't get enough traction women's sports by and large but also you see here through them what happens when black women specifically right try to claim these sporting spaces. I'm so glad you mentioned that report. Bradford because they think it also exemplifies us. We think about sports media on that report. You talk about gender gains talk about people colored gains and it looks like it's going up up up until you zoom in and realize black women specifically will be like for example one point one percent of sports reporters and so i think all of these things tying together Helps us see right. How you the is for to persists because these stories aren't being told and when they are frame very narrowly by people who don't resemble at all who's on the court who's on the pitch Who's on the field so a mirror as you. So what i've seen you. Both do here is to to reflect. Pull out that notion of economic proximity of the players to those who are most affected by the inequities protesting. But i also hear you. Amirah making a claim about the value of proximity of the reporters themselves to the athletes and their lived experience on whom they are reporting. And yet there's also this sort of you know old fashioned or maybe new fashion journalistic norm suggesting that proximity to our subjects is actually a problem for our journalistic capacity. How do you speak to that. Yeah i mean. I think we do this in as well. This idea of objectivity itself is just like you know. It's a little bit stale at this point. And i think that we have been able to see that especially in sports media the consequence of not having a diverse rate of of voices right. We see this when brock turner's swimming times in in many articles about him committing sexual assault. We see this when espn columnist. Take up space to defend the washington. Football teams name And then when his father in law corrects him and says no actually this is offensive. He's still has calm space to continue to write these articles. Because there's not native voices in those newsrooms. I think that we continue to see the consequence on and yet clinging to this idea of distance of objectively. I think really just gets in the way of reporting better understanding. Like i think that we should just not be basic and what we know. Is we get amazing. Stories with new voices. chiquita taylor. Shout out to her five. Thirty eight ran a piece. Don't where she did data analysis right on undo rags in baseball right and the the correlation to pitch and i mean that is that is a story that would have been very hard to see Even five years ago all right. I i love that sort of specificity around that and i remember that pearson was like okay. This why changing what's happening in newsrooms matters. Bradford i wanna talk on executives topic about Dom smith of the new york mets. He took a knee during the national anthem. After jacob blake was shot and killed by police and then he fielded questions during a understandably difficult press conference. I wanna just take a listen former map. Been very emotional Yeah just to. Countless cds contains been so it was a long day so kind of what they're mentally bradford. What difference does it make. Who writes the story about that mullet man. First of all this connects all the dots because shouted kids l. a. Once again the do rag piece was about marcus. Stroman dom smith teammate. On the mets. Who you know whereas different do rag early. Perform differently undercover. He's wearing is incredible again. Shot the shake. She's awesome but But yeah dom is you see here in sees hurt on that call and i think the difference between i guess cultural competency which is often aided by lived experience which means again hire more. Black reporters is having that difference could be different screen. I think emotional pornography better word to a thoughtful nuance interrogation of all the issues. That led to that moment and so what. I saw a lot in the local press was just that you know him sobbing Just being played over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And it's like. It's clearly not for me because i know i know angry for the presumed and probably virtually likely major league baseball majority of media consumers which are like white bulks white folks of certain class you know like and they're the ones who need to be in probably align align minds convinced that racism actually is bad. It makes you feel bad like and that is you know i get that but like but it's still kind of roasted me because That need to be argued. Certainly not in twenty twenty one and And and a more thoughtful layered exploration of all that was going now all of the teen antics that he was doing alone on the field without any of his teammates of many color. Now joining them all that kinda stuff. You ought to be interrogated necessity. Don't get get that for most of the time because of the makeup of the press corps on train or on film so a mirror. Rose davis assistant professor of history and african american studies at penn state and also co host. The feminist sports podcast burn it all down and bradford. William davis is an investigative reporter based in new york exploring race class and health especially within major league baseball in the wider sports industry. Thank you both for being here. Thank you thank you. That's our show for today folks and we're gonna leave you with a few words from nation sports editor dave's iron heart of that transactional transformationally dozen for me as a journalist so any money. I'm making from this book. I'm giving to an organization called servier city. Dc that works with mutual aid and trying to raise up young people in the dc area. Because i didn't. I couldn't stand the idea that i'm going to profit from the courage of these young people so instead i'm gonna pay it forward and every person i interviewed knows that that's what the book is going towards an out gives them a sense of mission about it as well. The importance of being transformational project is so important to me here at the takeaway. We are inspired by this idea of journalism that is transformational rather than transactional so keep listening in the coming weeks. We're gonna have to wrap up our show with transformational takeaways. These will be short stories of people who are making room for others who are making a difference in their communities and making all of us. Pay attention to issues that matter. Thanks so much for listening. I'm melissa harris. Perry and this is the takeaway. Come back.

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