Olympics, France, Japan discussed on The Axe Files with David Axelrod


I mean I feel like I'm Rivera realistic with almost how I approach injuries like you know if I get injured. It's you know it's not really much I can control I can go back and look at You know kind of an autopsy of what happened and get stronger in certain areas and and hopefully prevent it. But I mean if you play the game. Long enough Hopefully you're successful enough. You get enough of those positions you'd be you'd be extremely lucky to win them all And sometimes the other team just honestly plays better. I look back at you know Japan winning the World Cup in two thousand eleven. And then you take a bigger look at it. The whole story the Su- NAMI had hit the year before National Rallying cry. They had an you know them coming back and winning in the in the late. Moments still heartbreaking. I still feel like we should have won that but I don't know it's kind of like what are you. GonNa do like you can't go back. You're not going to rewind history so I I try to take the good with with the losses and just think like wow. I've had an opportunity to play in three straight World Cup finals and I've played. I've never won an NFL championship. But I've played in two finals and we had to amazing seasons and You know just try to learn from all of that but it's like it's it's all kind of part of it. I don't get too stuck on the losses. I feel that I'm very fortunate to be able to played on on all these championship teams. You say you'd think of it as entertaining. You're you know you've talked about this. Your flamboyance is is is kind of a signature. I mean not very. Many people have a signature crowd. Move named after them. The repeal. Your as you do. And you've said that people react differently to women athletes who are flamboyant. Who played in the crowd Than they do to male athletes who do the same I think so I mean I think we look back at Emmy Michael Journalists is a perfect example. I feel like this is probably where I get a lot of it. I grew up Glued to the screen watching The Bulls I had a life sized cutout and all these posters of Jordan and he had this this insane ability to like dagger your heart and then like do one of these you know or like give you a wink or tell you he's GonNa Whoop your ass and then like do it with sort of your smile and I feel men have the the space to have multiple things happening at one time whereas I think women always have that space so you can be a killer you can be. It should talk her and you can have a smirk and you can be an entertainer and you can be great and you can say it. It's like all those things are possible with men was I feel like women. It's a little bit Mike Okay. She's GonNa work really hard and we're going to inspire the next generation. It's all about inspiring the next generation and being a role model and all those things but it's also like I'm also great at what I do and I also want to have fun and I also want to be able to poke jabs and you know entertain the media and sort of have have the whole circus going on. I feel like we need to allow our women more space to just be themselves and make it a little bit more entertaining and I gotTa tell you the people who are watching enjoy watching you have fun. I mean it's fun to watch a great athlete. Have Fun you'll as you point out. You lost the World Cup in two thousand eleven to Japan. You came back and you had a chance to avenge that loss in the Olympics in two thousand and twelve before those Olympics. You made the decision that you were going to come out publicly. Tell me about that. And how that impacted on you. It honestly just started to feel a little weird that I wasn't out out in my normal life friends and family But it it was kind of one of those things like are you. Are you omitting things or a change in your answers? Are you you know user pronouns to avoid the and it just started to feel disingenuous for me so there was that part of it personally And then you know I think like you know the gay rights argument A movement was more starting on legalizing marriage and That had become sort of more popular in broad topic. I think I was sort of dipping my toe more so into politics and getting involved in that and it just felt like this is the right time and I also think people were like. Oh you did it right before the Olympics and like make a splash. I'm like well. Yeah I'M NOT GONNA do in the back page of nothing newspaper where nobody's GonNa see what's the point of that you know so it's kind of like yeah. I do WanNa make an impact even this year people's Al. You're leveraging the moment I'm like Hell Ya eleven the moment what's the whole point of everything unless everybody seeing it though. It was kind of one of those scenes just like the right time and I felt like it was. You know the the the right step for me to come out and say especially leading into the Olympics which must be all about unity and everyone competing at their best. And I just feel like if I'm not competing as my full self then there's something missing. How what kind of reaction did you get from particularly young people gay young women and then I WanNa talk to you about men and men athletes David so so positive at to this day I mean it's been a number of years And still to this day kids. Come up to me You know parents come up to me people by as much older than me You know just saying how impactful it was on their life just to to have more people in different sectors of our society and our culture that are not only out in saying it but then not having it be the only thing that's talked about like yes. I am Gay Professional Athlete. But I think I've gotten to the point now. You don't have to put gay in there but it's very clear that. I am gay and sort of in the room all the time. So then it breaks down stereotypes. It becomes more normalized so I think that's been sort of the gift that has kept on giving this whole time is just realizing how important it is even. Just if one person comes out you you might just reach that one person and for me that just keep happening. It's it's it's really amazing. So mentioned male athletes. You know that as a as a statistical fact that there are a lot of gay men in athletics as there are everywhere else and yet you see very few coming out and I'm wondering if male athletes have actually come to you at all to talk to you about that now that I can think of the that aren't out yet I mean it's it's a very complicated issue. I think a lot of people focus on the fact that no male athletes are out and they say they need to come forward and show that bravery but for me I think that the organizations and the teams and leagues and the sort of structures around. It clearly aren't making it so that those players feel safe. You know it's like Michael. Sam came out in the NFL and he just didn't have a team anymore. Now we can debate the merits further. He was good enough to play. But I think that sends a pretty strong signal to other players. Whether that's not just locker room talk about from an institutional standpoint that some of these teams. I don't think they're really going above and beyond to make it clear to not only the players but to the media and the staff and all of the players in the locker room and everyone in the organization that you will be safe and you'll be protected and we will stand with you when you do this. Not like okay when you come out now. We'll show the resources I think it sort of needs to be signaled prior to that and I think just the the stereotype with with gay men and with you know athletics. It's like if you're an athlete and you're a man your macho if you're gay and you're a man your somehow feminine. I mean I can't believe that we're still feeling that way. Because that's I think we're past that but we should do or should be allowed to these athletes. They feel it they. They can't take the risk you know. They have their financial future in their careers hanging in the balance. And maybe they just feel more comfortable unfortunately staying in the closet. It's very sad but you spend a couple of years playing in France. The Professional League folded after the Olympics in two thousand twelve. You didn't have a team to come back to you. Got To offer from the best team in France. Who spent a couple of years living? There did that. You any kind of a different perspective on America on life on was. How formative were those years that you spent their theory? I loved my time in France. I think interestingly I thought you know I'm thinking France and it's like so open and you know so like free loving actually found that it was much more conservative. Then I thought and maybe that was more in the sports world But they thought I was like the craziest thing that ever happened. I don't know if it's like they sort of. Have this like collective self conscious? I talk about this all the time if they would just let loose a little bit than it. Maybe it's it's in the context of sports but I feel like if you guys can loosen up a little bit then like everything would be a little bit better but yeah there was a sort of and I didn't speak French very well. I wasn't like flew in or anything I mean I would try I. Would you know speak French in store? Whatever get just get answered back in English? I was Kinda like that's fine. I tried you appreciate it. I know you speak English so it was. It was an interesting time. It got a little lonely towards the end Spent Yeah I think a year and a half there so a little lonely towards the end So it was nice to be able to come home but Living in another country I would recommend to everyone if you have the opportunity just to be out of your comfort zone that much that often you can't help grow up a little bit and did you get a sense of how the world sees America when you were over there. Yeah I think so. I mean you know they think we're loud and I think we're or sort of arrogant and I was like well. You're not totally wrong. But I think there's much more permission to be yourself here into different here. I think that we allow ourselves that freedom a little bit more. I mean I think a lot of the serotypes two are wrong. You know just what they see on TV You know much like what we see on TV. So I think that that sort of speaks to being able to live in a different place or go to different places. See other people when there's really no right a wrong for the most part It's just you know different cultures and what people are comfortable with and anything we see. Different is just sort of automatically.

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