Tarlin and Mike react to the powerful moments from sports leaders in response to the tragic shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. We listen to what Steve Kerr said and talk about what Gabe Kapler did as coaches and leaders of their teams respond publicly to the unthinkable events.
Then we run it back to the history of sports protests and activism ranging from Kaepernick, to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, to the leading role of the WNBA, the Brittney Griner situation, and Muhammad Ali’s historic protest of the Vietnam War, among others, as we try to make sense of the senseless. And there’s plenty of reference to famous soundbites from Marshawn Lynch, Rasheed Wallace, and Allen Iverson along the way to keep things lighter.
What lessons, if any, can we learn from all of this? How can we use sports narratives as tools to work through our response to the unthinkable? And what does this tell us about leadership and acts of conscience in these challenging times? We cover all of this and more on our latest episode. Listen in and enjoy.
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Tarlin and Mike are back to draw lessons learned from Naomi Osaka’s recent withdrawal from the 2021 French Open citing mental health concerns around appearing for press conferences. We dig into this kerfuffle with the leadership of Roland-Garros over her decision to skip press conferences so she could focus on tennis and run it back to recent tennis history with Naomi’s first Grand Slam title at the 2018 US Open versus her idol, Serena Williams. That match is emotionally challenging to watch and it clearly has had a profound impact on Osaka that we wanted to explore more deeply.
Whether it’s the tennis of the match itself, the cringe-worthy umpiring controversy between Serena and umpire Cesar Ramos, the equally painful to watch Trophy Ceremony, or Naomi’s post-match press conference in 2018, we explore all the angles to try to understand and empathize with where Naomi is coming from.
Along the way, we dig into other famously awkward media appearances by Allen Iverson, Marshawn Lynch, Rasheed Wallace, Greg Popovich, and Bill Belichek before concluding with our thoughts on mental health awareness and the recent trend towards its destigmatization in sports. Naomi is taking a stand here as a role model and leader in Gen Z and we want to recognize her courage as we look to learn from the history contentious relationships between athletes like Naomi and the press.
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