This is what’s called leveraging the power a media platform to speak up thoughtfully and clearly about issues that matter.
No, I’m not going to the World Cup.
Well shot and researched video highlighting current problems in Brazil. Telling line:
"What county needs and incentive to take care of its people?"
The Super Bowl statistic we aren’t talking about.
via The Enliven Project:
1 out of 6 men on the field next Sunday could be survivors of sexual violence.
That’s right, 1 out of 6.
Just to be clear, we don’t know whether specific players have had specific experiences. We simply want to you to look at the men in your class, the men in your family, and the men on your favorite sports team with this statistic in mind.
Too much shame and stigma exists for all victims of sexual violence. But the stigma is even greater for men, many of whom believe they should have been able to protect themselves or fear that friends and family members will think less of them if they come forward.
There have been a handful of brave and courageous men – R.A. Dickey, Tyler Perry, Scott Brown, and Keyon Dooling to name a few – who have stepped forward and are generous in sharing their stories and experiences so that others can be less afraid to break silence. But these men are not the exception. And their stories are more common than you think.
I respect and support this awareness campaign. Share if you do, too.
On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai - bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner - the certain winner of the race - mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.
Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.
Good sportsmanship. Winning isn’t everything.
Rooting for the Home Team!
7 minute walk from my apartment; count me in!
I never bothered to learn what fly fishing was, because, frankly, it never came up. I don’t know anyone who specifically does it and talks about it, and it hasn’t come up in newspapers or literature. So, as far as I was concerned, fly fishing was the snarky way of saying you swallowed a fly because your mouth was open. Or something.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of learning a bit about the sport from Kris and Daren (of Foundant, the greatest grants management tool ever*). The goal is to catch fish using a flexible rod with attached line that has a
really gross looking fake fly on the end. Wikipedia actually sums up the way to cast quite nicely:
The type of cast used when fishing varies according to the conditions. The most common cast is the forward cast, where the angler whisks the fly into the air, back over the shoulder until the line is nearly straight, then forward, using primarily the forearm. The objective of this motion is to “load” (bend) the rod tip with stored energy, then transmit that energy to the line, resulting in the fly line (and the attached fly) being cast for an appreciable distance. However, just bending the rod and releasing it to jerk the fly line forward (like a bowstring or a catapult) will not propel the fly line and fly very far. More important is the movement of the rod through an arc acting as a lever, magnifying the hand movement of the caster (of about a foot) to an arc at the rod tip of several feet.
I had a tough time with the bringing it back part. I think even though I knew I had to stop and bring that momentum forward, I kept bringing the rod too far back (like I was serving in tennis), which made for a less swift motion. Plus, I kept turning to watch it, which is probably fine as a beginner, but also most certainly interrupts the rhythm. I would also get so excited if it looked good that I wouldn’t keep it going. When Daren and Kris were casting the line, the motion and rod were basically silent, which is what you want; let’s just say mine was noisy. (surprise!) You can click on the photos to learn a wee bit more, and below is the evidence of all these things, and probably more:
If nothing else, it was really fun to try something so different and be taught by folks who are really passionate about it. I’m going to look forward to trying it again (maybe by water?) the next time I’m in Montana**.
*There will be a future work-week post about this; stay tuned and message me if you have any questions about the product!
**Driver to the airport told me there are direct flights out of Newark now. It was a beautiful place with the nicest of people; I’m not ruling it out for a long weekend!
This is what I call teamwork.
He can’t attend any strip clubs and can only attend nightclubs if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.
History of Minigolf
Fun Fact: By the late 1920s there were over 150 rooftop courses in New York City alone, and tens of thousands across the United States. At the time, it was called midget golf. The ‘greens’ were either made of a compound of cottonseed hulls dyed green or felt (as shown in the photo).
Check out this article from the November 1930 Popular Science for more miniature golf history.
(originally tweeted by @bkbrains)
For the first time in Olympic history, all 205 countries participating will send at least one female competitor.
WOW. That took a long time, but I’m glad we’re there.
This* is this year’s softball team. We work hard, play hard, and cheer hard. It’s a fun bunch. Matt (one of our front row fans) started to make pretty awesome player cards. He tested out the design and feel on mine, and it made my week; this is the type of fun “professionals” don’t get to indulge in enough. It’s good for morale and a smile**, and some day, this card could be worth big money when I make it to the big leagues.
*click the photo or card to enlarge
**to my grandparents who read this, “Jewish grandma” means I encourage people to eat food, stay hydrated, and stay safe on the base path.
Interview with Deborah Block of Athlete Ally
Deborah Block, a fellow Tufts graduate with an admirable passion for promoting equality and understanding among peers, helped to found the nonprofit Athlete Ally. Along with founder Hudson Taylor, Deborah is committed to making sure that all athletes - regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or other defining trait - are treated with dignity and respect among their peers, especially in the sports context. I spoke with her about Athlete Ally’s growth and vision.
Jen Bokoff: What moment stands out to you as a defining moment in establishing the mission of Athlete Ally?
Deborah Block: Definitely when my Co-Founder Hudson Taylor was a guest on Thomas Roberts’ show on MSNBC. Thomas heard about Hudson and our cause through Twitter and sent him a direct message that he’d like to meet him and potentially bring him on the show. That’s exactly what happened. The day the show aired live, the number of our Facebook likes, pledge signatures, and Twitter followers sky-rocketed. A few months later, because of a press release we sent out, Hudson was presented with PFLAG’s Straight for Equality Award at their 3rd Annual Gala, an award that Maya Angelou had received years back. A few months later, we were on the front page of nytimes.com and Hudson was named The Huffington Post’s “Person of the Day.” This national press coverage was defining in getting the word out about LGBT inclusion in sports through mainstream news sources that write about much more than just write about LGBT issues. Through this, reaching mainstream athletes and advocates who can help make a real difference became tangible.
JB: The premise of Athlete Ally is that no group should be disadvantage or bullied in the sports arena; we should act as one. What’s your approach to sustainably combating bullying both on and off the playing field?
DB: Athlete Ally is grounded in the idea that athletes are leaders in their communities, whether that be in middle school, high school, college, or professional sports. Those athletes who are chosen as captains of their teams are not picked just because they’re great athletes; they’re picked because they also exhibit true leadership skills on and off the field. They have the ability to motivate their team and be a role model through all of their actions. Our goal at Athlete Ally is to empower athletes - particularly those who are straight - to be role models and combat homophobia by, for instance, challenging derogatory language on the field, in the locker room and in their daily routine. It’s our hope that as more athletes promote LGBT inclusiveness and respect, others will follow.
JB: Women’s (psuedo) equality in sports was largely spurred by Title IX. How do you think Athlete Ally can reach the same or greater impact with true equality across lines of gender and sexuality in sports?
DB: When we started Athlete Ally, it was clear that stereotypes in male sports are far different from stereotypes among women athletes. On male sports teams, you commonly hear the expression that you need to “man up” or “not be a pussy” or “stop throwing like a girl.” But within female sports, there’s the automatic assumption that women who play sports are butch or a lesbian. Although men’s and women’s teams face a separate set of problems, Athlete Ally encourages a similar solution. If straight athletes on men and women’s teams stand up for inclusiveness and team unity among their teammates and challenge derogatory language and stereotypes, they can empower their peers to challenge homophobia and stand together as a unified team.
JB: You must have learned a lot setting up your own nonprofit, from governance, to publicity, to defining goals. What can you share with us?
DB: Goodbye 9-5. To get Athlete Ally off the ground, I worked closely with Hudson and his wife Lia to work through everything from getting our website set up, to creating a mission statement, to filing for a 501c3, to marketing the cause to the press, and more. Something important that I didn’t realize before we started is that if you’re putting together an organization for a cause people truly believe in, you can get a TON of help for free. We ultimately brought on pro-bono lawyers, a pro-bono accounting firm, a pro-bono publicist, a pro-bono public relations firm. And by working closely with another LGBT organization, we also built our website for almost nothing. As a new nonprofit, we were working with a non-existent budget, so the fact that some of the most respected professionals in their fields were willing to come on board and help us just because they believed in what we’re doing was both humbling and inspiring. Another tip: Get used to 2am conference calls. The adrenalin rush of starting something new and exciting can be so intense that sometimes you and your teammates are up and ready to do work, even in the middle of the night.
JB: If people want to help the cause, what can they do?
DB: Through our cornerstone Ambassador Program program, we work with students on college campuses across the country to bring Athlete Ally to their school. We give these ambassadors the resources they need to meet with their school’s athletic directors, present to Student Athletic Advisory Committees, LGBT support groups, coaches, and team captains and encourage them to sign our Athlete Ally Pledge. This pledge asks students, athletes, and sports fans to commit to challenging homophobia in sports. Every month, we have new ambassadors who sign on to spread the cause and speak to athletes at their school. If someone wants to help, the first things they can do are sign the pledge online, share the pledge link with their network on Facebook and Twitter, and ask others to do the same. The reason why Athlete Ally is gaining so much momentum is because this is a cause people believe in and want to support.
In the year since it was founded, Athlete Ally has had incredible success, including getting 4,864 pledges to make teammates feel respected on and off the field. They also have had numerous press pieces and recently partnered with the NCAA. Their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube Channel also have quickly built up an engaged following. Read more and support Athlete Ally by exemplifying respect and leadership!
Disability is a matter of perception.
A statistical fact. A statistical question.
The New York Yankees just became the FIRST TEAM IN HISTORY to hit three grand slams in one game! That’s a pretty incredible feat.
Will New York City also become the FIRST CITY IN HISTORY to experience an earthquake, hurricane, and tornado in one week? That, too, would be a pretty incredible feat. And panic would certainly ensue. And I might give more credence to all this silly apocalypse talk crazing the nation.
Have fun, fact checkers!