Alysia Montano, Molly Huddle, Roisin McGettigan

Gwen Berry on Podium Protests

Gwen Berry on Podium Protests

We talk to team USA Hammer thrower Gwen Berry on raising her fist in solidarity with the black community at the 2019 Pan American Championships, what is the IOC rule 50 , and why her gesture was important as well as her experiences as a black female athlete in this country.(see our website for links and more detailed show notes;) )The Catchup:“How are you doing” is a loaded question these days. But we all want to talk about how we’re really doing and what’s going on in America-Going out hard with BLM and anti-racism. We want it to be sustainable. The fatigue is setting inKeep engaging and moving on it!-Race discussions have been taboo, it’s progress that the discussions are being heard now and on the table-ask questions, a lot of why’s 22:34-the salute at 2019 pan ams, Gwen won gold and raised a fist on the podiumShe was inspired by her own trials and tribulations from last year and saw that same struggle in other black Americans, (like the homeless man that came to her throws practice to find a safe space to sleep)2019 was “Its a race against time”Gwen didn’t know she was going to raise a fist at that moment, she felt in that moment to show solidarity, to show that you can still make it even though being black in America is to face systemic racism and barriers29: IOC gave her probation, what that means (didn’t lose prize money, USATF didn’t reprimand her in that way)The probation was meant to silence her at Olympics (went Aug 19-Aug20)30:24 What Rule50 says31-link Gwens letterIOC has to protect sponsors and partners, who don’t want negative or political stance to disrupt gamesWant mostly joyful moments“Its actually creating a halo effect over everything an athlete has gone through to get to this moment”“No ones saying the rules shouldn’t be the rules, we’re just saying don’t reprimand the athletes then celebrate them, put them in a hall of fame, put them in museums all around the world, and oh these are our heroes of our decade, put them on the website-don’t do that”33-why protest is important and why athletes shouldn’t be muted35: the hypocrisy (link Sarah Hirschland tweet)And the apology37- Gwen was protesting the day of the tweet, there was outcry at the hypocrisy. Max Siegel at USTAF facilitated the call, Sarah apologized, Gwen stressed that this is BIGGER than her. It’s about a culture, Black Americans, Gwen’s family and friends, the black athletes that will come along after her. “What I did was not wrong”40:After the medal at Pan Ams: Gwen was that night called into a meeting w USATF and PanAm committeeBc she signed ATHLETES CONTRACT (copy link) she could face repercussionsUSATF stood with her and Pan Am committee supported herWhen Gwen got home, USOPC said there will be a letter saying she has a 12 month probation , with no feedback from her on why she needed to protest41:50-Gwen lost grant opportunities and sponsorship dollars 42:30 USOPC working group athletes put together: Gwen has to train first and focus on making team and podium.  Other  athletes are backing her up and doing the work on the groupIOC dug in heels recently on the no protest (link their announcement)43:38-the town halls 44:30- would athlete stories move the IOC? USA isn’t the only country-IOC being neutral is easier and they focus on the dollars47-racism is a global phenomenon, America has a deep rooted history with it but globally, “darker is less than”Why rule 50 is out of touch with the realities of

Duration: 1 hr 2 min

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