Talking Point

Athlete Ally Plays Vital Role in LGBTQI Community

Anne Lieberman, Athlete Ally
Anne Lieberman

Anne Lieberman explains how Athlete Ally is making strides to advance LGBTQI rights and why there has never been a more important time to stand up against discrimination in sport

WiSP Sports Radio is brought to you by Hyland’s Earache Drops

Talking Point is hosted by Lisa Ingarfield

Podcast length: 38′ 48″

Anne Lieberman is a queer intersectional feminist and lifelong martial artist. As Director of Policy & Programs at Athlete Ally, Anne leads the organization’s state-based and national LGBTQ rights efforts and mobilizes Athlete Ally ambassadors, sports teams, athletic institutions and other partners to shift sport policy and advance LGBTQ rights locally and globally.

Anne has worked for a decade in advancing LGBTQI+ rights internationally. Prior to joining Athlete Ally, Anne led grant making and advocacy efforts in South & Southeast Asia for American Jewish World Service (AJWS). Before AJWS, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on gender and sexuality in Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport. Prior to her time in Thailand, Anne worked as a research assistant for the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) and was awarded a Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Fellowship. Anne holds an M.A. from Columbia University in Human Rights and a B.A. in African and African American Studies and Women’s Studies from Fordham University.

Outside of the office, you can find Anne on the mat at the Renzo Gracie Academy coaching Muay Thai or fighting on the amateur circuit nationally. Anne is a proud member of Jews for Racial Economic Justice (JFREJ), where she serves on their grassroots fundraising committee. 



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[00:00:00] Welcome to Episode 11 of Talking Point on WiSP Sports Radio brought to you by Hyland’s Earache Drops on WiSP Sports Radio we delve more deeply into the systemic barriers facing women in sport. I’m your host Lisa Inglefield and talking point is co-produced by myself and whisp score’s at West sports. We believe women in sport deserve equal coverage. Last month in episode 10 we spoke with Brenda Andress commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and founder of the she is campaign. She shared how the campaign came to be and what she hopes it will do for women’s sport the world over. This month we’re joined by Anne Lieberman the Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally an organization dedicated to elevating and supporting LGBT IQ plus athletes and shifting policy and practice to advance LGBT rights.

[00:00:52] And as a queer intersectional feminist and lifelong martial artist as Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally she leads the organizations state based and National LGBTQ rights efforts and mobilizes Athlete Ally ambassadors sports teams athletic institutions and other partners to shift sport policy and advance LGBTQ to rights locally and globally and has worked for a decade in advancing LGBTQ rights internationally. Prior to joining Athlete Alley Anne lead grant making and advocacy efforts in South and Southeast Asia for American Jewish World Service the four AJ WS and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on gender and Tsukuba sexuality in white tie Thailand’s national school. Prior to her time in Thailand and worked as a research assistant for the Bronx African-American History Project and was awarded a Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture fellowship and holds anM.A.from Columbia University and human rights and aB.A. in African and African-American studies and women’s studies from Fordham University. Outside of the office you can find an on the mat at Henzell Grosso Academy coaching Meitei of fighting on the AMA to soak it nationally and as a proud member of Jews for Racial economic justice where she serves on the grassroots fundraising committee. Welcome and we’re very excited to have you on the show today.

[00:02:17] Thank you so much. Thank you for that wonderful introduction and thank you for all the work you do to have all of these really important conversations great.

[00:02:26] You have done a lot of work over the years to have a long history of advocating for social justice and LGBTQ rights at sames and obviously with your work most recently. It’s with our on policy nationally and on a state level with Athlete Ally.

[00:02:42] And I’m wondering if you could just begin by telling us a little bit about Athlete Ally in the work that you do and how listeners might get involved with some of the advocacy products working on. Sure absolutely.

[00:02:53] So as you mentioned in the intro you know broadly speaking we educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQ equality.

[00:03:06] I mean if you visit us at athlete Aleida or you’ll see a number of campaigns to become involved in petitions to sign and we’ll talk about one of those petitions later on in the show.

[00:03:17] And when we look at our work and of 30000 foot view is we have three main pillars. So the first is focus on education. So we all know about people who often need education the most or educated the least. So a lot of our work focuses on educating athletic communities at all levels so from individual athletes to teams for governing bodies so that they really understand the obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ people in sports and how they can then build inclusive communities on their teams or within their organizations.

[00:03:49] So just briefly what that looks like in practice is holding trainings with front office staff with major sports leagues. We’ve worked with the NBA rookies for the past four years. Pride nights with teams and we’re also going to be launching an online curriculum for coaches focusing on LGBTQ inclusion and then the second major piece of our work which is also connected to a third is sport policy. So Absolutely. Sign

[00:17:22] one of the major obstacles again to LGBTQ inclusion sports is there are still a patchwork of protections for LGBTQ athletes. So we work to make sure that sport policy is as inclusive as it should be and that it’s also accessible to athletes especially queer athletes who want to play. And part of this for policy work is around applying pressure to local sport governing bodies to make sure that their policies are consistent enough even exists to begin with and a lot of this work. You know we talk about kind of an intra sexual analysis of the sports face you know a lot of the work has been you know we view LGBTQ issues as directly linked to gender equity. So we’ve launched campaigns calling on world rugby to adopt trans inclusive policies. We’ve joined the Women’s Pfieffer movement a sheaf of Congress to enact reforms for women in soccer. You know we partnered with Shear’s anon which is a media and advocacy organization for Muslim female athletes to end the Shihad ban. So all of this is directly related to our work on LGBTQ inclusion and so that’s for policy work in the way that we mobilize our constituents and our athletes is directly connected to our third pillar work which is really focused on athlete activism. So we leave so so strongly in our organization that athlete activism should be you now in many instances it is not accepted and expected. So we have an ambassador program. Yes. So we have an ambassador program that is now over 200 pro Paralympic and Olympic ambassadors and a big part of what we do is organize and mobilize around different LGBTQ focused social justice issues related to sport policy.

[00:18:59] As with the new new when I’m seeing you in airports will talk about that moment new double effort relations but also more broadly I love that piece about athletes that we should actually expect them to be activists right because they do have a platform and they’re role models for a lot of people and so I think that they’re very well positioned to address some of these social issues that are really restricting access to a lot of people to support a truly great yeah.

[00:19:23] So you’ve mentioned a couple of times in your discussion of athlete allies some of the big issues that are happening right now.

[00:19:29] And I know that Afellay ally has been working on the Double A s recent regulation concerning women and the levels of naturally occurring testosterone in the body to the point where they’re actually articulating a required level that women to compete as women have to fall below which in some cases means that women athletes are going to have to alter their body to meet that standard. And obviously Caster Semenya is a very famous athlete who has a higher level of naturally occurring testosterone and she is also the World Women’s World and Olympic record holder for the 100 metres and so this new Idolator regulation is. A newer regulation because I believe they had an older one that was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

[00:20:11] And so now they’ve introduced this next one and it recently in the last couple of months Athlete Ally released an open letter in opposition to this new regulation signed by a significant number of athletes articulating that this is a fundamentally discriminatory practice and policy and so I’m wondering if you could just begin by talking us through some of the key issues that have manifested here.

[00:20:34] Absolutely. So as you mentioned this regulation it’s not really new we say new and air quotes because it is a different version of a regulation that was previously overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and so an interesting piece of background about that regulation is that you know in 2015 CAS ruled that the regulation couldn’t stand because there was not enough available scientific evidence that there was any performance advantage caused by higher natural testosterone and that that performance advantage was so substantial that it warranted excluding women from competition.

[00:21:10] And I think part of what this brings up is there are so many levels of complexity that go into how we think about and how we understand competitive advantage. You know we think about all the other way athletes have competitive advantage access to better which is in facilities to pay for nutritionists recovery services all of these different pieces right so you know at the highest levels of sport physical characteristics can only get you so far.

[00:21:33] You also need serious technical skill to be able to be tough competitors from around the world. So there is a combination of factors that create an elite athlete so there’s just one piece rate around competitive advantage.

[00:21:44] Then there’s this other incredibly problematic issue which is why is it that the female categories force is so heavily policed and has been policed since beginning in the 1930s but really started to take shape in the 1960s when this humiliating practice of sex testing women was occurring at the highest levels of sport. So this is another kind of overarching question we think about bodily autonomy when we think about the way in which women in sport either do or don’t have control over their bodies and why you know in this particular instance with dysregulation why are only certain events being targeted not others.

[00:22:21] So there are a whole host of issues to really dig into here well and it’s so it’s the 800 metres no sorry 400 metres to a mile up to the right. So that and then. So I’m not sure what the rationale is behind that presumably because women are moving at faster speeds therefore the competitive advantage or advantages more severe.

[00:22:39] I don’t know. So here’s the thing that is very problematic about this regulation. So first you know many many independent researchers have called the IWC data out as incredibly flawed as a methodology being flawed not replicable. All of these issues. But let’s let’s just pretend for a moment that the IAEA data is sound. The biggest discrepancies in terms of competitive advantage were found in the hammer throw in the pole vault. But are those included in the new regulation. No. And so as you mentioned what’s included is every single one of Caster Semenya has events from you know 400 metres to the mile. And by the way there is no data even collected on a mile.

[00:23:17] So there are all kinds of that kind of political issues that come out of this gender issues and also when we think about the legacy of colonialism and sports you know it’s very intersexual there’s a reason why only women of color from the south countries are being policed.

[00:23:34] Yes I think this is a really complex issue and then it also for me taps into this narrative about what does it mean to be a woman and who gets to claim that label. Yeah and then like you said who’s policing it. Right. So the presumption that if you have a higher level of naturally occurring testosterone then there’s something fundamentally unwomanly about you. Feels really troubling to me.

[00:23:55] Absolutely. And and you know it’s this idea that somehow when women become too strong in their sport too fast too strong that they somehow brace themselves even out of the female category. And you know we’ve done a lot of work so when we organized this open letter we did it in partnership with Women’s Sports Foundation. And it was really a powerful joint effort between our athletes ambassadors and theirs. And we also worked with a medical anthropologist Katrina carcases who spent a lot of time studying testosterone and it actually is a new book coming out soon that’s dedicated to testosterone some of the mythology around testosterone. So it’s also about how messaging in understanding certain cornhole biological advantages and not taking into account other factors as I mentioned previously. And then.

[00:24:44] I think back in history about how science has been used to maintain discriminatory and oppressive exclusionary practices. Right. And so it feels simply like a revamp or a regurgitation of these older narratives that essentially give one group an advantage over others or maybe in the advantages just there were one group power over another group.

[00:25:04] Absolutely. And and one of the conversations off we also have been having quite a bit is we now have come to more of an understanding as a society even in more conservative spaces that gender is on a spectrum that gender is not binary but the conversation we are not having as much that we need to be having is that biological sex is also on a spectrum and it has also been politicized. You know and we’re now seeing this come up when we talk about international athletic competition and athletes who are defined by medical communities as intersex who may or may not identify themselves as being intersex.

[00:25:40] So you mentioned earlier about the sex testing that had happened. Right. And how athletes women athletes in particular had had to quote prove their identity. And how troubling and problematic that practices. And I’m wondering just for our listeners who don’t know much about that practice you would be at a share a little bit more about it.

[00:25:55] Sure absolutely. So you know as I mentioned previously women have been forced to undergo verification testing at the highest levels of sport for a long long time. And what the practice really started as was inspecting women’s genitals to make sure that they were truly quote unquote female. And then it morphed into a different practice of testing blood testing hormones testing a number of different things.

[00:26:17] But actually interestingly the IWC was the first international sport governing body to answer this call to test athletes in the 60s and had what was called a parade where they required female female athletes to parade naked in front of doctors.

[00:26:30] And you know though this new parade doesn’t occur. Women’s privacy bodies continue to be violated. And I think there’s also a question.

[00:26:37] You know I’ve also been in conversation with some some very high level athletes who say well listen when you are a very high level athlete you give up your right to privacy and of course these athletes who said this have been male identified athletes you know because men are not required to undergo gender issue testing. And so it’s it’s also a very paternalistic hysteria. About quote unquote protecting the integrity of women’s competition.

[00:27:01] And you know there’s another thing that I want to be very clear about which is you know women’s sports.

[00:27:07] For me as a female as a female as a coach as an athlete are very very important. And so I think when some people talk about this you know this gender policing the IWC because it’s a very polarizing topic. People think well you know we’re just going to do away with the female category or saying no this sets an incredibly dangerous precedent for all women because this is not just about us. You know it’s a slippery slope. And so that’s you know that’s why we had such overwhelming support from athletes like Megan Rapinoe and Billie Jean King and really high level names because they understand this to be a greater conversation about bodily integrity and control over one’s body.

[00:27:46] And that is multilayered and in a sectional as you had stated before and will include links in the show notes to the Athlete Ally letter and then to the Double A F response. And I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about their response to your letter.

[00:27:59] I read it and I found it to be mildly offensive and it felt very defensive. Kind of a knee jerk reaction if you will. And they also make reference to youth sports in compay inner. They make a kind of blanketed comparison between women’s sports and youth vote. So I’m wondering if you could share your thoughts on that.

[00:28:16] Yes. Thank you so so much for talking about this so we actually just responded to the IWC and we’ll be publishing that response on our Web site on Monday. We want to give them an opportunity to respond privately which I don’t think that they will respond again. But when we saw that first response we knew that they saw this that they saw the actually open letter as a serious issue and a threat because they responded almost immediately and in writing and then went public with the statement. And then there was additional media pick up around their response to the Athlete Ally and Sports Foundation letter.

[00:28:46] And so there are a number of things that are problematic about their response as you already mentioned. You know the first piece is a cheap hang onto this narrative that they’re not trying to prevent women from competing.

[00:28:56] But women don’t have a choice if they’re forced to compete in a male category which by the way they can’t do legally or intersex category which to our knowledge doesn’t exist and is not going to access them the the second layer to that is they just are continuing to dig their heels in behind Dana.

[00:29:12] That is fundamentally flawed. And so in our response to them we say you know a number of studies that call out the integrity of the data the methodology.

[00:29:20] And then the other piece is well is it in thinking about the precedent set the precedent this could set in in the previous case that was taken.

[00:29:30] Cass you know in the cases Ruling caste considered the rights of all women athletes and talked about the Olympic Charter and the IWC constitution. And they concluded that the regulation was discriminatory in its French on the rights of a minority group. So we’re talking about a regulation that actually in certain contexts around the world would not hold up in court.

[00:29:50] And then the and then the conversation about comparing women’s sports in sport was just you know another way in which the further infantilize women’s women’s participation in sport.

[00:30:00] And then for me also I was actually very happy that they wanted to talk about world class sports because I was like I have been teaching moiety.

[00:30:08] I’ve been coaching I’ve been doing this this martial arts for a decade spent my whole life growing up doing martial arts. And we are divided by class and never once have any of my athletes have any athletes. I know in my network been forced into a particular weight class by sport governing body or asked to medically alter their body in order to compete in a particular way class. So none so none of the comparisons that they’re trying to make are analogous. They’re not fair and they’re not accurate. So there are you know their response was it’s still a little bit a lot of it actually cobbled together. You know it’s still a little bit frantic and I think you’ll see. I don’t know if you had a chance to see the Human Rights Watch letter that was also sent to Lord Coe. But it’s not. And also provide you that link for the show notes because you know human Human Rights Watch also makes a lot of similar points and also also talks about the research that they have done around intersects human rights and bodily autonomy bodily integrity and the way in which the ice at the IWC policies and practices are in direct conflict with intersex rights.

[00:31:10] So I think you know now when we talk about next steps and what’s going to happen I don’t believe has been just dug their heels in so hard that I don’t necessarily see them we’re sending the regulation.

[00:31:23] But I do think that public pressure is going to continue to build. And I 100 percent think that they are going to lose the battle at Casse again.

[00:31:31] Yes it certainly seems that way. And have to to respond so frantically and so quickly. It does.

[00:31:37] It didn’t appear as though they put a lot of thought into their response. And I think that is ultimately going to hurt them.

[00:31:44] And it’s interesting right because they say in that I’m looking at the letter right now and they say and here you know that women you know who have testosterone levels about this seemingly arbitrary level.

[00:31:54] You know they’ll be eligible to compete in male and intersex Competition Period. The choices is right like that just ridiculous to me just even the way they frame that. But like you identify there is there is currently no into sex competition. Right. That’s like not a thing. Yes correct. Yep. So that’s interesting.

[00:32:10] Right. So when we think about sports is just completely predicated on this gender and sex binary.

[00:32:17] And yet they’re articulating in this letter that these these women are being excluded.

[00:32:21] They couldn’t choose where they participate. Right. Look we’re giving them all these choices. But one of the choices doesn’t even exist.

[00:32:27] Well actually neither choice really exists because they can’t they can’t compete in the male category because they’re legally not match. So it’s really it’s incredible. And yet the whole line about the choices there is like this is not the Matrix but it’s you know it’s it’s just so yeah rushed and that’s so great.

[00:32:45] This is not the matrix like take the blow. What is it the racialism or. Yeah yeah.

[00:32:49] You know the other thing too we that that deeply upsets me is you’re talking about you know as an athlete as a coach you know you are talking about athletes who have overcome all odds to be able to participate.

[00:33:01] You know you’re talking about Caster Semenya who is from rural Limpopo and South Africa you know due to Chan who at the previous cases from a rural part of India who didn’t have access to the same kind of training facilities you know all those other pieces that I spoke about before around competitive advantage.

[00:33:15] And they overcame all odds to compete at the highest level of their sport you know and that is not only because they are you know physically you know are different or so it’s it just needs to be a broader conversation about equity across the board that that isn’t only about testosterone. And I think one of the reasons why I’m so so excited for Katrina’s book is because you know she really deconstructs a lot of the myths around testosterone and the way in which testosterone interacts with other hormones in the body.

[00:33:47] She talks about you know really the detailed science and it’s just a really I’ve read parts of that and I can’t wait for it to come out because I think it’s really going to change how we think about competitive advantage. And I think years from now we’re going to look back on the work that’s being done now and really be absolutely horrified.

[00:34:06] You know more people not just Athlete Ally Sports Foundation you the folks that are you know entrenched in these discussions around human rights and sports are going to look for a fight that they sat by and let the similar athletes be treated this well.

[00:34:18] And I think that that is true throughout history. Right. There have been some extraordinarily shameful moments particularly inU.S. history.

[00:34:25] And you know globally that you know we look back on some 50 40 50 years later and are shocked to think that we ever got to that point and I think that this is an evolution and there’s that that I’m going to butcher this but there’s that phrase about the history follows the arc towards justice or something which is so not exactly the phrase to like it’s what you’re saying that we’re going to take a step forward in a couple of decades and look back and say How did we get to that place like how did we let that happen. And I think that obviously hindsight is 20 20. But really right now the work that you’re doing at Athlete Ally and other advocacy organizations that are really kind of pushing this issue to the forefront and saying let’s let’s not get to the place where we look back and be ashamed about what we did. Right. Let’s draw a line in the sand right now. In a in this competitive advantage thing is so interesting because when you were talking about that I was thinking about triathlon which is the sport that I participate in.

[00:35:16] And I think about kind of a lot of the enhancements that individuals have access to based on socio economic status right. So yes. So they have a digital gear changing on their bikes right. They have these various fancy wheels that are more aerodynamic and they have the you know they sit in wind tunnels for hours on end to have the suit that gives them the most kind of second advantage in terms of wind resistance and you know Jerma random athlete doesn’t have access to all of that. So and that’s a massive competitive advantage.

[00:35:44] That’s not that is not one of biology right.

[00:35:46] Absolutely. And in triathletes are actually a fantastic example of the because of all the gear.

[00:35:51] Right. Right. And then so thinking about folks who kind of come back to this. They can’t get past. It’s not fair. Right. We want sports to be fair. It needs to be. Women need to be competing fairly against other women men against other men. And so you know when we think about equity I understand equity is slightly different from fairness but fairness is certainly the avenue that the EFF is taking and I think that that’s probably where a lot of people begin and end their discussion is that it needs to be fair and these women are creating unfair competition. What do you have to say about that.

[00:36:23] Yeah I think it is.

[00:36:24] There’s such an emphasis on testosterone because we believe it to be the hormone that provides the most competitive advantage.

[00:36:33] It is the differentiation between you know levels of testosterone are the differentiation between male and female athletes when in reality there for at at the elite levels there is an absolute overlap between men and women and their testosterone levels and there are men there are a lower range similar to women. Women are at a higher range so there’s actually even the way in which we understand levels of testosterone in at the highest levels of sports. There is an overlap and so when we think about fairness and competition and the science is there really an advantage and we don’t we don’t know that but we are hyper focused on the and. And I also think that when we think about fairness and competition you know it’s this argument that it hurts. It hurts me deeply as as a female athlete because so are we saying that the rights of some women are more important than others. Are we saying that so I can win a gold medal based on fundamentally flawed science that Caster Semenya should be forced to undergo medically unnecessary intervention. How does that make sense. How was that fair.

[00:37:35] You know so I think that I think that that’s a really power that’s something that is really powerful to me when we think about fairness in and also that even though we understand fairness a competitive advantage has been through frameworks that have been dictated by and developed by men.

[00:37:50] You know so it’s like there are so many ways in which we hold on to certain ideologies that we believe to be true but we need to as a sports community as athletes as sports fans be willing to do the work do the reading have a conversations about these issues.

[00:38:07] Yes so that’s a really key piece is if you’re getting stuck on fairness. It’s understanding that this issue is really much broader than testosterone and that hanging your hat on finesse through the lens of testosterone and advantage is a limited way to understand the issue and there’s a lot more research that you could do to really gain the depth of understanding about how much more complicated this is would you say OK I’m OK because I think that you know I hear that a lot around finesse and I understand why folks get to that point.

[00:38:35] I do and I think that we need to challenge people to move beyond this fixation on testosterone that you’ve articulated and that you know is going to be discussed in this book which will will will include a link in the show notes related to the book too.

[00:38:47] I think that it’s hard for folks right because this also comes back to some of the fundamental structures that you’re challenging here around gender and around sex and that neither are binary is and that there is no quote unquote normal way to identify your gender or present your gender. Right. There are manifestations of gender and sex that are advantaged as system right that our. People are policed backed into those boxes which is it’s centrally what’s happening here. So I think that it’s kind of rocking the foundation of our many of our understanding of what is right and normal.

[00:39:20] Absolutely. You know and and we see when we think about the next generation of athletes you know the generations years I believe that they called.

[00:39:27] Over half of those folks don’t identify with a binary gender. So what what is going to happen when that generation starts to be more active in sports.

[00:39:36] You know we say this all the time in our world because we see it through the athlete activism that sport is on a collision course with society. And these are going to be these are going to be conversations that you know we’re definitely having more and more as an organization.

[00:39:48] But for governing bodies are serving to grapple with these issues more and more. And we’re going to have to find a way to create a sports world in the sports community that lets everyone play this that lets everyone run. And for us that really is our North Star is that everyone regardless of gender identity sexual orientation sex characteristics race class ability everyone should be able to play sports well and that is the narrative of civil rights.

[00:40:16] Way I Think about how well is marketed it is the great Junita.

[00:40:20] It is a team builder. It is something that develops leadership skills with a capacity to work well with others.

[00:40:25] That’s the narrative that’s out there but in reality there’s still a significant amount of exclusion that happens in sport. Obviously when we’re talking about women and men this IMF regulation just kind of takes that to a whole new level in terms of discrimination around women’s identity biology. And then let’s intersect that in a sex intersect that with colonialism and racism and Klaas’s right.

[00:40:46] And so there is a disconnect between what we say sport is and what sport actually is currently. I think absolutely 100 percent so obviously this is a huge conversation and we could probably talk for the next 10 hours about this and I don’t know that Allison meadows or where I would be willing to stay with us for that long. So to wrap up. What

[00:41:03] can listeners do so if we picked people’s interest and they want to learn more obviously we’ll put a time information in the show notes. But how can they get involved with Athlete Ally. What are your recommendations.

[00:41:12] So the first would be just to visit us at Athlete Ally dot org. Sign up with us.

[00:41:18] the petition because in addition to the open letter we also have a petition petition in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation that we’re still collecting signatures on. So that is an amazing way to stay engaged. And also if there are issues other issues that were involved in that are of particular interest to definitely shoot me an email to put my e-mail on the show as well because we build this movement person by person and we have amazing folks in our network from that kind of outreach. So we want to hear from you if you are a queer athlete and you are struggling. We want to hear from you if you are a trans or nonbinary athlete listening and you want to play. You have to run. Contact us. We have folks we can connect you to we can do some work with you. So that’s what I would say.

[00:41:58] All right that’s great.

[00:41:59] There’s a lot of opportunities to get engaged and I think I would just say that you know we’ve come a long way but we still have a really long way to go and we don’t want to be looking back on this moment in time 20 years from now I’m feeling shameful about it because there’s something fundamentally wrong with the direction that the Idol AEF is going in my humble opinion.

[00:42:16] And so I think that this is the opportunity for us to speak up and to really say this isn’t we don’t agree.

[00:42:22] So thank you so much. And we really appreciate you joining us today.

[00:42:26] Thank you so much. This was so wonderful. Thank you. Good.

[00:42:29] We really hope that this has provided a point of education for Allisons and that folks are willing and ready to get involved and sign that petition and easy thing that you can do. And we will look forward to talking a little bit more about this and I’m excited to see how the Ice Age responds to your letter in response to their letter. Hazar.

[00:42:47] All right well thanks again so much for being on the show. Thank you so much.

[00:42:50] Thanks again to end Lieberman for joining us today to talk about Athlete Ally and the issue of policing womanhood in sports. We will include links to everything that we talked about in today’s show so you can continue to learn more about the issue and support Athlete Ally and others in this work. Also don’t forget to visit us one says at For show notes including related links and a full transcript of the episode visit You can also find hundreds of additional podcasts on whisp sports radio. Subscribe to Austin using your preferred podcast player. And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes. From our conversations from the world of women’s sport including blogs articles and videos visit us up post your comments questions and suggestions on our Facebook page or email us at info at and follow share and like @wispsports on social media. You can reach me Lisa Ingarfield @tritodefi on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you for listening and supporting women in sport everywhere. We’ll be back next month with another in-depth thought provoking conversation.






Photo: Anne Lieberman (supplied)

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