As a sports enthusiast and a woman, it would seem a given that I be a huge fan of women’s sports, but the truth is that was not always the case. Due to lack of exposure a majority of my sports content has always been men’s sports. Every time I watch women’s sports I am incredibly moved and entertained, but for most of my life I only got the opportunity to watch women’s sports during big moments (World Cups or Olympics). Women’s professional sports are a microcosm for the importance of understanding the difference between equality and equity. Sure, professional female athletes have their own sports, but they are in no way equitable to men’s professional sports. Women are not afforded the same pay scale, same airtime on networks, or offers for endorsements. This is changing but incrementally, not drastically (just take a look at the pay gap for starters). None of this has to do with women’s abilities or how fun watching their games can be. Serena Williams might be one of the most explosive athletes ever, Sue Bird’s three-point percentage is just as consistent as Steph Curry’s, Simone Biles is the most decorated gymnast ever, and the USWNT have been surpassing their male counterparts for decades. All of this has brought more fans to women’s sports, but it seems large media outlets are slow to make progress. So, where do all the fans go? Social media has given me the ability to follow along much easier, especially when following brands such as Just Women’s Sports. They support women athletes by promoting their content with the same tenacity men have always been afforded. While following them I found an entire new way to engage with women’s professional sports: podcasts. Just Women’s Sports has three podcasts they produce, and all three are must-listen to podcasts for sports enthusiasts.
The first podcast is aptly named The Just Women’s Sports Podcast. It is hosted by USWNT star and Washington Spirit defender Kelly O’Hara. O’Hara has a unique podcasting style that is lighthearted but also focused, as she asks guests to share their athletic journeys. O’Hara’s successful athletic career (two World Cup championships, two Olympic medals, and a recent NWSL championship) helps explain her interest in the drive behind each athlete’s story. She seems to be genuinely fascinated with each athlete’s unique journey to the top of their profession. Each athlete starts with their childhood and then discuss all the different milestones that got them to the top of their game. The podcast has guests ranging from household names, such as WNBA star Candace Parker, all the way to recent Olympic swimming sensation Erica Sullivan. The podcast is currently in its fourth season and has many episodes to listen to. Since joining I have expanded my knowledge, as specific episodes sparked my interest in different sports that I had no prior knowledge on. O’Hara treats each athlete with the same intrigue in their work process that men are afforded in interviews. Her guests are not plagued with questions that women athletes are often asked because simply being a female athlete makes a political/social statement. O’Hara gives guests a chance to share what drives them proving women athletes are equally (or more) interesting as their male counterparts. If you have ever wanted to understand the mindset of a professional athlete, this podcast is for you.
The second podcast Just Women’s Sports produces is Tea with A & Phee hosted by WNBA All-Stars and Gold Medal Olympians A’ja Wilson and Napheesa Collier. Tea with A & Phee is a fun and exciting take that feels like you are listening to an hour with friends. Despite being rivals on the court (Wilson plays for the Las Vegas Aces and Collier plays for the Minnesota Lynx) the two have a hilarious and entertaining dynamic. Wilson and Collier discuss everything from basketball to the latest pop culture updates and even their own personal lives during the podcast. In their first season (2020) they took listeners into the bubble with them and podcasted during their time in the WNBA bubble where Wilson ended up winning MVP. With guests ranging from NBA star Steph Curry to rapper Saweetie, and two seasons worth of content, the podcast is a must listen to for any fan of basketball, women’s sports, or even for those who just like a nice cup of piping hot tea.
The third podcast from Just Women’s Sports is the Snacks with Lynn & Sam podcast. Hosted by NWSL and USWNT stars Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis, the show is a peek behind the curtain of Women’s soccer. They interview professional women’s soccer stars ranging from Megan Rapino to Crystal Dunn. The two stars are former roommates and teammates who have a chemistry that makes the podcast feel like a fun bus ride with your teammates. They discuss everything from their personal lives to the weekly happenings in women’s soccer. Their interview style is breezy, and their friendly energy seems to be matched with each guest. If you are a fan of women’s soccer and want to get a deeper understanding of the game from a player’s perspective, this podcast is for you.
The Just Women’s Sports Podcast, Tea with A & Phee Podcast, and Snacks with Lynn & Sam Podcast are all available anywhere you stream your podcasts.