“If we really care about the future of girls in sports, we need to invest in the girls that are actually playing these sports.”
A perfect companion piece to my recent conversation with Lauren Fleshman — and in furtherance of better understanding the issues that swirl around gender, sport and fairness — today I sit down with an investigative journalist breaking some of the biggest stories in women’s sports.
Meet Lindsay Crouse.
A graduate of Harvard University, where she competed in both cross country and track and field, Lindsay is a senior staff editor and senior OpDocs producer at The New York Times. If you’ve been paying any attention to running news (or just big headlines in general) then you are already familiar with Lindsay’s work. At the epicenter of the conversation that surrounds sports and power, Lindsay is behind some of the biggest sports stories and opinion pieces in recent memory, with a particular focus on the role and state of women’s distance running.
Some of Lindsay’s most popular pieces include How The ‘Shalane Flanagan Effect’ Works, which examined the former podcast guest and New York City Marathon victor’s elevating impact on other women; she broke the story on Nike’s refusal to guarantee female athletes’ salaries during or immediately post-pregnancy; and she produced the piece in which Allyson Felix told her story around Nike and pregnancy.
Lindsay also worked with last week’s guest Lauren Fleshman on her powerful November Op-Ed, I Changed My Body For My Sport. No Girl Should and is responsible for the bombshell opinion piece about the emotional abuse suffered by Mary Cain under her former coach, Alberto Salazar. I Was The Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike created such a stir, it went on to become the 42nd most read New York Times piece for all of 2019.
In her role as a senior producer of OpDocs, Lindsay’s many credits include the wonderful film about minimalist marathoner Memo and Walk, Run, Cha Cha, which was recently lauded with an Academy Awards nomination in the documentary short subject category.
In addition, Lindsay is an accomplished athlete in her own right. With 12 marathons under her belt, she recently posted an impressive 2:53 26.2 PR — a feat accomplished (subsequent to our conversation) while balancing the tremendous rigors of her demanding career.
I first came across Lindsay by way of her recurring cameos in my friend (and RRP guest from episodes 73, 144, & 174) Casey Neistat’s wildly popular vlog. So in 2015, I began following Lindsay’s career. As I watched her work mature and profile grow, I eagerly awaited each new article — and anticipated an opportunity to share her experience and insight on the podcast.
Today is that day. And it’s everything I hoped it would be.
We begin with Lindsay’s personal trajectory from Rhode Island roots and attending Harvard to landing a job at the most prestigious newspaper in the world.
We discuss maternity rights and the gender wage gap by going behind the scenes on Nike’ relationship with pregnant athletes. The controversies surrounding Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project. The personal stories shared by Mary Cain, Kara Goucher, Alysia Montaño and Allyson Felix. And gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s campaign to secure fair pay for NCAA athletes.
We explore the ways in which the sports industry has failed to make way for women. Why almost all current sports science is based on men. And why conventional coaching has led to a sordid history of harming female athletes.
In addition, Lindsay recounts what it’s actually like to work at The New York Times in our post-truth, ‘fake news’ world. The unique pressures that accompany breaking big stories. And how she manages to balance everything — and still kick serious ass in running.
The ongoing impact of Lindsay’s journalism is immeasurable. So it was an absolute honor and a delight to sit down with her.
Note: Because this conversation transpired at the New York Times offices (as opposed to my studio), we did not film the conversation. In addition, it was recorded in mid-October and thus not current with the immediate news cycle.
I can’t say enough good things about Lindsay and the work she is doing to advance the role and voice of women in sports. I love this conversation. I sincerely hope you do as well.
Peace + Plants,
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Background, Context & Reference
- Connect with Lindsay: NY Times | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- NY Times: Meet Memo, The Marie Kondo of Fitness
- NY Times: I Changed My Body For My Sport. No Girl Should.
- NY Times: Everyone Made Money Off My N.C.A.A. Career, Except Me
- NY Times: A Runner’s Career Ends, But Her Mission Goes The Distance
- NY Times: I Was The Fastest Girl In America, Until I Joined Nike
- NY Times: Nike Told Me To Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted A Baby
- NY Times: Allyson Felix: My Own Nike Pregnancy Story
- NY Times: Where Are All The Women Coaches?
- NY Times: How Did Eliud Kipchoge Break the Marathon Record So Soon?
- NY Times: Nike and Pregnancy: Your Questions, Answered
- NY Times: When One of the World’s Most Visible Athletes Is Told She Can’t Be One
- NY Times: Why Don’t Women Get Comebacks Like Tiger Woods?
- NY Times: Walk, Run Cha-Cha
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