Where My Girls At, Girls At?
The GIST: We’re doubling down on boss @$$ women in sports this week.
Woman of the Year!: Huge news - tennis icon Serena Williams is GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year! However, the cover of the mag has sparked a lot of controversy because GQ crossed out the word ‘men’ and wrote ‘woman’ above it in quotation marks. Yikes.
Punctuation Matters, People: To some, the quotation marks around ‘woman’ represent yet another example of racialized sexism directed at Williams. Throughout her career, Williams has been body shamed for her strong physique, with some referring to her as masculine. The sh!t this world-class athlete has had to put up with is simply ridiculous.
It’s Just Art: However, GQ explained that hand-writing and quotation marks are from famous designer Virgil Abloh. Abloh is known for designs with his quotations, and even designed Williams’ head-turning “Logo” US Open outfits.
Covergirl: Williams has yet to make any comments on the cover. So, was this a v disappointing editing miss from a world-class mag? Maybe. Was this a publicity stunt? Maybe. Did GQ think this cover wouldn’t be a BFD because the quotation marks are ‘signature’ Virgil Abloh? Maybe. Either way you look at the controversial cover, at least there’s one thing that we can hopefully all agree on - that it’s inspiring to see a powerful woman on the cover.
Top of Her Class: In other boss @$$ women news, next year Susanna Dinnage will become the first woman CEO of the English Premier League (EPL). This is a BFDbecause the EPL is the most-watched soccer league in the world, making her arguably the most powerful woman in British sport. Dinnage comes from a television background and was previously responsible for running Eurosport - a massive European sports network. We think this hiring is dope AF. It is SO refreshing to FINALLY have a female role model at the top of a massive sports organization.
Two Sides of an Olympic-Sized Coin
The GIST: Calgarians voted against hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics in a plebiscite on Tuesday despite a huge push from athletes and the city’s mayor.
WTF is a Plebiscite?: It’s basically just a fancy word (well la-dee-dah) for when a city hosts a vote on a major issue they want residents to weigh in on. In this case: Are Calgarians FOR or AGAINST their city hosting the 2026 Olympics and Paralympics? About 305,000 (out of 1.2M) people turned out to vote, with 55% voting ‘no’ and 44% voting ‘yes’.
What happens now?: The vote was non-binding, which means it isn’t a do-all to end-all. But without the residents’ support, the province of Alberta backed out of a promise to provide $700M in funding. And, considering the Games could cost upwards of $3B in taxpayer dollars, losing that funding is a massive obstacle to hosting. The deciding vote by Calgary city council will take place on Monday, but it’s expected they won’t move forward with the bid.
How are people feeling?: Like in any romantic relationship two-sided vote, there are winners and there are losers. The bid was seen by some as a chance to recapture themagic of the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. But the bid also came with a huge mystery price tag, especially considering many Olympics run over budget and often leave the host city in an economic deficit. This whole situation honestly just makes us wanna play the90’s banger, Torn, on repeat. “I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel!”
Headstrong, Take on Anyone
The GIST: Early this week, the NHL reached an $18.9M USD tentative settlement with retired NHL players that suffered from serious head injuries and their after-effects due to a lack of information and protection from the league.
On the Ice: Concussions are a BFD in hockey, so big that 318 retired NHL players sued the league for failing to protect them from head injuries or telling them that concussions were a risk at all. Even “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky admits to not knowing what a concussion was during his career. On Monday, a tentative settlement was reached. And while $18.9M USD seems large, only $22k USD is guaranteed to go to each player. It doesn’t feel like nearly enough for players like Daniel Carcillo, who’s powerful viral video from earlier this year reminded everyone of the damage many NHLers had no idea could happen.
On the Turf: In comparison, the NFL settled for $1B USD. BUT the difference with theNFL is that over 20k former players and their families are a part of that settlement. In comparison to the NFL, the NHL lacked superstar retirees on the list of players suing AND the huge number of players taking legal action. Hockey culture, it’s just different.
GIST Some Other Sh!t you Should Know
- Le’Veon Bell is betting on himself. *cue Zac Efron’s High School Musical 2’s epic “Bet On It” musical interlude on the golf course here* The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star running back surprised many by never showing up to play this season! Why? Because, like many of us, he felt he was worth more than his company was going to pay him.
The major difference between us and Bell though is that his salary was a v casual $14.4-million USD. YEP, HE WALKED AWAY FROM OVER $14 MILLION DOLLARS!!! By not showing up to Pittsburgh by Tuesday he’s sending the message that he wants a much bigger contract (likely with a different team) next season. Short-term pain, long-term gain perhaps?
- Dwane Casey had something to prove in his return to Toronto last night, and he proved it in epic fashion. After six seasons, Casey’s firing from Toronto this offseason was bittersweet—he led the franchise in coaching victories but was never able to beat Lebron James in the playoffs get Toronto a championship ring. Casey exacted revengewhen his Pistons completed their startling 106-104 comeback victory, sealing the deal with a buzzer-beater (less than one second remaining). Seriously, we cannot believe how wild this finish was.
What’s Up This Week
Just Whip It: The GIST (okay mostly Jacie) loves whippin’ around on bikes because it makes everyday commuting so much easier. Whether we’re headed to brunch or a meeting, it’s so easy to do it on two wheels (and it makes us feel good that we’re sneaking in some exercise too!). This holiday season, Detroit Bikes has some sweet deals on their site to help you get out on the road! And, for one lucky GISTer, they’re giving away a US Made B-Type in hunter green. *drools*
Tonight: Remember to get your picks in for The GIST Football Pool by 7:30 p.m. ET today! Click here for this week’s newsletter and to play (v free, v easy, v fun)! Tonight’s Thursday night matchup is the Green Bay Packers at the Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. ET.
Friday: The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing in a late-night showdown against theAnaheim Ducks at 10 p.m. ET in California.
Sunday: It’s Division Final time for the CFL playoffs! The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are taking on the Ottawa Redblacks at 1:00 p.m. ET followed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers facing the Calgary Stampeders at 4:30 p.m. ET. The winner of each game moves on to the Grey Cup Finals. Get #thegist on all things Grey Cup here.