In This Episode
This week on Takeline, Jason and Renee react to game three of the NBA finals and talk with The Old Man & The Three hosts, JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. Plus, Renee and Jason discuss the racist abuse subjected to Black soccer players on the English National team after losing to Italy in the 2020 UEFA Euro Final and the news about Sha’Carri Richardson not being able to run at the Tokyo Olympics.
Don’t forget to smash the subscribe button at http://youtube.com/takelineshow for exclusive video clips and to watch ALL CAPS NBA. New episodes every Friday!
Jason Concepcion: Imagine if the US men’s or women’s national team was getting so badly racially abused by American fans that, like Joe Biden had to make a statement. That’s what we’re talking about. Truly, truly troubling.
Renee Montgomery: It’s crazy. That’s crazy.
Jason Concepcion: Game three of the NBA finals was this past Sunday, and the Bucks are back in town, baby. Home cooking, obviously treating the Milwaukee Bucks very well Giannis Antetokounmpo looked about as comfortable at the line as one could be when they’re not like in a Jacuzzi. Bucks won 120-100. The series is 2:1, Renee, with game four coming Wednesday in Milwaukee. I’m wondering what do you think? Bucks going to make this 2:2?
Renee Montgomery: I do not think Bucks are going to make this 2:2. I think that what we said, Suns in five, I believe that that was the Bucks win. I was telling a lot of people, the Suns are a dominant team, they’re a great team. It’s really, really hard to beat a team four straight times in a row. I don’t care how good you are as opposed to how not great they may be. Not saying the Bucks aren’t great, but it’s just very hard to do. So you kind of knew that the Suns were going to drop one and that’s their one. That’s about it. I think that that’s it.
Jason Concepcion: Let me play devil’s advocate. And I have, I did pick the Suns to win the series. It feels to me like Giannis at the five, and kind of like more generally the, just saying: Giannis you’re big, go down low and score over everyone with hooks and everything—is much like Chris Paul making decisions in the pick and roll. Not really a thing that the Suns can do anything about, especially if you get Ayton in foul trouble in the course of doing that. Now there’s, there are some weird things right. The first, I think if you look at the two 40-point games, right? Giannis in the first 40-point game was like hitting all these weird floaters, that you’re like wow where’d that come from? And then game three, 13 of 17 from the line—it’s amazing how different he looks, when he’s not scared to have the ball and go to the line and is willing to go down there and just be downhill and aggressive. He’s the two-time MVP. Is there an adjustment the Suns can make against that? And can that be enough to extend this series to six or seven?
Renee Montgomery: I mean, I always think that first of all, let me just speak to the Greek freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo—OK he’s been reading the press clippings.
Jason Concepcion: Yes he has.
Renee Montgomery: You got to remember how competitive NBA players are. Professional athletes are. Any athletes in general are just naturally competitive. So while everyone has been talking about Khris Middleton, and how he’s been carrying the team and all this and that—Giannis has been reading the press clippings. So Giannis wanted to come through and show everybody, yes, I’m that guy 2 40-point games in a row, just so people can kind of understand the thought process, because that’s how athletes work. Like he says, oh, OK, y’all think I can’t carry this? You think I can score? So two, and then to answer your question, I do think that there are things you can do against Giannis, though. I really do. I think, first of all, you have to make sure that in the open court he’s a nightmare to guard. So that starts on the offensive end, take good shots, take care of the ball. But on the other end of it, you have to create a crowd, create a wall. We talk about it all the time, but you just have to, on players that have a weakness from the outside, you have to make it every time they come into the paint, you see multiple bodies, not just one on one, not just a quick start. And I know they have shooters, so I get that part too. But you got to pick a poison. That’s why it’s called pick a poison. It’s not going to be easy either way. But you just can’t let Giannis go one on one to the basket, fillet, finger roll dunk—like that’s his specialty. So any time in the playoffs, you don’t want people doing their specialty. Kind of like a Chris Paul to your point, where that mid range game, I mean, he’s getting all he can, all you can eat buffet. That’s Chris Paul right now.
Jason Concepcion: Well, when Chris, you know, it’s Abbud was getting a lot of criticism, as is normal, about the pick and roll coverage after game one, you know, Chris Paul is just making all the right decisions. Him and Booker, they’re just like torturing Buck switches and defenders and they get the right person on them and then they just go to work. But it’s like one, this series is about offenses and not defenses to me, and then two, Chris Paul, it’s like when you say pick your poison, the poisons are like cyanide and Drano, like they both literally will kill you.
Renee Montgomery: Deadly.
Jason Concepcion: There’s both, both are terrible. Like there’s no good, there’s actually no good answer. And I, that’s why I still think, I think that this could go six or seven, because if Giannis is going to be this guy and is going to be that aggressive and not going to care about getting fouled, I think he’s capable of putting up these numbers every night. But then it’s just a matter of—
Renee Montgomery: So I’m curious your thoughts, because there a lot of talk about Giannis and and Khris Middleton, but usually when a team loses, you got to talk about, well, what happened when you were rolling. So we know that Devin Booker struggled from shooting a little bit.
Jason Concepcion: He struggling, it’s not going to happen again.
Renee Montgomery: 3 for 14, 10 points. You know, he didn’t play the entire fourth quarter, but that was more so because the game was a 20-point game and it was almost like, all right, let’s see what we can do. But what are your thoughts on Booker’s play in games three? I mean, Chris Paul still had 19 and 9 to nine, so you can’t I mean—he’s still doing Chris Paul, things. But what are your thoughts on Devin Booker, who, as we know, has carried them?
Jason Concepcion: I think everybody, listen, you’re going to have a bad game. Every, everybody’s going to have a bad game over the course of a seven game series where the other team is just trying to stop you or limit the things that you want to do. But there’s, they’re not going to be able to keep Booker down like this for more than this game, I think. You know, just he’s just proved that whether it’s even when his shot isn’t going in the way you expect, which it really hasn’t over the course of this playoffs, he just kills you at the line. Absolutely destroys you at the line. He and that was the thing that really wasn’t there this game. Only three out of five from the line and only five free throws tells you something. Now, we haven’t talked about Scott Foster and that’s for good reason. I’m glad we don’t have to talk about him in the context of the game, but only, but only five free throws. I don’t think that will happen again. But for both teams, to me, it’s really just it’s about offense, and I think the Bucks have a harder time scoring in a way that is, that allows the team to build momentum. You saw in game two, right, Giannis goes crazy, but Middleton kind of took a back seat with Giannis allowing him to do that. And then when he tried to get into his role to take over, it kind of just wasn’t there. He had a hard time getting going. Drew Holiday, obviously, like has had a bad series up until this game. And then you’re just hoping you get something,—why can never say his name—Pat Connaughton or Bryn Forbes. Whereas the Suns, I feel like they just have an easier time getting into their offense in a way that allows other players to score.
Renee Montgomery: And speaking of that, I think something that was huge in the game there’s not a lot of people are talking about is DeAndre Ayton is the rim protector at the rim. So we’re talking about Giannis scoring a lot of points in the paint, well DeAndre Ayton played 24 minutes because he had five fouls. Now the game was—
Jason Concepcion: That was huge.
Renee Montgomery: That was huge. Like I think that that needs to be understood that DeAndre Ayton, even in the first half alone he had sixteen points in the first half and seven for nine shooting in 20 minutes and then out of the full 24 minutes that he played for the game he finished with 18. But those five fouls that got him put on the bench, I think that not only changed the dynamics of the Suns offense, but really that defensive anger that somebody that can meet people at the rim. I just felt like the rim protection wasn’t there, but if you have your starting center is sitting on the bench beside you. I mean, that’s going to do that every time.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, it just allowed Giannis to go absolutely wild—
Renee Montgomery: Crazy.
Jason Concepcion: Down low. Wild, down low. And then there’s not much you can do with him unless you have size to meet size and force to meet force. And with Ayton out, but like yeah that was absolutely huge.
Jason Concepcion: I guess we should now mention that the Chris Paul streak of losses under—
Renee Montgomery: Oh gosh!
Jason Concepcion: I’m glad that no ones’, you know it was a big storyline coming into it. Right? Chris Paul and many other players have had issues with Scott Foster going back years. Scott apparently just has a very quick trigger and is not the kind of ref that you can talk to, let’s just put it that way, which is the criticism that many, many players, not just Chris Paul, have leveled against Scott Foster. But really not not the, now the Bucks did take there was a free throw disparity. It was the exact same free throw disparity from the previous game, but in the opposite way. But that was not really, I don’t think that anybody could look at this game and say, oh, the officiating was, other than like Ayton getting in foul trouble, which I think was did not seem out of the ordinary considering what was going on. I’m glad that this is not a storyline.
Renee Montgomery: I’m glad too, but I kind of like keeping ref stats. Wow. Like we got the advanced analytics to say Chris Paul has lost twelve straight games refereed by Scott Foster. It is back to 2013 with the advanced anyalitics! I mean—
Jason Concepcion: It’s an issue, it’s a legitimate, I mean, you know, like it’s a legit—when multiple players have the same critique of a ref and it really does seem like the ref is in a player’s head. And not only that, but like maybe goes out of his way to call certain things. It is, it is a point of discussion.
Renee Montgomery: So, listen, if it’s a point of discussion for fans and us, like fans of the NBA, imagine being the athlete. Because I know, know I know certain refs that will not be named that everyone in the league knows are you can’t really say nothing to him. You know, he don’t have thick skin. He got skin, skinny skin, is what I call it, because some refs do not have thick skin at all. So you know, that if you go to them, they’re ready to give you a T. I mean, they look at you like, huh, what, what you got to say, they’re just ready. They carry this energy that is like they want the conflict. They don’t want to talk it out. So I don’t mind that this is being brought up because I think accountability was the word for 2020 and we might as well halfway carry it over to 2021. And I think that there’s not necessarily a lot of accountability when it comes to reffing now.
Jason Concepcion: No.
Renee Montgomery: Shouts to Monty and all of my homies that are head of the referee and officials because I know that they, like people might not know this, but refs do go back and watch film. They have to, they have to report back to their head referee and different things. So they do have a checks and balance system in place. But me as a player and me now, you know, as a fan, if we see stats like lost the twelve straight, and look, we’re not going to blame it on Scott Foster. I get that. But when you see, or when you, if you can do a poll and you can ask all the athletes around the league what they feel about a certain ref and if there’s this overwhelming feeling, I think that that needs to be held accountable. I think that’s where the accountability has to come in. That’s all I’m saying.
Jason Concepcion: Any predictions going forward?
Renee Montgomery: Yeah, I still think Suns in five. I think that they’ll win the next two. You know, like you said, it’s hard to hold Devin Booker down and he had a terrible shooting night. DeAndre Ayton was in foul trouble. The Bucks killed it. So not taking anything away from the Bucks because like I said, I knew in the beginning you can’t, it’s hard to sweep a team. I just think the Suns man, they’re healthy and they’re hungry. They’re healthy and hungry. What do you think?
Jason Concepcion: I agree with you. I will say though, I think the Saric injury is a little bit more impactful than maybe general basketball audiences are aware, because, like, obviously, Dario Saric was kind of a cult figure in process era Philadelphia, but not really a named guy, but like has size and with him out now you’re playing Kaminsky, you’re having to play Frank Kaminsky and when you play Frank Kaminsky, you know, the reaction is like, why are you playing Frank? Because you have to. Like that, you just have to have him out there. And with Kaminsky as your backup big and if Ayton, gets in foul trouble, it’s just, it’s just a a slight fraying of the Suns ability to put out the answers that they have been putting out over the course of this playoffs. That said, I still think it’s going to be Suns. I’m going to say in Suns in six. I think the Bucks get another one. But I think that whoever wins the road game, the first road game is going to win this series. And I think it’s going to be the Suns. I think just offensively they, they have the key to unlock everything that the Bucks try to do defensively.
Jason Concepcion: Joining us now are the hosts of The Old Man & The Three podcast, JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. Folks, welcome to Takeline. It’s so great to have you.
JJ Redick: It’s great to be here. We, this is like a new thing for Tommy and I where we get to go on podcast together. This is our second invite. This is a big deal. This is a big deal.
Tommy Alter: I don’t really understand this. I don’t know why people invite us.
Renee Montgomery: How do you like it? How are you feeling about this?
Tommy Alter: Why do people invite us places? I don’t get it.
Jason Concepcion: Why do be people invite us places?! Coming from Tommy Alter, that is a wild statement.
JJ Redick: Tommy got invited to do I think it was the Pelicans podcast this past winter as like a solo guest.
Renee Montgomery: OK.
JJ Redick: And it was, I’m not going to lie, it was like a proud dad moment for me. I was a super stoked.
Renee Montgomery: I like that.
Tommy Alter: It was a great experience. Shout out, I don’t remember their names, but those guys were good guys. Shout out to them.
Jason Concepcion: I love it. Well, game three was this Sunday. Bucks finally showed that they, they have some offensive punch outside of Giannis. Do you think that anything that happened in that game changed the tenor of the series at all?
JJ Redick: I have to be honest about something, and I knew you were going to talk about the playoffs and the finals. So yesterday afternoon, and it had been planned for a couple of weeks, we hosted in our backyard an oyster, basically an oyster truck, except it was a boat planted in our yard. And originally it was going to be like our neighbors. You know, we’ve got to know people in our neighborhood we were going to have our neighbors over. And then it was like, do we like this person, should we invite that person. Before you know it, it was like a party of 40 people. Anyways, it was four to seven, had the game lined up, ready to go. One thing led to another and we started drinking. I started to open up some bottles of wine. We have some cigars here—I’m not a big cigar smoker, but I passed out some cigars. And next thing I know, I’m like, I’m a go watch the game. And the game was fucking over.
Renee Montgomery: What?!
JJ Redick: It was like 10:45.
Renee Montgomery: So you know nothing about the game.
JJ Redick: I watched, I watched some highlights.
Tommy Alter: To be fair, the game was over in like the second quarter. So you could have it could have been an hour late and you would have and you wouldn’t have missed anything for the record.
Jason Concepcion: JJ’s like—
Renee Montgomery: Was the party turnt?
JJ Redick: We actually, so like we live so we have a place in Sag Harbor and it’s like these tiny lots. And so you turn music on outside, like the whole neighborhood can hear the music. So we had one neighbor who came over a couple of times and asked us to keep it down. But keep in mind, this is on a Sunday at like 6:30 in the evening. And like I know the neighbor, he doesn’t have young children, so I don’t know why he was being such a curmudgeon. I don’t know why he was being a curmudgeon. We weren’t being disrespectful. It wasn’t like we were playing EDM.
Jason Concepcion: That’s Sag Harbor. That’s Sag Harbor.
Renee Montgomery: JJ, you threw a block party.
Tommy Alter: Pre-10pm.
JJ Redick: I know. I didn’t invite the guy. There was some neighbors we left out. I’m not going to like.
Tommy Alter: Well, you know what? He’s definitely not getting invited now.
Renee Montgomery: JJ you threw a block party. You threw a block party. That’s what that’s called. You know that, right.
JJ Redick: Yes, yes.
Renee Montgomery: And you didn’t invite your neighbors to the block party?
JJ Redick: Not all the neighbors. I didn’t invite all the neighbors. I didn’t invite all the neighbors, correct?
Renee Montgomery: Oh wow. Wow.
JJ Redick: We had we had leftover oysters. We should have, we should have just been more inclusive. We should have been more inclusive.
Jason Concepcion: OK, so then you didn’t, you didn’t watch the game. And that’s fine because you guys were flexing that hard and not inviting your Hampton’s neighbors to the party. But, you know, you guys are podcasters, JJ you are an active NBA player who has a podcast, just I am personally curious, like how do you, how have you managed to balance that with your kind of like your day job? And how have you managed to, like, integrate that into your daily routine?
JJ Redick: Yeah, you know, at times it’s a little bit of a challenge, especially in season. What we, what we did and realized last year was it works really well if we just sort of have a day we record. So we like to record in the off season on Monday and Tuesday and we get it done. And then we have the rest of the week and then we start thinking about this upcoming week, who we have on what we’re, what we’re going to talk about on Sundays. But during the season, it’s, you know, it’s hit or miss. And as you guys probably can attest, like NBA players back out of podcasts on a weekly basis. I mean, there are some weeks where you book like two or three people just because I need a backup here, because I know this person might cancel. And Tommy does a lot of the booking. Kiley, who works for us, does a lot of the booking as well. But like we have people cancel all the time, it’s a challenge. And I get it. Like we had Drew Holiday cancel twice on us because flights got canceled. You didn’t get to a hotel room till 10:30. He had a game the next day. We’re not going to, we’re not going to, I’m not, I don’t want to record the night before a game at eleven o’clock. I’m not going to make my guest.
Tommy Alter: I will also say this, when we started, we started the Old Man & The Three and Three, Four, Two out of the bubble in August, and it was like the only sort of thing like this coming out of the bubble. And what was most amazing about that in retrospect was we actually were grabbing guys right after game. Nobody right before a game. No, no one where it was like it was going to distract them from the game itself. But I remember the first episode we did, we deal with Daim and it was like the first week of August or something like that in the bubble. And Daim didn’t have a game that day, but JJ had a, we were taping it like 9:00 Eastern or something, and JJ had a game at 5:00 Eastern. It was like sometime in the afternoon. And so we were like, OK, we’re going to be fine basically like because it’s the hotel was very close to the court, so there’s obviously not traffic or anything like that, but by like the game went into overtime or something, there is something where the game was going long and it was like 8:30 and the game, JJ was walking off the court, the Pelicans were walking off the court. And I remember like Daim got on the Zoom, we were all on the Zoom early. He was on like fifteen minutes early and he’s like, are we going to be? Like, like I just watched that game. Like there’s no way we’re starting this thing at nine o’clock and he, and he was texting us and Chris, our, our producer the whole time he was like, I’m coming, I’m coming. Ended up pulling up like 9:02 or something like that. So like I wasn’t even late.
JJ Redick: Luckily, we weren’t allowed to shower in the bubble. We weren’t allowed to shower after games.
Renee Montgomery: Luckily!
Tommy Alter: Straight off the court.
JJ Redick: I turned around from Jersey, you know, Jersey off, on the bus. It was like ten minute turnaround.
Tommy Alter: That was a good, good episode, too.
JJ Redick: I would say this, like people you know, people on social media like to talk shit. You have a couple bad games or like stop podcasting, you know, would have, you turn into a full time podcaster now, you know, I was hurt a lot of the second half of the season. So I heard all that shit. I’ve recorded on a game day twice. Once was with Daim, in the bubble and he, we had already said he was going to be our first episode. We had to record. The other time was in London after we played the Celtics. Me and Kyrie sat down with some wine and we talked about conspiracy theories. And so there’s only two times and I remember—
Tommy Alter: That was a late one. That was at two a.m. start.
JJ Redick: Only two times I’ve ever recorded on a game day. I’d never done, I’ve never not taken extra shots or not gotten into—
Renee Montgomery: But those after the games.
JJ Redick: That’s what I’m saying. I’ve never not, even on a practice day or whatever in season, like I’ve never not gotten the cold tub or not done my weight lifting or not taking my extra shots to do a podcast. I get all my basketball work in, the podcast or course is secondary. But it is now, it is sort of like a second full time job.
Tommy Alter: I will say—
Jason Concepcion: Take that haters!
Tommy Alter: We also, we have a show on on our network with Duncan Robinson called The Long Shot, a really good show. Duncan and his co-host Davis started it in January. And the thing that Duncan and JJ, they have a lot of things in common basketball wise, obviously, but one of the things they both have in common, personality wise, is they’re very regimented. And so they’re very much like, we’re like we do things at a certain time. We don’t show up late. We come here. Obviously, things happen and sometimes things get thrown off. But there are a lot of guys in the league who are not necessarily like that. And so we’re not, like I’m not sure necessarily that we’ll do another player, another show with an active player. Like I’m not sure that there’s other people that necessarily can sort of put up with the pressure that comes with doing something like this. You have to have a certain type of personality to really be able to kind of juggle these things and pull it off. Renee would know something about that, I would say.
Renee Montgomery: Yeah, you’re preaching to the choir. And Tommy, look, you’re a writer, producer, entrepreneur. So like, like why was this podcast with JJ like something, a project that you wanted to be a part of, like what brought you in the fold for this?
JJ Redick: It’s a great question. I’ve actually never asked Tommy this question, so I’m excited to hear this answer.
Tommy Alter: Well, JJ brought me into the fold. I even only ended up on the show because JJ called me. It was like, well, we would always do mailbags and stuff like that and they would always be fun and people would seem to like them. But JJ is, as you guys know from the show, is very good at hosting and he doesn’t exactly need a second guy there just like blabbing in when he’s talking to different people. So he asked me if I wanted to do. I think the main thing that in terms of the show before we get to the company, the show itself, I think the thing that I can do if I’m doing my job the right way is keep the ball moving and because JJ so prepared for everything that he does, sometimes to his own detriment, he gets so over prepped for everything, there would be times where we would have guests on and he would get stressed out because he’s like, I’m not prepared enough. When in reality, he could have just gone and winged it and it would have been fine. And so it’s nice to have like a safety valve of somebody else there who can talk and not necessarily have to be, It’s like hard—you guys know this, you interview people—it’s hard to do a one on one thing for an hour if you don’t feel like you really are like locked in one the subject. So that’s kind of how we got started, you know, with the show. And then the company was just a natural outgrowth, I think, of the show. You know, we’ve had some success, obviously, and I think a big thing with the company itself, once we realized we could tape remotely, that allowed us to to expand our horizons a little bit. Because we were doing everything in person and obviously in person is better, but we’re doing everything in person pre-COVID, and we’re talking about with the NBA schedule it was not sustainable to do the number of shows that we would have to do if we had to do everything in person. It was just impossible. So even now with a guest schedule, it’s even worse. So that, I think, allowed us to basically realize there might be something here.
Renee Montgomery: OK, so JJ, you came with the skill set, is what he said, just so you know, since you never heard him say it, he knew he wouldn’t go, had to hold your hand.
Tommy Alter: He’s heard me say it. He’s heard me say it, he just likes getting it out again. He’s pretending.
Renee Montgomery: [laughs] OK, but then, what I want to know then is one, how does Lil Yachty end up on your show? And what did he have to say about Interstellar? Like, I got to know. Let’s go. Let’s hear it.
JJ Redick: First of all, a lot of people ask us this, like they’re like how do you and Tommy know each other? You go to college together or whatever. And I’m like, no, I met Tommy in a parking lot, like literally met him in a parking lot in 2016.
Renee Montgomery: What?!.
JJ Redick: It’s true.
Tommy Alter: L.A. parking lots. You never know what’s going to happen.
Renee Montgomery: Parking lot, pimping. What’s going on?
JJ Redick: That’s a longer story. We’ll get to that. That’s the second time we come on, we’ll get to that story.
Renee Montgomery: All right.
JJ Redick: So I think, I think what we’ve shown with the pod is just the range, you know. We’ve had on some incredible guests. Stacey Abrams was our second guest. We had on Bob Iger. We had on Coach K. You know, it’s just a natural outgrowth of the show that we’re going to, we’re just going to go into different fields. The Lil Yachy thing was completely because I saw, I don’t, I wasn’t even following him on Twitter, but someone had retweeted his tweet about Interstellar. And as anybody who knows me knows, I think Interstellar is the greatest movie ever. It’s the greatest film ever made. And he feels the same way. And he said he watched it 983 times, blah, blah, blah. And so I was I like, I said something back and then he said something back to me. And then we were like, Kylie let’s get Lil Yachty on the show. And like within like two days we had scheduled and recorded it. So it was like this, this, this. And he was awesome on the show. But basically what he said was like that he cries every time. He has the same feeling. I do like, this is my feeling on Interstellar:
Renee Montgomery: I love it!
JJ Redick: It is the greatest combination of storytelling, visual effects, and a soundtrack, a score. And Christopher Nolan is, he’s a master at his craft. And so the combination of those three things, I just I love that movie so much. I love it so much.
Renee Montgomery: Oh my gosh. I’m adding it to the list. I have to go watch it. That’s all I’ll say.
JJ Redick: You should.
Jason Concepcion: You mentioned, JJ you mentioned meeting Tommy in a parking lot, which I think is probably a similar experience to—it explains a lot about the Tommy Alter experience. Tommy Alter, for those of you who do not know, is a person who just knows more, he just knows more people than anyone else. Like he’s a person who knows a lot of people. So I’ve always wanted to ask Tommy, like, what is the secret to just like meeting a million people? Like, how do you do it? How do you, how does, what is the secret sauce to Tommy Alter?
Tommy Alter: And I don’t think it’s a secret. I meet a lot of people because I keep myself pretty busy and I’m in I’m in a bunch of different, or I’ve been in a bunch of different world, you know, in the past, whether it be like the entertainment world or the sports world or whatever, maybe. But I think that one thing and J.J. and I both have this in common, and we have a friend, Sean Feeney, who is also really good at this, who works in the food space. He’s in New York. He’s has bunch of restaurants in Brooklyn—is you basically realize that a lot of people who do certain things are interested in other fields. You know, they don’t they’re not necessarily insular. So it’s like people in the food space are interested in sports. People, the joke is always like all rappers want to be NBA players and vice versa. And that’s definitely true. Or most, I don’t know if you guys realize JJ used to rap. JJ actually wanted to be a rapper. So he’s not an exception to this rule. But a lot of rappers want to be NBA players and vice versa. But there’s a, there’s a common thread with that in a lot of different fields. And I think basically like, you know, like putting people together and figuring out ways of doing sort of fun stuff that, you know, are additive to people. I mean, there’s not like a secret to the sauce or anything like that. It’s really just kind of dumb luck more than anything.
JJ Redick: Some of it is that. But Tommy is a connector. You know, Tommy is a connector of people. Sean, our friend that he mentioned, is the same way. I have become that it later on in life. I just, I enjoy getting to meet people, connecting them with other people that I think they would like to meet. We’ve had these dinners last summer in New York, like five or six of these, and I mean, the randomness of the room. It’d be like fifteen, twenty people and it’d be like Tommy’s friend Anna Kendrick, and then like French Montana would show up, you know, and we’d have dinner with, like all of us. And then Jimmy Fallon would come. And I’m not sure to name drop either. I’m just saying like these are people that Tommy knows. It’s just like so weird.
Renee Montgomery: What!?
Tommy Alter: But the funny thing is you also don’t tell, like it’s not like—
JJ Redick: I’m not saying it to brag. I’m not saying, I’m just saying Tommy’s world is very large.
Tommy Alter: I’m saying, I’m saying after the fact, it’s fine. I’m saying like I don’t say like come to dinner, Anna Kendrick’s going to be there, because that makes it lame. Oh yeah. Yeah.
Renee Montgomery: Well, we didn’t, I didn’t take it that way. I took it as you never know who’s going to pop up at a Tommy dinner. That’s how I took it, like, you never know that. I mean, there’s something. Yeah.
JJ Redick: He’s also like, so Tommy, for our listeners, because I get asked this a lot. Like who, you know, I’ll be on the golf course, be like, so I listen to your podcast, who’s Tommy, who is he, like what does he do? Like what’s his back story? And no one really knows. It’s shrouded in mystery.
Jason Concepcion: Mysterious man.
JJ Redick: And he likes it that way.
Tommy Alter: I don’t spell it out. If you spell it out to much, it becomes like weird.
JJ Redick: I knew Tommy for like three and a half years. This was probably like six months before we started our own thing. And like, I didn’t even know where he went to college. Like, I found—
Tommy Alter: Or how old I was.
Renee Montgomery: I like that though, I lie that.
Tommy Alter: JJ didn’t know how old I was and then he decides to, like, blab about it to everybody. So now I have people coming out of the woodwork every three days just like that’s just like—
JJ Redick: Just the Internet. I didn’t, not everybody’s. Just the internet.
Renee Montgomery: Just the internet. [laughs]
Jason Concepcion: And I’ll tell you what I think it is with a secret sauce, if there is such a thing for Tommy, who is a who is a friend of mine, is that, you know, in these in the kind of spaces that y’all run in, there’s just like a lot of people that you meet who are trying to get you to do something, or pitch you. I have never seen Tommy trying to pitch anybody on anything. He’s just like, I think you would like this person. That’s it. And to me, that is the, that’s like the sauce. Like, I think you guys I think you two would vibe. That’s the extent of it. It’s never I have an opportunity. It’s never anything like that. It’s just like you two would get along. I think you do something cool if you guys decided to do something cool. That’s all it is.
Tommy Alter: Yeah, I love it.
JJ Redick: It’s very it’s very unassuming, and there’s no hidden agenda. And I think you’re, I think you’re spot on, Jason.
Tommy Alter: Jason, you should be my manager.
Jason Concepcion: I’ll— [laughs] Back to basketball for a second.
JJ Redick: Right, right.
Jason Concepcion: There’s been, so recently turmoil within the Dallas Mavericks front office has reached the news. JJ, you’ve been in the league a long time. You’ve been a part of teams that have had like off-court stuff and turmoil be part of the headlines surrounding these teams. Like how? How normal or abnormal is the kind of discourse around the Mavs or any of the teams you’ve been around, how normal is that? Like how normal is disagreements, turmoil behind the scenes?
JJ Redick: It’s a really great question. Let me first just say that in my two months and change with Dallas, I didn’t experience any turmoil whatsoever.
Jason Concepcion: Of course.
JJ Redick: I’m dead serious. Like I had a great experience with Dallas. I don’t know. I’m a free agent this summer, obviously, I don’t know what my future holds, but like, I would go back and be a Mav. Like, I just had a, I had a great experience. I left with a great feeling. And obviously, Rick has moved on and Donnie’s moved on. So I didn’t I didn’t experience any turmoil there. But I always tell people this, like the NBA is like, it’s just drama at your job. Like, that’s, it’s, I’ve played 15 years, like I can think of maybe two years where there wasn’t like a lot of drama at my job. And I’ve talked to a few guys who were in that Warriors run specifically like 15, 16 that first year with Kevin, and they’re just like it wasn’t the NBA, it wasn’t real life. It was a fantasy world for like three or four years. Yeah and so when I’ve had those experience, like my first year in Philly, I’ll say, like, it wasn’t like, no seasons ever perfect. My first year in Philly, when you have a season like that where it’s just like the right group, right time, all that stuff, you’re so appreciative of it because you can bring the same group back the next year and really, you know, it’s like somebody’s going to be a free agent the next year. Somebody may want to take a step forward in their career. Somebody may get moved from starting lineup to the bench. Like there’s all these variables that happen year to year, even with the same group of people. And so when you’re in that moment, like I was that first year in Philly, like when you’re in that moment and it’s so good, you just, you appreciate it so much because it’s not normal. Normal in the NBA is just drama. And—
Renee Montgomery: JJ! Thank you. Ok, let me tell you, listen—
JJ Redick: We asked, who did we ask Tommy? We asked somebody recently on the pod this, and I was like, how did you, how did you figure out this season? Because the season sucked, like the season sucked. I felt like there was drama on every team. Everybody’s dealing with COVID, all this stuff. He’s like, I just thought about going to work every day and doing my job. And that’s basically what you got to do.
Renee Montgomery: OK, so JJ, I’m glad you said that, because with my team, the Atlanta Dream, some of our dirty laundry was aired on the Internet.
Jason Concepcion: Yes it was.
Renee Montgomery: We had to suspend a player. There’s been different things going on. But can you just, because obviously I’m speaking from an ownership position so people think that I’m just like, of course, you would say that when I tell them that teams have drama. Like I’ve made a public statement about how this is very normal. Teams have drama, players have drama. Usually it doesn’t get out to the world for people to report on. But can you just speak, Tommy, you know, everybody too. So like people don’t understand the dynamic of drama is a very normal thing in sports.
JJ Redick: It’s interesting, too, because I feel like sometimes drama is overblown at times in the media, like—
Jason Concepcion: What’s an example?
JJ Redick: Well, there was, there’s—I don’t want to throw anybody on the bus because I know the writer. But there was a there was something written earlier this year about a specific team and I knew for a fact that it was overblown. Whatever. And then there’s stuff where you’re like, how the fuck does that not get out? Like how in 2021, like I’m sitting on this information for weeks and no one is going to put this out?! Like it’s crazy
Renee Montgomery: And you’re waiting on the bomb to drop! Like you’re waiting on—
JJ Redick: Someone is going to put it out.
Renee Montgomery: somebody get fired. But no. So that’s, I love hearing you say that so casually. Like look in sports on different teams, there’s that casualness of there’s going to be a little bit of drama. So but we know something, OK, there’s drama at the college ranks, too. But you played under Coach K at Duke for four years now. I have, everybody knows I loved Coach Auriemma. I have an affinity, but I know that you and Coach K had a relationship too. So how has the announcement that this will be his last season, like, how has that impacted you?
JJ Redick: I’m actually, I’m actually happy for him. I’m happy for him because, you know, again, he’s been there forty plus years and that’s a hard thing. It’s, it’s inevitable that you’ve got to let go of it at some time. But it’s a hard thing to let go of. And I’m just, I’m happy for him that he’s going to be able to enjoy the rest of his life and live a, live a long life, and get to drink wine and do his gardening. I’m happy for him and all of that. You know, it’s so interesting. We have such, we have such like a bond with all the players. Like I’m friends with guys that were on his first team back in 1980, and, you know, it’s a recruiting thing, it’s, it’s whatever it’s called the Brotherhood, but like it actually is pretty real. And so because of coach, because he’s been sort of that link just like Geno at UConn, you know, you have, you have these friendships with guys like Quin Snyder, he played, you graduate in 1989 or whatever it was, you know, and he’s a friend and it’s because of coach and just the bond that he’s built over those years.
Jason Concepcion: Tommy, you’re the co-founder of the More Than a Vote initiative. Can you just talk about like why that was important and how, what it took to get that up and running.
Tommy Alter: I’ll talk about it. Renee can talk about it better than I.
Renee Montgomery: No you talk about it Tommy, OK!
Tommy Alter: I don’t, exactly sort of like blabbing on about this thing when Renee is sitting on the Zoom. I will just say there are a lot of people—
Renee Montgomery: We’ll talk about, I would like to know. Like what, like how did it become about? Like you being at the forefront of it? Like how did it become about? Yes, I became a part of it, but I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of it if you weren’t a part of building it.
Tommy Alter: I mean, it’s really not, it wasn’t, it’s less me. It’s more the the crew around LeBron, I think Maverick in particular. But there’s a bunch of different people around LeBron made a concerted effort, I’d say, a year and a half ago or whatever, to basically try to like harness his social reach and everything like that to drive political awareness. And they I think everybody was like, this is a good idea, we should do this, da da da. And then the big thing was they hired a guy, Addisu Demissie, who was a political—
Renee Montgomery: Addisu! Shouts to Addisu.
Tommy Alter: Yeah, he’s a guy, he’s a political guy. He knows, he knows, you know, Jon and Tommy and the Crooked guys, everything like that. And I think we actually met him through them and they decided to hire him. And he probably deserves the lion’s share of the credit in terms of, you know, the stadium ideas and basically like using the reach of athletes and artists and things like that to actually impact real political change. Because it’s one thing to just tweet out like a photo being like, oh register to vote or something that like. That’s not a bad thing. You know, anything is good. But I think that one of the things that was really cool about the organization and Renee’s obviously one of the better examples of this, is making actual, making an actual impact to the point where, you know, politicians on whether it was the other side of the aisle or just like—people who were not happy that this was happening, were infuriated at the success that it was having. You know what I mean? It’s one thing to just be like, it wasn’t even like a ‘shut up and dribble’-type thing. I was like, no, this is actually annoying that they’re actually driving real numbers to the polls and stuff like that. And so, I mean, I think it’s cool in retrospect because I don’t think anybody when it started was like, this is definitely going to work, you know?
Renee Montgomery: That’s what I was going to ask you. Did you know it was going to blow like that?
Tommy Alter: No, no. Definitely. Definitely not. Definitely not. But hopefully we can do something like that again. You know, I feel like that’s a, I don’t know whether it be for the midterms or for in 2024, but it definitely, it definitely exceeded, I think, everybody’s expectations.
Renee Montgomery: More Than a Vote! Run it back!
Jason Concepcion: Run it back.
Tommy Alter: I have a question about the question about the drama.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Go ahead.
Tommy Alter: Drama thing you’re talking about, because this is my, this is like a media NBA Internet question-type thing, don’t you think—and JJ, you should chime in whether this has affected you or not specifically—a lot of times people will take things and they’ll like, like so-and-so is not included in a photo or something like that, and they’ll just run with it, and they’ll be like, oh, they must not like each other because they’re not here. Things like that that are based on literally nothing, nobody saying anything. Obviously, people are going to use background sources and off-the-record stuff that happens in all types of journalism. But I do think with the NBA Internet, it’s gotten, and I don’t even, I mean, it’s fun. But it also has gotten crazy, where people just draw conclusions over the smallest things and they’re like constantly saying like, oh, so-and-so is shading this person. And like, all right, maybe they are, but also you kind of don’t know.
Renee Montgomery: 100%. I’ll just jump in there. I’ve seen things where players might literally be good friends, but the Internet has made them not friends because of photos and whatever storyline. I’ve seen a lot, you know, I’ve been like, yo, I’ll go into the locker room. See, I’m the type that I’ll walk into the locker room. If I read it on the Internet, I’ll look at them, yo you all good? There’s a lot of talk going on out there. Everything all right? Because I will bring it up and bring it to the forefront like I’m hearing you don’t like each other. Should we move the lockers? What’s up? But yeah, I think that a lot of people, when you don’t know what’s going on, they’re just going to run with anything they can see on the Internet. What do you think, JJ?
JJ Redick: So this is a very, very small example, very small and it’s not even important and I’m only saying because it happened to me recently, but like there was a storyline that I like, I didn’t want to be in Dallas, blah, blah, blah, all because of what I said on my podcast was basically like David Griffin and I had an agreement, he didn’t honor his agreement. Whatever. That’s all I said. It it was it wasn’t an inclusive thing that like because of that, I didn’t want to be in Dallas. They were, they were different than each other. So anyways, so I get hurt. We got like three games left. I get hurt in Memphis and I’ve been battling to heal injury for four months. I get hurt to Memphis. I was going home on Thursday on an off day to see my wife for her birthday and take her to [unclear] for pizza, which we’ve done for five straight years. So I’m going home on Thursday to see her. I show up to the gym on Wednesday and Rick says to me, you don’t need to be here, you’re out for the season, why don’t you just go home today? I was like, great, I’ll go home today. So I had booked a flight back at like 6:00 a.m. on Friday so that I could be in the team photo. When I got to New York and saw the doctor on Thursday morning. And he was like, yeah, you need surgery, if you want to play, you need surgery. And I was like, OK. So I called the team and Rick’s like, I don’t give a fuck about the team photo, like don’t worry about coming back. He’s like to go be with your family for a few days and then come back to the playoffs. I was like, great, I’ll do that. So they take the photo, I’m not in the photo and it just like fuels this “JJ doesn’t want to be, where’s JJ doesn’t want to be in Dallas.” You know. It’s like what the fuck?
Renee Montgomery: I already know. The Internet exploded.
JJ Redick: About stupid stuff like that. I mean, so that’s on a very like, you know, small scale. But like for some of these guys who are the face of the franchise or in some cases the face the league, it’s just, it’s constant. And like I, I actually feel I actually feel bad for him. And if you’re in the wrong media market as well, it’s even worse.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Renee Montgomery: It’s even worse. Listen, they are JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. Their podcast is The Old Man & the Three. I’m a fan of the show. Thanks so much for joining us on Takeline guys.
JJ Redick: Thank you both for having us.
Jason Concepcion: JJ, Knicks need shooting! Knicks need shooting. You’re, you already live on Long Island. JJ I’m just saying.
JJ Redick: All right, no comment.
Renee Montgomery: Look at Jason! Jason don’t start rumors. Don’t start rumors. Don’t answer that.
Jason Concepcion: I’m just saying that, out loud! That’s all I just wanted to say.
JJ Redick: All right. Thank you, you all. I appreciate it.
Renee Montgomery: Thank you guys.
Jason Concepcion: Thank you.
Jason Concepcion: Renee, the Euro finals was the Sunday. Italy defeated England in dramatic fashion in penalty kicks, and as a result of that, there was a wave of racist abuse on social media from fans who were around Wembley Stadium, just directed toward the three Black English players who missed penalties, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka. It was so terrible that Boris Johnson, the prime minister of Great Britain, had to make a say—a person who is not what you would call woke or even probably interested in questions about diversity and racial justice and social justice—had to make a statement. He said, quote, “to those who have been directing racist abuse at some of our players, I say, shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged” but also continue to vote tory. He didn’t say that last thing. But like but Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, said: those responsible for the disgusting online abuse we have seen must be held accountable. The FA, the Football Association of England said: we could not be clearer than anyone behind such disgusting behavior is not welcome in following the team, we will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishment possible for anyone. William, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson is President of the English Football Association. Um, it’s—
Renee Montgomery: A whole hot mess, Jason!
Jason Concepcion: A whole hot mess. Over the course of the last several months, you know, or 12 months, you should say, like English players in the Premier League and for international games and matches have been have been kneeling and this has been criticized by many over there who called it like kind of like, essentially gestures that were dividing people. And this just shows number one, why Black athletes in soccer, in international soccer and England in particular, continue to kneel. And you know just why this is such a vital issue to them, and one that continues to be misunderstood. Really, really, really awful stuff, Renee.
Renee Montgomery: And just imagine, like I’ve played, like I know people don’t typically just right away put themselves in the other person’s shoe, but you have to remember, England lost to Italy. So those players that miss those kicks, those players that didn’t necessarily perform to how they would—because here’s the spoiler alert that some fans may not realize when they’re going at an athlete: they wanted to win, too! Like, I don’t know why some people when athletes have bad games, when athletes play bad, they’re like, oh, come on, you’re tanking this thing. Athletes always want to win. So for Rashford, Sancha and Sako, like they wanted to win. So when they missed the kicks, you don’t think that they already felt bad enough, like on their own? Because, again, professional athletes know when they’re not playing great and know when they are, know the opportunity’s missed. So then on top of that, being bombed after losing the game— again, we’re talking about a tournament final here—then you go online and you see just the worst things that you could see. I mean, just offensive language to the people. To and to the fact that Boris Johnson had to say something. Like this is, that’s shocking!
Jason Concepcion: Imagine how crazy that is. Think about how crazy that is, that it was so bad, that the Prime Minister like—flip it—imagine if the US men’s or women’s national team was getting so badly racially abused by American fans that, like Joe Biden had to make a statement. That’s what we’re talking about. Truly, truly troubling.
Renee Montgomery: That’s crazy. And listen, I know, like, OK, so there’s no one else that can say this with more confidence, I was a professional athlete for 11 years. Sports, yes, was a big part of my life. But people got to really remember that we’re talking about sports here. So when you start to do things in in real life, IRL to where now London’s Metropolitan Police said on Monday that they would investigate offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers. Like now, when you might actually go to jail for stuff, defaming somebody’s property and messing up some—what are y’all doing!? Like, I like, I love sports fans. I love the crazy. Like I love the crazy support. But what are y’all doing? That’s too much? Like people got to learn the line, Jason. Like there’s a line not to cross.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. And there’s you know, this is unfortunately part of a, part of a, feels like part of a cultural shift post-Brexit, post-Trump that is happening kind of everywhere in the West. Tyrone Mings, who is a center back for Aston Villa, responded to Priti Patel, who is a English conservative politician. Patel in the past had called Black Lives Matter protests ‘dreadful,’ said England fans have the right to boo players who take a knee. She ordered the deportation of some 50 people of Jamaican descent, etc., etc. She made a statement on Twitter where she said, I am disgusted that England players who have given so much to our country this summer have been subject to this vile, racist abuse on social media. And then Tyrone Mings, center back for Aston Villa, responded with: you don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labeling our anti-racism message as, quote, “gesture politics” and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against happens. Which I think sums it up beautifully. This is, you know, racism has very unique and particular forms at different countries and the things that the English footballers are having to deal with are really, really, really crazy. Like imagine, Musa Okwonga of The Guardian, brings up a great point. It’s like as athletes, it’s awful. You’re the, you’re the focus of this. But like, to a certain extent you get used to it. You can shut out the things that you hear. But like their, their families, their loved ones who can’t even go online to look at a post or to look at a highlight or anything like that, because they’re going to see these things and they’re going to have to wonder, as I’m sure they all are wondering now, like what if what if some crazy fan just decides to take it to the next level? Like—
Renee Montgomery: Exactly. That’s why you have to stop stuff. That’s, I mean, that’s the whole point. Like what I meant by there’s a line like—
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Renee Montgomery: We play a sport that we love and I’ve been a professional athlete like most of my life. And I say that meaning I’ve taken sports serious since I was young, before I went to UConn, before I became a pro athlete—I took basketball serious. So this is coming from somebody who takes basketball very serious. But what are we doing, fans? Like this is, this is crossing the line. And that’s the thing, Jason, you bring up a point: if you allow fans to continually just nudge the line, crossed the line, step over the line, jump on the line—don’t be surprised when something crazy happens, because if you don’t like reel back in, of course, people are going to keep pushing the envelope. And then when it comes to Patel, like anybody that would, and, you know, like we already know the deportation immigration laws, that’s a whole ‘nother topic. But, anybody that deports people on the month of Christmas, December, I just like to me, I’m like, come on, bro. Like, that’s just, that tells you a lot. I’m a big Christmas person, so there’s just a lot going on there. But humanity is a word that people need to really like study, digest, live by, just living with a certain human decency to one another is really crazy. But like you said, there was a shift in the culture that happens when people felt that they could say whatever they feel, whether it’s rude, inappropriate, borderline illegal, people felt that they could do things, whatever they felt like they could do, they were doing it. And now we’ve gotten to the point where people are out of control. They’re out of control.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, it’s a complex, unfortunately complex issue, where the people who have the power to do something, which is the social media companies and politicians, really would rather make statements than than do anything concrete. Musa in The Guardian writes that: in 2019 social media abuse directed at Manchester City, Raheem Sterling and Virgil van Dijk was 27,000% higher than usual.
Renee Montgomery: 27,000—
Jason Concepcion: 27,000% higher than usual.
Renee Montgomery: I don’t even know what that means, the number’s so high that I’m like I can’t even figure out what that means, I just know it’s bad. Like, that’s a lot.
Jason Concepcion: I mean, it just feels like if the people who ran some of these social media companies and these platforms were themselves the targets of abuse like this, you feel like it would, somehow they’d figure out a way to filter out 27,000% higher, higher racist views.
Renee Montgomery: Dreadful.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, we got to do better. This is why people kneel.
Renee Montgomery: OK, so earlier this month, we learned Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was given a one-month suspension for testing positive for marijuana, and disqualifying her from running the 100 meters in Tokyo. But now we know she will not run at all in the Olympics after not being selected to her women’s four by one team. So, Jason, I got a lot of thoughts, as I’m sure you know I do. And we’ll get into that a little later. But what do you think about just the rule itself in marijuana being a disqualifying substance?
Jason Concepcion: The rule is obviously, has been outdated, was not based on anything rational or reasonable, but even more to that point, now, today in 2021, when marijuana is legal in half the country and it was legal in the state in which Sha’Carri Richardson was using it, and no one is under any kind of illusion that it is a performance enhancer, at all. This is absolute ridiculous. You know, I’m, reminded of this time I was hanging out at a bar at a Christmas party with some of my friends, right? And there was it. There’s a store across the street called Med Men, which is like a marijuana dispensary that kind of styles itself to look like an Apple store, like very high tech and all that stuff. And we were talking to the door guy at the bar we were at and he was like, what’s the deal with the—black guy—he was like, what’s the deal with Med Man? And we were like, that’s, you just go in there, and it’s like an Apple store, you go in and you can buy you buy weed. He was like, you know, just really frustrates me. I did like five years in jail for marijuana and now you could just go across the street and buy it. I think that this is an unfair, unreasonable ruling. And yes, it’s on the books, but I think everybody, there’s no one who thinks that it should actually be on, this should not be on the books. Like if there was ever a time to say, OK, we’ll suspend you in a month after the Olympics for a month or we’ll suspend you know, we’ll issue a one week like something—if there was ever a time to alter the rules, I think it would be now. This doesn’t make any kind of sense. And again, it’s a, it’s a rule that seems like it is, that is falling more harshly on a person of color than, than on anyone else.
Renee Montgomery: Let Sha’Carri run! #letSha’Carrirun. Because what are we doing? Like is this is the part where things just don’t make sense. Like make it makes sense. Common sense has to come through. If this, if we all know, and everybody knows because you can’t have the stereotype work both ways, you can’t have the stereotype be: oh the people that smoke weed are lazy and don’t do anything with their life because we just makes you lazy. You can’t be that guy, and then be the same guy that when an Olympic athlete is using it to cope with a lot going on in her world, unexpected death of her biological mother, it’s highly documented—you can’t in the same breath be like, oh, no, that no, that’s against the rules, and even though it should make you lazy and tired and you just beat records and you’re the favorite to win the 100 meter, nope, like you’re out because you can’t take these drugs. Come on. Like that, like make it make sense. And then, again, the word is humanity. The Olympics happen every four years. It’s not like basketball, football. Basketball, we have our trophy, our championship every year. Football, we know the Super Bowl, you know, every other—we just talked about the tournament finals happening with UEFA. Like everybody usually gets their moment to shine. Track and field though, they don’t have that every year. Something that we’re all tuning into: NBA Finals, WNBA finals, Super Bowl event—they don’t have it. So when you take away that from a track and field athlete, who the Olympics are their Super Bowl, I just think that that’s heartless. Like, that’s so cold blooded. You know, that is not performance enhancing. And then not to let her on the four by one team, that she could have been—
Jason Concepcion: That, they could have just named her to that team. And there is no reason to not do it, to not do it, really. Like that—
Renee Montgomery: Why they didn’t do that. Why? They didn’t do that? Like, that’s crazy to me. That’s cold-blooded, Jason.
Jason Concepcion: It’s cold blooded
Renee Montgomery: Every four years. That’s the thing I want people to understand. Like if you let, look, a lot of NBA players opt out of playing in the Olympics. They’re like, uh huh, it’s contract year, I’ve got to get to the money. Like that happens with a lot of NBA players. WNBA players, it’s for the honor for us so we usually have the best of the best play in the Olympics. But, you know, for track and field, I just can’t believe that we’re not going to let Sha’Carri run. Like #letsha’carrirun. And there’s been an outpour on social media. The supporter list is nearing 600—nearing a goal of 600,000 signatures. It’s at 564,000 as of Thursday evening. But come on, Jason, like what are we doing?
Jason Concepcion: Now, the other side would say, OK, but the rule is the rule and this is the rule, and that’s what the rule is, and everybody knew what the rule is and you can’t then penalize the people who are going to take her place because they follow. Fine. They work hard as well. It’s been hard for all these Olympic athletes who, as the games have been postponed, have had to maintain their training and their regimens for a longer time than they were expecting to—but Sha’Carri deserves to run.
Renee Montgomery: Period.
Jason Concepcion: Again, this is this area rule that is that is grounded in a understanding of a substance that is old, that is outdated, that is no longer reflective of the current situation in our country. Again, a legal substance in half the country, in the state where she was when she consumed it, and not performance enhancing. This is not a steroid. This is not something that helps you recover, this does not help—this is this is a substance that is proscribed by medical professionals and is used for recreational usages across the country legally, and that does not help you run faster. It’s just really sad.
Renee Montgomery: It’s does not help you run faster. I just you know, for the people that are like the by the book and want to throw the book at yo—look, I get it. I know that a lot of people at work on a day-to-day basis do something that maybe necessarily is against the rules. Are you supposed to clock in at 9:00, are you late? Are you supposed to clock out at 5:00? I’m only saying that because athletes, we got a lot of rules. I want people to understand, like from the athlete point of view, we got a lot of rules. We live our life in front of everybody. No, this isn’t a woe is us. No this isn’t a, yes, athletes get paid a lot of money. It’s still, I don’t know how to say this to people for them to understand, making a lot of money does not equate to not having emotions or feelings. So when athletes go through things and they have feelings, even though they have a lot of money or they have a lot of good situations, when they’re going through things like the death of your biological birth mother, that—ain’t no telling how you would handle it. Ain’t no telling how I would handle it. I can guarantee you right now if anything happens to anyone in my family—ain’t no telling what I’m going to do. I’m not thinking about, oh, is this against the rules? I mean, maybe I would, because I, I prepare a lot. There’s also the story of Brianna McNeill, who, now this young lady, first of all, no one wants to talk about what’s going on in their personal life, air their laundry out to the world—but Brianna had to because the Olympic Committee came knocking about drug testing a few days after she had gotten an abortion. Well, she let them know, hey, look, I was going through some things. You know, I was in my room, sad, devastated, not feeling great, sorry I missed the drug tests. Again, another susp—I think, and there were technicalities where she didn’t get the exact date right of when she got the abortion and blah, blah, blah. So to where, but it’s human decency. Y’all hear what these people are going through?
Jason Concepcion: I will just say this, I think that there is, with regards to sports in the year of COVID, the year plus of COVID, and the things that have had to happen in order for leagues and tournaments and the Olympics to go forward, I think that there is a tendency among, you know, I think the general public and of governments, to kind of like give the sponsors, the corporations, the people that organize these events, like a pass in the way they do things. And much less of a tendency, in quite and in fact, like a defensiveness against individuals who need that similar break. Let’s, can we, can we just like, let this one slide for Sha’Carri? No. But when, you know, the majority of Japanese people who are polled are against the Olympics, don’t want it to happen, in fact, are in the midst of a COVID lockdown, guess what? We made, sorry we made these, we have obligations to our sponsors and to this company and that company, and we just can’t do anything about it. We have to. We can’t do it. There needs to, that needs to be balanced out. However, that works.
Renee Montgomery: Yeah. The rules should not be written in concrete. It shouldn’t be written in stone so that nothing can be changed.
Jason Concepcion: There just needs to be, we need to, you know, and this is like a much bigger problem than just I think sports leagues are capable of taking on on their own, this is the governmental stuff. This is, this is big. But like, there needs to be a generally speaking, a recalibration about the kind of like obligations people have to have to go through to deal with the economy. This is just, let Sha’Carri run, just let her run. Like the amount of things that normal everyday people in Japan now are having to deal with in just so they can have the Olympics there, like, let’s give regular people a break, the people who are actually competing in this a break and just let Sha’Carri run.
Renee Montgomery: Let Sha’Carri run. Stop playing.
Jason Concepcion: Goodbye. That is it for us. Follow and subscribe to us on Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast. And don’t forget to subscribe to Takeline show on YouTube for exclusive video clips from this episode, plus my digital Series, All Caps NBA, which airs every Friday. Check it out, folks! See you next week.
Renee Montgomery: Let’s go!
Jason Concepcion: Takeline is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Carlton Gillespie and Zuri Irvin. Our executive producers are myself and Sandy Girard. Our contributing producers are Caroline Reston, Elijah Cone and Jason Gallagher. Engineering, editing and sound design by Sarah Gibble-Laska, and the folks at Chapter Four. And our theme music is produced by Brian Vasquez.