Use Your Platform (with Sue Bird)

Episode 11

About the Episode

This week on Professional Troublemaker, I’m talking to superstar basketball player Sue Bird. We’re talking about thinking BIG and maintaining expectations in the face of adversity, the importance of authenticity as a gay woman in sports, intersectionality, knowing your value, and the power of unity.

You may know Sue as one of the most recognized and heralded basketball players of all time, which is reason enough to have a conversation. But my team and I wanted Sue on the podcast because Sue was one of the forces behind the “Vote Warnock” t-shirts the WNBA was wearing this summer to throw their support behind now Senator Raphael Warnock after his opponent Kelly Loeffler (and co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream) came out against Black Lives Matter.

During our conversation, we talk through Sue’s experience coming up through high school and college, and how she’s committed to helping the players who are coming up behind her.

Disrupting for the greater good is one of the characteristics that stand out for me as a commitment to being a professional troublemaker. Speaking up with purpose really matters. It makes a difference to those who will come after you.

As I was marveling that the WBNA players can come together like they have – 144 completely different women from different backgrounds – Sue said something that made me really think. It’s the intersectionality of these women that brings them together. They’ve all felt what it means to be underestimated as women in a male-dominated field, and even though they may have different backgrounds, they are all fighting for the same things.

Sue is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what happens for her as she transitions to this new phase in her career after she retires.

Be sure to follow Sue on social media. She’s @SBird10 on Instagram and @S10Bird on Twitter, and be sure to tag her when you share this episode and let her know you loved it.

Key Points:

  • Sue started out in two sports when she was young
  • How Sue ended up at the perfect school for basketball after a challenging family time
  • Why Sue chose UConn over her other options for college
  • Women have to push to get equal footing.
  • Why the intersectionality in the WNBA brings the players together in a way that allows them to be a unified voice
  • Sue talks about grappling with how to announce her retirement
  • Sue’s methods of self-care
  • What it means to Sue to be a professional troublemaker

As a gay athlete, I understand that if I want things to be a certain way and if my Black teammate wants things to be a certain way, they’re all connected and

we can all work together.

—Sue Bird

The more that I speak up, the more I make that good trouble, the more I stir the pot, the more I’m doing that with purpose,

It means I helped. It means I did something right.

—Sue Bird

About the Guest

Sue Bird

Use Your Platform (with Sue Bird)

Wisdom from the show

Transcript

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