Podcast is hosted by Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete and medal for the U.S. in sabre fencing
Listen to full podcast here:
The second season of the new sports-focused podcast by Doha Debates and Foreign Policy magazine, entitled “The Long Game,” examines the power of sports to change the world, including high-profile stories of human rights and injustices in sports, including an interview with Nneka Ogwumike, president of the WNBA player’s association, on the ongoing efforts to release Brittney Griner.
“The Long Game” podcast is hosted by Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made sports history at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics when she became the first Muslim-American woman to compete and win a medal for Team USA while wearing a hijab.
Since then, she’s been named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” had a Barbie created in her likeness, and starred in a Nike campaign for their high-performance hijab—and she continues to speak out and support women and girl athletes of all backgrounds and religions to pursue their dreams in sport.
Speaking in the first episode of the podcast, Ibtihaj said, “Brittney Griner could have been any of us…As an athlete, I traveled to Russia more than once a year for more than 10 years and I’ve always felt just kind of uncomfortable there — as a visibly Black person, as someone who’s visibly Muslim. I’ve had my share of things happen while I was there. But one thing I never in a million years thought about was whether I would be wrongfully detained.”
The podcast is executive produced by Amjad Atallah, Jigar Mehta and Japhet Weeks, with Executive Editor Karen Given and Managing Producer Rob Sachs.
Among other topics, “The Long Game” will explore:
African soccer star speaks out against war and genocide:
- Learn the inspirational story of Eric Murangwa Eugene, a 47-year-old former Rwandan international football player, genocide survivor and current founder of Football for Hope, Peace and Unity (FHPU), an international organization that promotes tolerance and unity among Rwandan youth.
Eric Murangwa Eugene’s story begins in 1994, when he was a 19-year-old goalkeeper for the popular Rayon Sports Football Club in Rwanda. That year, the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis people began — a genocide which ultimately led to the deaths of 500,000 to 662,000 Tutsi people in 100 days.
On the first day of the genocide, soldiers came to Eric’s house, looking for enemies of the state. But when one of the soldiers saw an album filled with photos of his time with the Rayon Sports Football Club, Eric’s life was spared. Eric spent much of the genocide in hiding, constantly risking death and aided by his teammates and supporters of his football club, many of them Hutus, who helped Eric move to safe locations and eventually flee the country.
In 1997, following an international match for Rwanda in Tunisia, Eric sought asylum and emigrated to the United Kingdom via Belgium. Tragically, he lost 35 members of his family to the Rwandan genocide.
In 1998 Eric was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list for his services to the Awareness and Education of Genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda.
Other episodes in the podcast detail:
- An update on Brittney Griner, the WNBA star still imprisoned in Russia. In August, Griner was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling, and sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony. Nneka Ogwumike, president of the WNBA player’s association, speaks to Ibtihaj Muhammad about the ongoing efforts to secure Brittney’s release and help listeners understand the reason why Brittney was in Russia to begin with – inequities between men’s and women’s sports that lead to women playing overseas to make a living.
- The story of Lina Khalifeh, a 36-year-old Jordanian black belt taekwondo champion and the founder of She Fighter, the first women-only self-defense school in the Middle East. Khalifeh was inspired to start giving mixed martial arts self-defense classes in her basement to women after one of her friends was attacked and beaten. In 2012, Khalifeh opened her own self-defense center named “She Fighter” with the goal of teaching women in Amman, Jordan how to defend themselves against sexual harassment and aggression.
Among her accomplishments, Lina was awarded the ESPN Humanitarian Award in 2019, has presented her work to the Swedish royal family and was honored as a “leader of social change” by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2015. Her self-defense techniques help women feel more confident, secure, and strong to defend themselves from different violent situations.
“The Long Game” is a podcast from Doha Debates and Foreign Policy magazine, hosted by Olympic medalist and trailblazer Ibtihaj Muhammad, that explores the power of sports to inspire social change, featuring athletes around the world who are breaking barriers and overcoming immense odds to change sports for the better.
Learn more here: https://dohadebates.com/podcasts/the-long-game/