Hearsay From the Sidelines

Culture in Sports

Hearsay From the Sidelines is a show about the place where law, sports and culture intersect​. Brought to you by Culture in Sports and Seton Hall Law School’s Gaming, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports Law program. read less


Hearsay From the Sidelines - Season 1 Prologue
Hearsay From the Sidelines - Season 1 Prologue
This brief prologue explains a bit about who I am as host and creator of Season 1 of Hearsay from the Sidelines. You can learn more about me as a professional via my Seton Hall Law faculty profile. My interest in creating a podcast focused on the issue of transgender youth inclusion in scholastic sports grew out of a forthcoming article I wrote on podcasting as a medium for legal scholarship (draft available on SSRN). As I explain, I am not a civil rights, gender, or sports law scholar and I have not previously written about transgender issues in any form.  My approach to this season’s focus is framed by my personal beliefs that trans rights must be protected in all aspects of life and that access to sports and physical activity is important for all people, especially kids. Given the progress we have made, both socially and legally, in formalizing legal protections for LGBTQ+ people in many aspects of public life, I struggle to understand why sports, particularly youth sports, has unearthed such ambivalence about this specific aspect of civil rights for trans people. An organized campaign of lawsuits, state legislative action, and media punditry is the most obvious culprit. Bu the sentiment against trans inclusion runs deeper and certainly implicates a national history of gender inequity, general acceptance of misunderstood science about sex differences, and the cultural elevation of youth athletics to a level of significance not seen in previous generations. This is the tangled knot I want to dive into and start to pull apart. I certainly don’t think I have specific solutions to offer, nor am I confident I can even add anything entirely novel to the conversation. But I hope others will benefit from an exploration of the scholarship, legal issues, and historical context interwoven throughout the debate, and find themselves better positioned to engage with this topic more thoughtfully.  The theme song for Hearsay from the Sidelines Season 1 is “Splendor Dysphoria” by SuperKnova. I want to express my gratitude to the artist for permission to use the song. You can hear more from SuperKnova on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you stream your music.