Women in Athletics

Feminists Ruin Everything Episode 8: Womxn in Athletics Part 4: Shannon Miller Part 2

Shannon Miller.jpg

In this episode of our Womxn in Athletics series, we check in with Shannon Miller in April, 2019, about a year after our previous conversation with her. Once again we covered a lot of rich feminist ground, from gender equality to current threats to Title IX and the stigma attached to female anger.

Miller also gave us an update on her court case against the University of Minnesota, Duluth; at the time of our conversation, a judge had increased the amount granted to her by a federal jury by an additional $460,000, bringing her total award to around $4.2 million. She and her fellow litigants, former UMD softball coach Jen Banford and former UMD women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, had just had their claims rejected by a Minnesota District Court judge who said the statute of limitations had expired. At the time we recorded this podcast ,they were planning to appeal.

Since our conversation with Miller, a U.S. District Court Judge cut $2.25 million from her federal court award, while also granting her request for legal fees totaling nearly $2.5 million. Miller has until September 30, 2019 to decide whether to accept the reduced award or ask for a new trial to determine damages. Meanwhile, earlier in September Miller, Banford, and Wiles lost their appeal in state court.

Feminists Ruin Everything Episode 7: Womxn in Athletics Part 3: Shannon Miller

Credit: coachshannonmiller.com

Credit: coachshannonmiller.com


Shannon’s Hockey Talk Podcast on WiSP

Feminists Ruin Everything is hosted by Anna Tennis and Andrea Crouse and produced by Christine Dean.


In our previous episode in our Womxn in Athletics series, we heard from Dr. Nicole LaVoi, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport about the challenges female coaches face. She shared the mind-boggling statistic that, while the passage of Title IX in 1972 led to an explosion in opportunities for female athletes, the percentage of women coaching women’s teams went from 90% back then to only around 42% today, and that statistic has remained stagnant for the past decade. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, we highly recommend it as a warm-up to this next installment featuring renowned hockey coach Shannon Miller.

Miller’s long list of accomplishments include being the first female head coach for Team Canada and Canada’s first-ever female Olympic Head Coach; her team took silver in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. She served as head coach for the University of Minnesota, Duluth’s women’s hockey team for 15 years, winning five NCAA championships. After the 2014-15 season, UMD chose not to renew Miller’s contract, citing budget concerns. Miller, along with former UMD softball coach Jen Banford and former women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, filed a federal lawsuit against the university, alleging discrimination and Title IX violations. In March of 2018 Miller won that case and was awarded $3.74 million in damages. We spoke with her shortly after that verdict for this episode; in our next installment, we follow up a year later, getting an update on her legal battle, which is far from over.

In this first conversation, Miller talks about the challenges she’s faced being a trailblazing female coach who has always been openly gay, and what motivates her to keep fighting for progress for women in athletics.

Feminists Ruin Everything Episode 6: Womxn in Athletics Part 2-Dr. Nicole LaVoi


After getting an athlete’s perspective in our last episode of Feminists Ruin Everything, we continue our series on Womxn in Athletics with a conversation with a researcher who studies the subject. Dr. Nicole M. Lavoi has been an athlete and a coach and is now the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. She shared some surprising statistics with us about how, although women’s participation in sports has exploded since Title IX was enacted, the number of female coaches has drastically declined. We talked about why that might be and what’s being done to change the situation.