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Friday, June 21, 2024

Sue Bird Is Still Changing the Game

  • Sue Bird retired from the WNBA as one of its most decorated athletes of all time.
  • She is now heavily involved in the media world.
Team United States guard Sue Bird (6) looks on against Serbia in the women's basketball semifinal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena.
Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Sue Bird retired from her basketball career with four WNBA titles, five Olympic gold medals, two NCAA championships, and four FIBA World Cups. Now she is enjoying her retirement and focusing on other projects, such as Togethxr, a media company focused on women’s athletes that she co-founded with Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, and Simone Manuel, and A Touch More, a similar company that she co-founded with her wife, soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.

Bird joined the Front Office Sports Today podcast to talk about her career, retirement, media projects, and much more.

Listen to the full episode here.

On retirement:

Bird: I’m absolutely loving it. No regrets. No shoulda, coulda. I’m just really able to sit back, think back to my career, know that I truly milked it. And now I just get to enjoy the rest of my life.

On the origins of Togethxr:

Bird: It was really Alex [Morgan] who had this idea. You look around and here we are as female athletes, and we all know that women’s athletes get less than 5% of the media coverage. And you look at platforms like Uninterrupted or something like the Player’s Tribune, right? Where it’s athlete driven, athlete voice. 

And I think Alex connected the dots [and said], ‘Wait a minute. Why don’t we start our own that’s all about female athletes?’ 

So that’s what happened when the four founders got together and it’s been going really well, just being able to tell stories that you don’t normally hear – giving people that spotlight that the four of us have and sharing it and shining it on people that you don’t normally hear about. 

On how Togethxr has evolved:

Bird: It’s been really cool how the company has evolved. It’s just naturally built its own identity and naturally built its own fan base and the connections between the people who follow Togethxr, and the stories we’ve told.

On how male and female athletes are covered differently:

Bird: I think of Flau’jae Johnson, the, she was just a freshman at LSU. She has a rap career. She already is so talented in that lane, but then she’s also this basketball player who just won a national championship. And Togethxr actually has this storytelling [series] called Fenom, and Flau’jae was one of the people that they covered. 

If there was a male athlete who was a top recruit going into college who also was a rapper, you would have known what underwear he wears. You would have known what he had for breakfast. But on the women’s side, you just don’t get that coverage. And that’s where Togethxr has really come in and really filled a lot of those holes, a lot of those gaps.

On the Bird and Taurasi show:

Bird: Yeah, I’m really interested [in doing more]. I think it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always thought, how interesting would it be to take two high level athletes with a ton of experience and success who are really good friends. I mean, we’re like best friends. So that rapport … that’s just there. It’s not contrived, you don’t have to force it, it’s just there. And just plop them in front of a basketball game and let them talk and see what happens.

Favorite movie:

Bird: Good Will Hunting

Band or artist you are always happy to listen to:

Bird: Frank Ocean

Place you have never been to that you would like to go:

Bird: Bali

Biggest sports fan dispute you have with your wife, [Megan Rapinoe]:

Bird: We have a lot. We’ve gone really hard on this one: Who’s faster, someone like a LeBron James or Messi.

I think it’s Messi

Bird: But in a 40, I think it’s Lebron.

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