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Welcome to Pablo Torre finds out. I am Pablo Torre, and today we're to find out what this sound is.


Tell your sister's boyfriend, Macaulay Culkin, to shut his damn mouth. It's like top five. It's top.


Right after this ad, you're listening to DraftKings network.


The year was 2019. Megan was on a little bit of a run in the World Cup. I couldn't go because it was during the WNBA season. Even though I was hurt, I couldn't go to the final. So I haven't seen Megan in at that point, probably like a month and a half. And so I show. I fly to France for the final. I get there, like, the day before the game. So the night before the game is I'm seeing her for the first time in over maybe more than a month and a half. Yeah. Because they're training pre camp. So I go to dinner with some friends because they have meetings and video and film and things. So I can't see Megan until, let's call it 08:00 that night. So I'm at dinner with friends, and we all went around the table. There was like seven, eight of us. And the bet was like, is sue going to get some tonight?


The draft king super boost. Is Sue Bird going to get some tonight?


Going to hook up tonight?


And I was a little torn. I was like, I don't know. The girlfriend in me was like, of course.


The athlete in me was like, I don't know. We just did a hug it out. Hug and kiss it out. Roll around. Roll around a little. Yeah. On top of clothes. Dry hump.


Yeah, just something like that.


He just said dry hump. Yeah.


Take a moment for that.


Just some high end, heavy petting, whatever.


You want to call it.


I served you guys a drink of your choice at the bar of the metal arc media office. And now Megan Rubino and Sue Bird. You guys are getting loosened up.


Yeah, we're ready. I'm excited, too.


Hold on. I want to do one thing before I fully loosen up here.


Yeah, you heard it, too.


Sue heard it. It's just that her voice came very faint. Pablo, you're good. Okay. I want to point out, actually, I want to start this way, is that Sue Bird is already point guarding this podcast.




So, Megan, this is kind of a thing.


Welcome to Megan's life.


Yeah, welcome to my life.




We talk about this all the time because, and this is how I say it, there is a very small irregular tax that I have to pay that allows me to have Sue Bird as the point guard of my life. And this is how it shows up. Sometimes we get to JFK an hour earlier than we want to, which means, like, probably no. In the 30 to 45 minutes range. And it's random.


It's a regular midday.


It's small.


I'm like, yeah, who can navigate this? It could take you 30 minutes. It could take you an hour and 30 minutes.


Yeah, but who can figure this out? It's so nominal. But the rest of the time, I.


Get you in that lounge, though.


Okay, so we'll get back to the Delta lounge in just a little bit here. But this is the place where I feel kind of compelled to just recap the medallion status, as it were, of Sue Bird and Megan Rapino. Because Sue, first off, was a 13 time WNBA all star, and a four time WNBA champion, and a five time Olympic gold medalist and a two time national champion at the University of Connecticut. Nobody in WNBA history has more assists than Sue Bird. Megan, on the other hand, won two World cups for the United States, won both the golden boot and the golden ball given to the top scorer and the best player, respectively, at the women's World cup. And she also won an Olympic gold medal and also the presidential medal of know. For the whole fighting for equal pay and equality in general sort of thing, that made Megan the first soccer player to ever receive that award. But the reason that I really wanted to have two of the greatest athletes of all time on the show together just one day before February 14, is simple. This is our Valentine's Day episode. I've invited, as I say, stupidly excited for this to talk to you guys.


We've hung out, but not with microphones on. So thank you for letting me be my favorite version of myself, which is messy and invasive. I love that we watched the AFC title game together with friends. That was fun. But this I do want to get into. Like, can I ask some blunt questions?




So, I've been trying to think of a comparison for your relationship in sports history. Have you guys played that game?


No, not really.


Where it's like, okay, so you're already embarrassed by this, so forgive the bluntness. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graff. Right? Same sports are not quite the same, but you got to be good enough to be into this conversation. And a lot of relationships have happened, but I would say that they have not been of the caliber of YouTube.


Sue hates that.


Here's the question, okay? Is athletic greatness for you guys? An aphrodisiac? And I mean that when you guys are contemplating this is now the person that I'm falling for. Oh, no. I'm falling in love with them. Oh, no. I'm. All of the things. How much is actually being good at the sport you guys played? How much did that actually figure into how you felt?


I have an answer. Oh, yeah, go ahead. That's a good question. It's a part of it, right. And not because of the athletic piece of it. I think who Megan is, her success on the field is tied back to who she is in a lot of ways. The same way. Like, I don't know, if somebody were killing it on Wall street, that would have some sort of sex appeal to it. So I think I always say it's like you show up in a room, you're not checking any of your identities at the door. They come with you. Is it the reason? No. But does it make somebody attractive when they're great at something? Of course.


Want to get to the personal aspect of, like, also, you guys are gay.


Yeah. So gay.


Love being gay.


I'm pretty gay. Yeah.


What was coming out?


Like, looking back in hindsight, I was definitely always gay. And I wish someone would have just told me when I was, like, three so then I could have gotten on with it, but nobody did, which it's not really anybody's place. And then I figured out that I was gay in college, and I was like, oh, my God. And then the whole world made sense to me, and I feel like the world has sort of made sense since then. And that really threw me out of my shell and gave me a solid footing to stand on because I was kind of like, things aren't really adding up. Like, whatever they're saying in the movies. I'm like, I get it. I guess I just haven't met the right guy. I don't know. This seems weird. Whatever. And then I figured I was gay, and I was like, okay, this makes sense. And then I think from then I was like, oh, this is awesome. That's kind of my coming out story. I don't have, like, a.


Is that a cinematic.


Yeah, I don't have, like, a struggle. And I feel really fortunate for that. My family was pretty accepting. We went through some early, like, oh.


What does this mean?


And how are people going to treat you? And just like, you know, it's all very uncertain. And then everyone kind of quickly got over it, and it was like, okay, so I don't have that sort of typical struggle story. I don't think you really do either. Not totally, but we're only five years apart, but the times are very.


Okay, wait, so speak to that, though, because I guess when you zoom out and you realize gay marriage was illegal.




Not so long ago, all of this is sort of new, but even still.


Within that five year frame, this is the best way to tell it. I vividly remember this. I graduated high school in 98. I graduate college in 2002. I would say both those experiences in women's sports, there were gay women around, kind of like, prototypical, the gym teacher, that kind of a thing. And it was always like, oh, my God, so and so's gay. Ooh. And we all essentially gossiped about it. And then I remember hearing three, four years later, I'm now in the WNBA, hearing about other people who went to my high school or other people in college where they're open. And it was like, just in that short period of time, it went from gossip, which for me, especially in college, I didn't want to be a part of the gossip. So there was a girl that I was hooking up with, but nobody knows that. Well, now they do, but nobody knew that. I would have died before I let any of my teammates know that. Like, literally. That sounds really dramatic. I don't want to use that word lightly. I literally would have gone to the grave not telling anybody that. Way different.


It was just way different.


How much work did that take to keep it juggle among your teammates who you see all a lot of sneaking.


Around, a lot of lying, going to the mall. Those that know will laugh at that. I'm going to the mall, guys.


Yeah, sure.


What I am laughing at also, though, is just the presumption that. But wait a minute. In women's sports, of, like, I know.


You had to be closeted.


On my own, on the Yukon women's basketball team, pretty much. By the way, I'm trying to think now, was anybody gay? Like, my senior year, was anybody openly gay? Nobody on my team.


Which, again, speaks to just the crazy amount of societal.


Just in five years.


It happened really quickly, and I think it depends on where you are. I went to school in Portland, and there was already people on my visit that nobody was really talking about gay. But I was like, well, this feels different. What are these like, this is obviously very different. They're drinking out of now genes and driving xterras looking gay in a different way. The yellow one. But no, it was very different. I mean, to your point about your experience, though, it was kind of like everyone was kind of doing this low key, closeted thing, so nobody was going to poke too much. Nobody was going to ask too many questions because that's coming right back to you. So I feel like you guys all kind of had, like, an understanding different to men's sports still that I feel like these men, because they're obviously out there, feel like a. They're the only one, and nobody can find out. Whereas I feel like you guys kind of knew, like, other people kind of were, because you were obviously looking up at someone. But it was just sort of, like, low key, but also, it was already in the.


Focused on sneaking around to care about anything they were doing anyway. I was way more worried about if they were going to, quote unquote, catch me than thinking about where they were sneaking off to. That's another part of, you know. Yeah.


So that's college.


Yeah, that's college. Then I get know the WNBA. I'm professional. Takes probably by my second year in the WNBA, I've now comfortable and confident in my sexuality, and I'm now telling friends, telling family, for the most part, like, zero issues. There was a couple like, why didn't you tell me sooner? Not about you.


Fast forward. Not about you.


Quickest way to tell you. Not about you. But then there is the public coming out. That didn't happen until I was 37, which is crazy.


Is that right?




Okay, so explain that strategy.




It's not strategy.




All the strategic things we've been discussing, there was zero thought about this. What was it in terms of the public part? I think I was just caught in an old mentality of, like I said, keeping it private. But also this marketing thing. People aren't going to like you if you're gay.


So how did the straight gays.


G-A-Z-E. Got it.




Straight gays. Who are they?


But how did that figure in, like, the idea that, wait a minute, there are some dudes who think I'm hot or they're a fan of me or whatever it is. I don't know what your presumption would have been.


It was basically told to me that the only way I was going to have success from a marketing standpoint is to really sell this straight girl next door. You have, quote, unquote, the look. So these were things that were told to me, and at 21, I was afraid of all of it. And I openly admit this. It's like, the way I feel now about all of those conversations. I have opinions, I have thoughts. I have no problem talking about them publicly. At 21, I was afraid. I don't want to give away all my secrets, but I'm pretty normal. People probably think that there's some crazy story behind the basketball player, but there's really not. I am sue Bird, take one. And now you're telling me that my.


Career might not take off.


If so, I just had it in me that this wasn't something I would share publicly, even though I was living my life that way. And as far as, like, the male gaze, G-A-D goes, I mean, I was aware of it. And I think you could even go back in some of my interviews, and I might even have said, in fact, I know I did things like, well, yeah, sex does sell, but if we get people into the arena, then they'll appreciate the game. I mean, vomit. But I was scared. That's just the truth of it. And this is what I'm being told. I knew what I felt, but that wasn't enough to override what I was being told. Whereas now that feels different. And actually, a lot of times I get asked, how do you speak publicly about these things now? Or why? And it's like, because I missed 20 years of doing it. Not a 20, but, like 15 years. I didn't say shit. I knew it. I felt it. I could see it. But I was quiet because I was scared. And it's like, enough of that.


Yeah. How much can you both laugh now at what the marketing used to be?


Whoa. Way worse for me than you. Lucky. You're so lucky. You figured it out early.


Yeah, way worse for you guys.


Mine are comical.


You guys have a lot more intersection of race and sexuality and what all that means and how you guys were marketed. We had that, too. But we were like the pretty white girls next door. And you guys obviously have a lot of black women, and there's just, like, a lot of racism and a lot of homophobia and so many of the things. I mean, I think we can look back now and be like, okay, it is so much better, but it's still there. Still there.


The question of, like, how do we sell this game to the target demographic that we think we need?


Yeah. And I think even just in men's sports, if you're good in men's sports, then you're the one that gets the endorsements. It doesn't matter, really what you look like. If you are sort of societally attractive, that's like a plus.




The archetype from the movie.


Yeah. If you're not, it's also fine. But if you're amazing as a woman and you're not, quote unquote pretty, by whatever that means, it does hurt you. And if you are pretty, by whatever that means, you're like, turbo boosted as a woman, we still know that, and that is still happening. So I think this conversation, for that reason is still really important. I think it's way more open. There's way more space for players to be themselves at such a younger age. Like, I see it with my. I was just going to call my teammates or my old teammates now and, like, younger players and just having those conversations way earlier and way more space, but it still very much exists. And then obviously in men's sports, I.


Mean, there's no gay players.




What do you mean no?


That is still, like, we're still deeply.


It is a crazy statistic. Crazy, right. It's the guys. We don't believe you that there's nobody here.


I know.


And it's like, it's hard. I feel for them. There's so much fear.


But it proves the point about how young this history is.




Truly, you guys have lived it. You just retired. And the people who are still dealing with it have not figured it out yet either. And that turbo boost marketing thing, I want to go back to that just because sue is cringing inside of her own existence. At what?


As a traditionally pretty person.


As a traditionally pretty person?




For people who aren't familiar with the marketing campaigns. And I did, of course, my research, and I saw, like, the 76 ers jersey with the. You got to explain this, though, for people who are not seeing this.


I have to explain it.




Jersey dress.


There's a couple pictures from one photo shoot. It was Dime magazine, and they were, like, racier at the time anyways. Like, even some of the photos they did when they covered male basketball players were a little on the racier side or edgier side. So that's kind of what they were doing. I had to say no to three other poses.


This is the stuff that you permitted. There is more. That crossed the line.


Yeah. Wow. One of them, they wanted me to not have a shirt on at all and cover myself in different ways. I mean, it's different with the ESPN body issue because I felt, like, older and it was a choice and all these things. This didn't feel that way. Just to give it a little bit of a contrast.


There's, like, space for being sexy or having position.


I hope that the takeaway from this conversation is not those prudes. Yeah, no, pretty sure that's not it.


But to your point, I think that's.


The better way of saying it.


Exactly. The theatricality of this is what it means to be.


I was like, and this particular I'll never, I vividly remember the day I was solo, so my agent wasn't with me, so this was on me and I just described myself at whatever. At this point I'm probably 22. I just described myself during this era. Like, I had to say no, which took a lot. So no wonder those other pictures quote unquote went through, if you will. But yeah, it's like what? No way.


And just the pressure of being told as this is one of the young stars of the league, totally of like this is a the only way that you're going to get marketed, so you can either be here or not, I guess, but this is the way that we're going to sell the league. And do you want to help the league grow or do you not? And it's like, that's an impossible situation.




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I want to get to though the ways in which the positions that you play athletically sort of are obvious in your personal dynamic. So like Sue Bird, point guard so I want to establish for people who don't know your works right? Sue is the point guard. Sue's superpower is somehow that she is attending to the people around her and making them better, but that also means that she's hyper focused on what they could use. And I was actually looking on Wikipedia because I'm a journalist, obviously. There's just a funny thing that Wikipedia used for Megan where it was, and I'll just read it. Rapino is internationally known for her crafty style of play and her activism off the pitch. Okay, leave activism aside for a second, though. But what does it mean to be one of the craftiest soccer players in sports history and also somebody who is a leader of a soccer team in a way that is inherently different from a basketball team? What would you say Megan superpower is or was on the pitch?


Her fearlessness, like risk taker. Whether the president of the United States is tweeting at her or she's lining up for a penalty kick to win a World cup, she doesn't think about what's going to happen next. If fill in the blank, if she misses or if she doesn't think about that. She's fearless in those moments. The craftiness, I think, speaks to the entertainment in which you played with, but the fearlessness for me is what? That's who you are as a soccer player.


I always joke that sue would have hated me as a teammate because probably, I think the craft.


You would have loved me.


I would have loved you. Oh, my God. No. You would have been like, what is she doing? Oh, my God. It worked one out of five times, I think, by nature of your position, because you're the point guard, you always had a lot of responsibility. You were always charged with literally calling the play and doing the things. I mean, I think I am a risk taker just in general. And I was that way. And I had coaches when I was younger that was like, yeah, do that crazy thing. And that was cultivated. But I think also my time early on the national team, honestly, even until well into my, wasn't that leader. I wasn't the captain of the team. I was only captain of the team for a very short time. I wasn't the biggest player. I just got to be this really complimentary piece that, like, I'm going to do wild sometimes, and it's going to go bad. It's going to go really bad. But there's also that part that I kind of had that leash, and I think I earned that leash over time to be creative.


Okay, but let's put this in the basketball context. There is the equivalent of Megan on your team. How are you managing this person who is going to turn the ball over but also give the greatest highlight that you saw that month?


Well, by the way, your toe tapping on a discussionargument that we have around just our sports and which lends to risk taking. But we can get to that. Another pod.


Wait, I want to know a little bit more about the argument that you walked into this room.




No, not argument, just conversation around. So I think soccer, it lends to risk taking because you have to take.


Risk because there's so few goals and.


The penalty for the risk is not as great as basketball. You can't be as risky as you can in soccer, in my opinion.


In basketball, no, I agree. It does require more different of a mentality. Precision because we're using our feet.


But what you're implying there is that in basketball it's harder to be a.


Yes. Yes, I am. It is harder because the reward has to be so great on the other side if you're going to be.


The leash is shorter for a Megan.


But there's a place for it. If there were five of me on the court, it wouldn't be a good team. It'd be a little bit boring. It'd be a little bit like there wouldn't be as much risk. I take risk when I have to, but way more calculated. You need the mixture.


We'll bring it into the relationship context. Something goes wrong. How ISU, as the self appointed, or in this case, long authorized leader of this team and is that okay to say that, that she is the. Okay.


The leader of our.




Yeah. Wouldn't you want to see her leading your.




You know, you're the leader of our team.


Okay. But something goes wrong and the leader of your team is handling that how? What have you done, Megan? What have you done in this hypothetical or real example from life?


I'm working on this, but sometimes it's Megan. Yeah.


Which is so bad. I know. And I'm like, I know, but I don't like it when you talk to me like that. I'm an adult.


I think it depends on what it is.


No, I think you put so much thought and care and you think ahead so much. I am definitely more like off the cuff, which has its obviously positives and negatives. And I think we do a pretty good job of balancing that in our life. But, yeah, I say this all the time. It's annoying being me. I annoy myself. I'm like, it's not all funny games over here when you do the same dumb thing that you just did. Why didn't I think ahead to do whatever?


What's a thing, though? So I can relate? Because I'm not the leader of my household. My wife is definitely the sub bird of our relationship. And I do stuff all the time, like come home 15 minutes to an hour later than I said I would or make noise when she's sleeping because she has to get up early.


That's me. Sue's a mouse rhino.


I'm told that I snore, which is a tough thing for me to have to reckon with.


But, yeah, we don't really follow that yet. That's not a choice.


No, thank you. Sometimes you do because you broke in your nose so many times, but I just give you a little elbow. I just give you a little shake or push, and then you'd, like, move around. I think one of the things recently that we've been talking about, I'm trying to get better as I.


Where is this going?


I think I get just kind of in. Honestly, we spend a lot of time together, especially now that we're both retired. So our days are kind of around each other all the time, but we are sort of, like, working at the same time, and there's a lot going on. And so if I haven't written it down and it's in my calendar, I mean, it's in the ether. I'm working on it. But not getting in there.


You're really going there. I was just going to say you don't turn the lights off.


Oh, yeah. I don't turn the lights off either. But one thing is.


That's one where I'm like, I know.


I'm like, I walk out and how am I supposed to know when the lights on behind me? Because I've already walked out. So we've gotten over that one.


Because I just turn them off now.


Yeah, because all the bulbs are burned out. But this one is like, I ask her a lot. And this is like a dependency thing, too, where I ask her either what she has going on that day, or if we have any plans for the night or what we're doing, and she'll tell me. And then inevitably, like an hour later or the next day, I'll ask again, and she's like, it feels like I'm not paying attention and not listening, and I know it, too, but then I'm like, why don't I have your whole schedule in my head? But I'm trying to slow down a little bit and be more thoughtful. I'm never going to be as thoughtful as you in this category. You can just hold so much in your head at the same time. It's amazing. Your ability to hold all these things in your head is like nothing I've ever seen. And I aspire to, but I don't think I'm going to get there.


I am getting the sense, too, that when there is conflict, it's not. Megan, even in the descriptions of how you are immediately apologetic or immediately like.


Are we going there?


Okay, so what is that? Because that's a type of person that it's annoying.


Yeah, it's annoying.


Why is it annoying? Because on one level, to immediately be like, hand up is some element of what you want, isn't it?


Yeah, it's the hand up.


About the same thing all the time. It's like, well, okay, the hand up is really not enough. Now you need to actually change the behavior. And I'm like, okay, I'm trying.


Oh, it's actually less that or it.


Feels like I'm trying to shut you down.


Yes. So again, back to a sports analogy, because here we are.


Is this sports show.


Apparently, in my experience, when I go up to a ref and I'm like, what the. How'd you miss that? And they go, yeah, you're right. I'm like, okay, thank you. And you have to just walk away. There's no longer this, right? So when your partner, after you've maybe expressed something, it's just like, yes, you're right. My bet, you're like, wait a minute, is that real? Are you just shutting me up? And that's where we've actually talked about that a lot, though, in our time.


Okay, I'm learning about myself, too, I should say, while I'm asking you deeply invasive questions, but what you're saying is that you're not getting the pushback that would reflect the authenticity of what you are actually feeling, that you're trying to keep it moving versus actually engage on the thing that clearly you are not willing to engage with me about.


Well, I just feel like, let's say it was a choice she made or a decision to do something. You probably did that for a reason, and then you're just going to let go of that reason in the moment that I bring it up to avoid the conflict or whatever.


That's a real point guard mentality, though. You made this decision for a reason. What was it? And why aren't you telling me?


I don't know.


I don't know. I didn't mean it. No, but I will say she also.


Is very open to way more than me in some ways. Like way open to critique or not that I'm criticizing you. It's not that. It's really just like presenting. I'm presenting how it made me feel. That's really what we're talking. We're talking about feelings. No, we are talking about.


This is a show about feelings.


Yeah. Sports and feelings.


That's right. There's this term that I've sort of marveled at, as it has become blindingly obvious in retrospect, but also a cliche, which is love languages. What are you guys'love? Languages. As in the thing that you talk about it? Yeah.




Which ones are we saying?


They just have their limits.


No, I feel like everyone's. All of them are more prominent. Yeah. I would say I'm more like acts of service. Yeah. I think acts of service is, like, where mine shows the most. Both receiving and giving, probably.


Mine's definitely more like physical touch, maybe gift giving.


Yeah, I think physical touch. Are you definitely physical touch? I would say words of affirmation.


Yeah. Words of affirmation. Yeah. Giving and receiving.


They're different there. Yeah.


You can see where we run into some issues.


Writing down some of this for my files. Yeah.


I run your whole life and our whole life together, and I'm like, just tell me that you love me. You're like, I did.


I did.


Because I just ran your plane on. Yeah, totally.


We're in the Delta lounge chilling. I love you.


Totally. We'll be, like, in a random love language.


Is the Delta lounge?


No, truly? Yeah. Yeah.


Those are what is easier about dating someone who did roughly the profession that you yourself devoted your life to for so long versus generally, and also specifically speaking, like, I don't know, civilians. Normies. Regulars.








Yeah, narps.


Normal, regular person NarP.


As the ambassador from the nation of NARPS.




What is it about that that actually made this all easier than it might otherwise be?


I think our general disposition and the way that we interacted with our sport.


Was a big part of it.


I think we both always enjoyed getting away from our sport. Doing other things in our regular life allowed for our relationship to grow. And I think if you don't have that and you're just sort of, like, all focus on that, that would be a little bit harder. And then I think it's just like, you just get it.


That's where I would go.


Just like someone who got what it meant to have a physical, spiritual, emotional commitment to sports.


Yeah. It's like a shared language. Just like that understanding of what the other is going through. Even though it's different sports, different lifestyles, in some ways, you get to skip the explaining part. It's nice to have somebody that understands that right out the gate, we have to be away.


We never really were so sad or upset about being away from each other because we're just like, well, obviously, your team is here. My team is here. I'm at camp. You're in game.


If anything, it was harder when one of us came back. It was like, oh, you're in my living space again.




What's this?


That was hard for you.


Yeah, the lights are on again.


Yeah. There we go.


All this physical touch.


The reentry. Yeah.


Our you.


When I think about how you guys handled the spotlight, how you handled like, a microphone, I don't consider you guys following the same playbook.


No, we're very different people.


So how much of that was a thing you ever needed to discuss? Because I would like you guys to describe yourselves and your approaches. Actually, Megan, pretty famously, I would say pretty much gave negative, actually, like, just didn't.


Well, yeah, just. I didn't give the. To the sort of obvious people who you're supposed to give fuck to, I guess. I don't know.


Championship or bust.


Completely. Yeah, championship or bust.


Always excited about going to the White House.


Not going to White House. No, not going to the White House. We're not going to be invited.


You're not going to be invited.


I doubt it.


Fuck. Distribution was something that you handle differently from sue is the bottom line.


Yeah, no, we have a way different.


I give all the.


Okay, but you guys have given your respective press conferences, and there is a different amount of fallout depending on what the thing was discussed that day. And then you guys meet up at home and it's like, so how did your day go? And it's like, well, I'm an enemy of the state.


Yeah, yeah.


The example I was going to give was after Trump tweeted at Megan, and it's at the World cup and all the things, it was like a couple days later, and we were starting to hear things about what and who was contacting her family, who was in northern California. My sister. So amazing, infamously got a text, like, anonymous text that was like, tell your sister's boyfriend, Macaulay Culkin, to shut his damn mouth. It's like, top five. It's top.


It might be top.


It's so good.


It might be top.


But when I start hearing all these things, like, I said, what her family's getting now, my sister's getting a text. I call her up, she's in France. And I'm like, hey, how are you feeling around safety? And all these things, like, thinking kind of like, not globally, but zoomed out.




And she's like, I feel safe.


I think over time, I've tried to be more thoughtful about it because it has impacted people. It has impacted my family. And I'm from a small, conservative town that's, like, pretty tight knit. My mom worked at a restaurant, so it was constantly people coming in and out. And my family lives in a place that didn't really agree generally with what I was saying. Didn't agree with kneeling. Why are you not kneeling? And I don't mean kneeling in terms of kneeling. What are you doing? What is everyone doing to help? Because everyone knows that we have a problem in this country. Everyone knows that we have serious issues to talk around. Racial injustice. Didn't agree with my comments about not going to the White House or about that administration at the time.


What is your message to the president?


I think that I would say that your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me. You're excluding people of color. You're excluding americans that maybe support you. I'm also rich and an athlete and privileged and sheltered and privileged in that sort of way. And so I just didn't really ever feel like I was actually in danger. And I talk about this all the time, and you've seen this in real life, and you weren't there for the one time that this happened. One time in real life, someone has come up to me, this man said, I wish you would have represented our country differently. And I was like, oh, okay. Sorry you feel that way or disagree? That's literally the only time. A couple of times, I've been, like, booed in the stance, but that I don't feel like counts, even with social media. I feel like maybe because I came to it a little bit later. But I think also my experience with kneeling immediately showed me that it was all fake. What do you mean, fake? Meaning the conversation was being had in a negative way was so disingenuous because it wasn't about what Colin was saying at, like, we're talking about the military, like, we're not talking about national security.


We're talking about the right to protest and the first Amendment and police brutality and all of these things. So I just immediately I was like, okay, you're just trying to have a different conversation and one that slings mud at Colin and tries to discredit what he's saying. And I think from my perspective, I was like, well, I believe Colin, and I believe black people generally. Otherwise, you have to accuse the entirety of their experience, you have to accuse them of lying, which is insane because we've all seen all of the things. So I think just then I was like, oh, this is just disingenuous in general, particularly on social media. And I'm not getting that real life feedback that anybody actually feels this strongly about it to ever come. I'm out in these streets or at games or in Texas or Florida or, you know, places that are traditionally more conservative. Nothing. Not one word. So I was just like, man, this is like, whatever. So I'm just going to keep saying what I'm saying. And it seems like, know when I'm on track, know that part of the Internet starts saying crazy things. I'm like, oh, thank you for the reinforcement and acknowledgement that I'm at the heart of it.


What's sue bird like playing a board game?


We don't play games.


I know Megan doesn't play games. Honestly.


Honestly, it's so annoying.


I might leave you because of it.


I know I'm not a gamer.


She won't play games with me, Pablo.


But I didn't grow up playing a lot. I mean, I've played some board games, but I think you are competitive. You are very competitive. But not so much. We're going to ruin the.


I'm actually. I love playing games. I grew up with card games. My family's big card playing family board games, did them all. And this answer was different. Even at, like, 22, then I would have been almost like, sore loser vibes. I think at some point, let's call it mid twenty s. I was just like, who cares? Who cares if you win at Monopoly? Move on. So now when I play games, I don't get super, super competitive, and I wouldn't be that way. But she doesn't. I know. I've tried to teach her backgammon, spade, like, name it. You're just not in. You're not into it.


I know you would win, though. The answer is she would win.


So now I'm just like, on my phone playing computer number two.


But I, like, you are playing bots. Actually, you're playing the computer.


It's telling me it's real people, but I'm convinced it's not. They always get the good role in back ammon. I'm like, this is impossible.


Sixes again, I want to be mindful of the way in which we have created these two sitcom characters in a way that I feel like cannot possibly fully represent Megan as a competitive entity, because so far, you're kind of like, whatever, man. And I just wonder if, for sue, how does that competitiveness actually appear in real life?


Okay, good question.


Or does it? Or am I looking for an aspect here that actually outside of sports?


Because obviously it exists.


However, you experienced it. Right? Like, when you were like, oh, this person can be both, unlike me, in some now documented ways, but also, like, a killer.


No, you're not that competitive in other ways. I'm really trying to think.


I think in the game, I know how to be competitive, but I think there's some parts about being competitive and being, like, a killer like that that are really uncomfortable and make me kind of insecure. And so I think I actually shy away from games or, like, I mean, I don't know how to play a lot of the games.


That's a part of it.


That's a little bit of, like, trying.


To teach my mom how to use an iPhone. At some point, she's just out.


Yeah, she just can't even. Sometimes in my career, I would just be like, this is, like, a lot for practice, and it's too much even in practice.


I never said that you guys do it.


Not all the time.


And I'm like, lenny loophole. I'm like, how can I win this drill? Yeah, they didn't say you couldn't do that.


Yeah. And I'm like, is that what we're trying to do? Is that the point of the drill? I would get annoyed when people would do that, but I would also get annoyed when the coaches left big holes in the game where I'm like, well, this is what people are going to do. This is the loophole. But, yeah, I think there's something about being uber competitive that is uncomfortable for me and that I don't like that much.


We have been talking about what it was like when you guys were playing sports. I don't want to do the full retirement deep dive because I feel like we can catch people up to the point at which I'm just curious how you guys mutually decided to, I don't know, was there to strategize. It's just remarkable that you guys both retire within a very short time span of each other. Again, in this way, at the top of your respective sports, when it comes to just these people that many consider some of the best to have ever done it, and you guys go about it in different ways. But also, I can imagine that you guys also kind of had a meeting of the minds about this or no.


Like, yes and no. The timing is totally coincidental in that it was the right timing for me, and it was the right timing for Megan. On our own time, like 100%. That has nothing to do for those that don't know. We retired one year apart. That was not a strategy. That was just not a vacation.


You guys were dying to get to better get this done now.


But I think, correct me if I'm wrong, because I retired first and I had this experience, Megan definitely had a front row seat to that and got to pull from it and learn from it, whereas I got to pull and learn from other people who had retired in the. So that's. I feel like that's really the main way in which our retirements interacted.


Yeah. And I think just the processing together through your retirement just inevitably brought up questions, and we were both talking about it, and there was questions whether you were going to retire in 2021, and that didn't feel right. And so we were having all these.


Conversations and announcing it while you're still playing versus just kind of finishing the season and saying goodbye. That's probably the main one. I think once the retirement question got answered for both of us in our own way, in our own time, that's the question that I would venture to say every athlete of a certain status in their sport, that's the one you toy with the most, especially if you're in a league.




Because now you're in a season.


It reminds me of when I got married. It was like, this isn't also just about you.


Yeah, I had to learn that.


Okay, so who is it for then? As you would explain it now, having.


Gone through it, so I didn't think of it. I never realized that it was also for the fans, powerful, powerful moment.


Sue Bird.


The most accomplished champion in.


Terms of announcing it while you're still playing. That didn't get put into the equation until I talked to Cece Sabathia and listened to his story. He was like, I mean, if anyone's ever spent time with, yeah. He's like, no, cuz you gotta, like, announce it and let the fans celebrate you. And I was like, what? And then I thought about. I was like, oh, my God, that makes a lot of sense. And then I found that it was really important for me to have that experience too. Like closure in a way.


Yeah. Once you allow yourself to admit again, I love that. One of my favorite things about both of you is that you're alien in the sense that you are representing also a normal point of view of, like, you're not taking for granted. Of course, the queen must meet her public. Once you sort of let yourself fully internalize that, oh, people are out there who sincerely want this for themselves. It changes the math. And so I think of your retirement as super well choreographed in that regard, in that, like a pro who strategized, considered various outcomes and so forth, just.


Like how it all played out. I didn't expect any of it, except Seattle, that I expect knew. I mean, like, we have a relationship, so it's like, of couldn't. It was difficult for me to get out of arenas. Like getting back to my hotel. I would have security sneaking me out the back, and I didn't anticipate that at all.


I always have to tell her that she's sue bird.


I do want to embarrass Megan a bit because, okay, so sue is saying good luck there because Megan has been through some shit, especially recently. And if you don't remember how Meghan waved goodbye to her athletic career, I should probably just recap how sue did leave the Seattle Storm like Queen Elizabeth, all dignified and choreographed. But Meghan, less than a year later during her farewell retirement tour, ended up at the World cup final. This was last August in the knockout round against Sweden, and everything came down to a shootout, came down to penalty kicks, and Megan, who was the best penalty shooter on the planet, arguably did this. Meghan had not missed a penalty in almost five years until that point, until her last World cup moment. And after the game, which the US lost, obviously she could not help but sound like this.


I mean, this is like a sick.


Joke for me, personally. I'm just like, this is dark comedy.


I missed the penalty, but that dark comedy, it turned out, was just beginning because three months after that, last November, now Megan was back with her club team in Seattle, and they had made it all the way back to the National Women's soccer League final with a final championship on the line. And what happened there is kind of what I wanted to ask Megan about most of all, even, like, what happened.


At the World Cup? I put into this a little bit because obviously I would have loved to go and win. And sports is sports. You get to do everything up until you get on the field, and then what's going to happen is going to happen with my final game. I just said the other day, I was like, can you believe I tore my gilly in my final game in the first three minutes? And there she goes down, just unattested on the top of your screen, off to a bright start. And as you mentioned, jackie, that would be devastating. It's funny. It's funny. It's not, but it's, like, dark humor. I mean, if you can't laugh at this, you can't laugh at anything. This is one of the risks. I've dealt with a lot of injury. I wish I would have had less, but I didn't. It's just the way it goes. You step on the field, there's a risk. Anything could have happened. So this was really unfortunate, and it's really sad, but also, I don't know, what are you going to do? What are you going to do now? I'm rehabbing, and it's given me a little structure in my life, and, like, taking the best out of it.


That was a.


It was a.


It was a tragically comic ending.


Comedic was, sue, what was going through your mind as you were watching this? Did you know immediately, well, Megan's going to find a way to laugh at this. She's going to see the dark humor in this? Or were you feeling it as yourself, which was how maybe.


Yeah, no, I think in the moment was just feeling the moment of it. I wasn't thinking about the next day or a week or month or just. Well, actually, that's a little bit of a lie. I knew it was an achilles, like, pretty much right away. Just, like, classic signs, the look back, nobody near her. There was somebody who texted me and said, and they're watching on tv who? It kind of threw me off because they were like, it looks like her knee. And I was like, really? It looks like her knee. But then there was something about the way she sat, grabbed her calf and then kind of, like, sat back on her arms in a way of defeat where I was like, oh, she knows this is Hercules. It's done. It's a rap. And in that moment, I was just really sad for the moment. I was just really bummed in the moment, knowing that you didn't get to finish your final game in your final season. Just, like, really sad for that moment. And like I said, my one little lie is I did think, like, oh, man, this rehab is long.


This is a long rehab. So I did think that for you, too. But I was in a suite with her whole family, and so there was just a lot of. It was actually nice. There was a lot of commiserating. There were some tears. But very quickly, I think everybody turned to not celebrating that, but just, like, it turned into, okay, let's cheer on. Like, we know Megan's okay. She's texted us from the locker room. We know she's okay. And now let's just kind of be in this moment.


I am sad about.




I feel like. Like getting emotional about it, right? Like, it is like, I wish that didn't. Like, I'm just thinking about my teammates coming over. And of course it's sad, but it's also, like. I don't know. It's kind of just like life. We want these perfect stories, and I'm, like, a controversial figure and having people low key celebrate it, but then also be so disingenuous about it that that part is kind of funny, too. I'm like, wow, you guys are in a special place in hell that you're celebrating this. I'm not going to that hell.


Maybe pull a tissue out of your pocket.


Yeah, I pulled tissue out. Where'd that come from? It's winter in New York. I'm so sensitive, and it's just like, my eyes are running all the time. My nose is running, so I am sad about it. I was just thinking to myself, like, this is going to get clipped and people are going to be like, oh, so you think Megan thinks it's funny that she did? And it's like, it's not funny me, but also, this is how I live my life. There are so many more important things than this. And of course it's sad. I don't think it takes anything away from my career. I don't think missing that penalty takes anything in my career. It's actually all part of it. And if you don't try, you're never going to do anything.


What you said in the press conference, which got people just, again, disingenuously furious.


I'm not a religious person or anything. And if there was a God, this is proof that there isn't. This is up. So, yeah, it's just fucked up because somebody needs to check on the christians. They're not. Okay. They also miss the whole joke.


But that's the thing, is that I'm.


Like, you guys missed it. Don't act like a. You're surprised by maybe, like, making this joke about what happened or finding a dig. I'm like, yeah, I want to find a funny dig.


I don't know.


Who's it at? God, myself, religion, the world.


I don't know at yourself, too, because what it was, I don't think people appreciated this because everyone was deeply triggered religiously and otherwise. The dig is. Here is yet another athlete who thinks that proof of God is found in them winning in good shit happening. And if it doesn't, then obviously God does. Not exist. That's the joke. And for you to say it at your last fucking press conference, I was like, this is brilliant. And instead everyone got so bad.


Yeah, it was a thing. I really didn't expect it to be a thing. I have talked very openly about my belief, or lack of belief, rather, in God, and I feel like that's normal. All of the other signals that I see from athletes is talking about their particular station of faith in life. So why can't I talk about my particular station? Obviously, I'm doing that purposely, and I'm not literally saying that, but I always found it important for me to at least say that. I'm just going to say I'm not going to sort of dance around sports. And faith is so intertwined in this really bizarre way that does always have to do with, like, God was looking out for us today because we won. It's a deeply selfish, I don't know, self centric perspective. It's a whole thing that also makes.


Life hard for people who do not fall inside of the catechisms and rules of whatever church happens to be the dominant one in that locker room.




I didn't even realize it was that big of a thing because I don't get into my comments like that. I don't even use Twitter anymore, but then know started hearing about it from lots of different people. I was, that's a. They missed the joke. I was more upset about that. I'm like, oh, damn, get credit for the joke.


Damn it.


You missed the joke. I just want the laughs.


How has life, besides physical therapy, besides all that stuff, for people who don't know how it tends to go for athletes? There's a very famous saying that an athlete dies twice.


Oh, yeah.


Actual death, but also retirement. And I don't know, you guys seem cool. I see you guys, like, hanging out, watching football games and stuff. Yeah, it seems like they're doing pretty well. But how has that been, really?


I think for me, I always knew that being an athlete just meant, like, there was a schedule, there was a regiment, there was the working out and the eating. And it was how I always described it was just like something constantly running in the background, just a constant thought about, oh, God, I have a game tomorrow. I probably should get to sleep at this time. Oh, man, should I eat this? Okay, I have a day off. What am I going to do? It's like constant, constant, constant. And it impacts you. Right. And so I've definitely gone through, like, a detox period in terms of letting that go.


Do you feel yourself sort of, like, instinctually acting as if you need to be somewhere and you don't?


A little bit. A little bit.


The phantom limb of practice?


I have a phantom limb.


It's a phantom limb.


Yeah. That is a perfect way of saying it. And it's been difficult, and I have guilt connected to it, especially in the working out part of it. I think personally, since we're going deep here, I think personally, the last couple of years of my career, a lot of my basketball identity was connected to the fact that I was older. I was now, like, 39, 40, 41, still able to play, still in this amazing shape. Like, wow, look at that. And I think a lot of my identity got wrapped up in that. So letting go of working out is letting go of that, like, what I became connected to. So there's, like, a shedding that has to happen.


So what do you do with the opportunity to actually be free of a grind for the first time in forever?


I mean, I've had the luxury, obviously, of seeing you basically do everything just right in front of, like, even just from the time we've met, I'm like, well, what the fuck you're doing? I'm going to be doing that too. It's like, I worked with Susan and you're in our retirement, so I feel like the luxury of having that in front of me. I'm obviously very sort of new into it, but I think for me, I was very ready to be done, and that doesn't mean I don't miss it. And I watch games on tv, and I'm like, oh, that'd be so fun. I feel like I wish my prime was now, because I think the modern game better suits me as a player. And I spent a lot of my time playing left mid in a four four two. And that's just nightmare.


And I'm like, all the soccer people.


Will know what I'm talking about. But I think physically, I was really ready, clearly, for my achilles in the last second that I ever played. So my body was like, okay, girl, we're done. But to your phantom limb point, I find that there is a voice in your head like this. Athletes have a voice, and it's not mean, but it's a metronome.


She's holding you to it.


She's holding you to it. Are you doing what you're supposed to be doing all of the time? Because it all revolves around you're playing. And what I've found is it's kind of weird. Like, the voice is gone, but I feel the absence of the voice. And I'm like, oh, I know what the voice would be saying, but it's like not saying that. And then I'm like, what do I feel like? I'm like, I should be working out or working out more, but I don't want to. And I'm tired, so I'm not going to. Or it's like, oh, we can go to cabo on a weekend if we want. But that seems crazy to us. That seems like, oh, my God, no.


What do you mean?


You can just do things on the weekend.


My partner can show up and we can have sex.


Yeah. What are you doing here tomorrow? Yeah. On the schedule. So I find that I'm balancing that we have to learn how to make choices for ourselves because to be honest, our whole lives, really, in sort of, like, a macro sense, is planned out. Our schedule is planned out. When your games are, when your vacation time is even during the week, it's like, okay, I'm going to play on a Saturday, and I have Wednesday off, so that means Tuesday night I can go to dinner and have some wine. Sometimes I just go to her stuff. And people are like, what are you doing here? And I'm like, plus one, baby. My fiance. So I'm arm candy. That's literally what I'm doing here. And that's basically. So.


Can I ask the very rude question that obviously me, as America's foremost tabloid feelings reporter, wants to know is what's up with his wedding? What's up with that?


What's going on?


Where's my invitation?


I'm pretty sure all of our friends just want a party.


What kind of cardstock you guys using on these inbox?


Probably just things people don't know. Ready? Things people don't know.




The US women's national team schedule is insane. Like, proper. It was a lot. Now we're both done. So that's why the question's coming up a lot.


I know. People are like, oh, we heard what you told us.


Different voice has replaced the other voice, and it's my voice.


A lot of.


Like, we just haven't gotten to that part yet.


We would like to.


Yeah, we had, like, an idea.


We had a hiccup, a fake news situation where we went to two of my really good friends, Jess and Z. I played with them in Seattle. They got married in Wales. We went.


You dressed up?


Yeah. Sue wore an off white blazer. I wore a black one.


It was my jacket and not like, my outfit.


Yeah, it was just like, the jacket and it was like, we posted a picture. And it's funny the way people reached out about it because they were kind of like, congrats.


I had no idea.


Basically what they're saying was like, you guys wouldn't do this without us.


A passive aggressive period, maybe. Congrats, period.




I was like, you'd be invited.


We're not going to do the elope thing. Well, I personally don't want that. You don't want that? No.




We don't want that. And so we do want the party. That's going to be very fun. And we want to celebrate with all our people. So for everybody wondering, you will be invited.


You will be invited. I wouldn't mind eloping, but then still having a wedding.




Yeah. And then, like, showing up.


We actually already married.


Pop the bottle.


Yeah, that I could do.


So there is no timeline. It's a lot of planning, but it's going to happen eventually.




Can I ask an even more I can't wait invasive question?


Kids? Is it kids?


Oh, yeah, it's kids.


You have all this time to contemplate what happens from here on out. I am fundamentally as a friend and as the father of father a girl dad. How do you think about that stuff now that you have the time to actually, for the first time, think about that stuff?


I mean, you have a kid, right? You know how crazy they are.




Sounds pretty crazy.


My guy. People are asking me all of the time, when's the second one? I'm like, guys, we're just figuring out how to negotiate with a four year old and not be outmanned here. It's hard. Here's my.


I know.


It's, like, wonderful.


But all the cliches are real for me.


I see it with my sister. I mean, I have nieces. I see it. I see it. I froze my eggs.


So that's like.


I think the best part. Part is that we don't feel a time crunch. Although you don't want to be, like, a super old parent. There's no one way to do it. I don't know that I want to be a super old parent. I'm already 43, so I don't know if I've ever thought about this one. Like, what's the line?


Sue bird versus time.


Part two. So, yes, that's the good news, is the option exists. I think as of right now, the answer is no. But it has come up a little bit more recently. We've talked about a little bit more. I have a lot of respect for it. I'm just going to. Sorry. Not that I have a lot of respect for it, and because of that, I'm a little like, okay, I'm not doing this lightly.


1 million%.


Yeah. Like, a lot. Yeah.


I never wanted to have kids while I was playing. I always just marvel at my teammates and athletes who do it. I'm just like, how did you do that? How are you doing that right now? I'm so tired. It's just like, moms who have kids and come back to sports are superheroes. Superheroes. I've seen it live in all the different ways from on field, off field, navigating, parenting in that environment.


Serena Williams, Candace Parker, all these examples. I don't get it.


Incredible. The utmost respects, and I just was like, oh, my God, I can never do that. And never wanted to. And then I also don't want them. Right. Just. I'm like, I just got to my freedom.


You're not giving that up just yet.


No. For that cute little.


At the end of every episode of Pablo Tori finds out, we establish what it is that we found out today. I found out a lot about you guys, but I'm curious what you guys have found out. Talking through with me, your lives, in a way that feels a bit like part couples counseling, although you guys don't need it, and part exit interview from your previous life, which is not how I didn't want this to be super dramatic, but I appreciate that we've got into some really deep things.




So what did you guys find out about yourselves today?


That's actually the first time I've really talked about the fear that I think I felt as a young professional using that word, like, afraid.




I haven't really just talked about it that way. It just came to me and I said it.


I did think that, too. While you were talking, I was like.


Oh, I've never said it that way.


Yeah. It was always kind of like, the way you talked about was, like, just like, it was fine. I didn't know think about it that much. And then you started dating, like, the gayest person in the world. So it was like, yeah, my sister.


Collie Culkin, over here.


Oh, my God.


It was so funny.


I mean, shout out boyfriend. That mean person who said that?


Kali Culkin.


That was funny. That was.


Yeah. So that's definitely something I guess I learned.


What I found out is that you guys are enjoying freedom.


Yeah, very much.


Yeah. It's nice.


I think I continue to find out that I was very ready to move into a different phase of life. But I think just, like, freeing up all this space is, like, being very curious about other things and wanting to spend my time doing other things other than just, like, talking about myself or.


No, no, I was just going to say. You were saying? Yeah, I love this freedom of retirement. And I'm like. And I'm Tom Hanks from castaway.




You're still laying on the floor with my flashlight. Can I go back to the island?


It was.


That's my experience, though, just kind of leaving this other life that I lived for so long got comfortable in, like, oh, there's a whole world out.


Yeah. Yeah. Megan, sue, thank you for genuinely sharing more of yourselves than I have any right to know and allowing me know. Ask about your sex life.


Yeah, no, we started hot and heavy.


Yeah, we got in there.


We started hot and heavy. Had to keep it going. Yeah.


Happy Valentine's Day.


Happy Valentine's Day. Likewise. Will you be my Valentine?


Yeah, I'll be your Valentine, babe.


Of course.


For more Sue Bird, by the way, keep an eye out for this upcoming documentary titled Sue Bird in the Clutch, which just premiered at Sundance and is headed to a streaming service near you. This has been Pablo Torre finds out a metalark media production, and I'll talk to you next time.