Joy Drop: Community, social issues and sports mean everything

CBC Sports Senior Contributor Shireen Ahmed's weekly roundup of the things that struck her from the week that was.

CBC Sports' senior contributor Shireen Ahmed on the week's happier moments

Former Edmonton Oiler and current Carolina Hurricane Ethan Bear wore a jersey with his name in Cree during warm up in an exhibition game in 2020. With Sept. 30 being the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation it is a moment to honour, observe, and be grateful for Indigenous communities who share and continue to offer ways in which every individual can work towards learning about the atrocities of residential schools and the irreversible harm done to Indigenous people. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Mom, we made it!

Hi, friends! I am thrilled to share that our lovely online notebook got some attention this week. I wrote a piece about Joy Drop that was featured in Chatelaine magazine. I wrote about how I write about happiness and hope as part of my personal practice — writing this every week has been an essential part of my writing.

It's something I look forward to and something that I am very grateful for. Some people have argued that it is frivolous, but if I can bring a smile to someone's face, I think that's impactful and necessary. Joy is not frivolous, it's what we all need.

I love a good crossover and what is more fantastic than K-Pop and men's basketball? The Golden State Warriors are in Japan for the NBA pre-season and global superstar Min Yoon-gi (aka Suga) of the BTS met four-time NBA champion Steph Curry

It thrilled fans all over the world and both the stars were excited to exchange gifts.

This past week I travelled to Portland, Ore., with my husband to deliver a keynote lecture at Pacific University. I got to visit with my chosen family and dear friends. I appreciate being invited to speak by my friend Dr. Jules Boykoff, whose work and research have informed the way I think about mega-events and sports.

I got to hang out with his partner who I adore. Community means everything to me and I am grateful to be part of a community that cares a lot about social issues and sports. While in Portland I went to a Portland Thorns match, and then visited The Sports Bra (I wrote about it last March). It was awesome to meet Jenny Nguyen in person and hang out in a place that celebrates women's sports.

Shireen Ahmed, left, with Jenny Nguyen. Nguyen is a chef and creator of The Sports Bra bar and restaurant in Portland, Oregon. (Submitted by Mark Strong)

I am saving the most important for last. Today (Sept. 30) is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. While this is not a moment of joy, it is a moment to honour and observe. We should be grateful for Indigenous communities who share and continue to offer ways in which every individual can work towards learning about the atrocities of residential schools and the irreversible harm done to Indigenous people.

Maggie Wente wrote a very helpful thread about different ways to participate and learn.

Please remember that Sept. 30 is not just a day and then we forget about it. It is a way to entrench yourself and unlearn what we were taught so we can re-learn the truth about national history and learn more about the hashtags #EveryChildMatters and #OrangeShirtDay all the time.

Just like we care about Black communities outside of February (Black History Month) or about women on days other than March 8 (International Women's Day) we should care about people all the time. 

While offices may be closed, it is important to remember that holding space for peoples' pain is part of a process that is incumbent upon us. Here is an article from CBC Music that helps us learn more about the horrific legacy of residential schools in Canada. It is harrowing but important to commit to action. 

Here is a track from A Tribe Called Red (now known as The Halluci Nation) featuring Northern Voice, Shad and Leonard Sumner.


Shireen Ahmed

Senior Contributor

Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

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