• openingtheplaybook

Episode 29: Crystal Dunn

USWNT soccer star Crystal Dunn talks World Cup, equal rights and chickens

Today, USWNT defender and Portland Thorns midfielder Crystal Dunn joins OTP to discuss her World Cup highs and lows, her recent trade to Portland and her fight for equal rights.

Crystal is heading into her 7th professional season, which she’s split between the NWSL and the FA Women’s Super League in Europe. This year will present a new challenge, as she’s joining the Portland Thorns following an off-season trade. It’s a move Crystal is excited about as it reunites her with her husband, who’s an athletic trainer for the Thorns. She’s also made it clear she’s looking to take on more of an attacking role, something Thorn’s owner, Merritt Paulson, acknowledged on Twitter, saying she will get one.

Crystal’s career also includes a World Cup Championship and Olympic experience with the US Women’s National Team, but it hasn’t been all roses. Today, Crystal shares the toughest moment of her career: being the final cut from the 2015 World Cup squad. She explains how she felt in that moment and what she did to help move on (hint – it involved playing her game rather than trying to emulate others).

As involved as Crystal is on the field, she’s just as much off, using her voice and platform in the fight for equal rights and equal pay. She says while she’s always been an advocate for black women and minorities, speaking up is not something she’s always done, but is now more confident to do so. Case in point: at a recent friendly in the Netherland, the team wore Black Lives Matter (BLM) shirts and knelt during the national anthem. She says the USWNT has one of the biggest platforms out there and that it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

In today’s episode, Crystal also talks about her struggles with her height (she’s 5’2), what she’s ambitious for, the Tokyo Olympics and why she’s decided to become a mom to five chickens. Join us, won’t you?

Episode topics:

· Career struggles – being the final cut on the 2015 World Cup roster

· Fight for equal rights and equal pay

· Joining the Portland Thorns in the offseason and looking to take on an attacking role

· Winning 2019 World Cup

· Owning chickens


“I think, before we’re athletes, we’re human beings and I think there are so many issues that affect human rights that people are like, oh you know nothing about this and I’m like actually, I do. I know how to treat people with respect and stand up for what I think is right. And I feel like being on a big platform, representing the USWNT, it’s important that we use our platform to really promote change and really demand it in our society.”

-Crystal Dunn


Guest Info – Crystal Dunn

Instagram: @cdunn19

Twitter: @cdunn19

Black Women’s Player Collective

Instagram: @blackwplayercollective

Twitter: @BWP_Collective

Host Info – Christina Heydanus

Instagram: @tinaheydanus

Twitter: @tinaheydanus

Show Info – Opening the Playbook

Website: https://www.openingtheplaybook.com

Instagram: @openingtheplaybook

Facebook: Opening the Playbook

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