tv Open Phones with Mark Fainaru- Wada CSPAN August 13, 2015 1:31am-1:59am EDT
>> we have time for some questions. does anyone have any questions? >> this is one of never author is. >> you had mentioned it you didn't have any family in the military. did you feel you didn't have a right to to write about that? >> very much. it was hard to feel legitimate at the end of all the research i think my editor tricks me to start
because he did see i would research for ever and never feel i had the authority. when you don't go overseas overseas, you never feel this is your story to tell. and i knew when i wrote the manuscript that i had to be making mistakes as a civilian because it is so hard to understand military culture. there is of funny moment when desma tried to explain where she lived in iraq. i said was its in a tent? she said no. she said i had a containerize housing units per cry said what is that? she said you know, the conex. a shipping container. but it was four attempts at translation before i could
see what she was trying to say and that is the gulf between the military and civilian cultures it is hard to bridge i can almost what flip the question around to turn it to either of you to say is a diehard to convey what you've lived through to a civilian reactor and how do you do that? that is the reverse of the question. >> first, you have every right to write about it as i do so thank you for doing that. >> you should know that there is a sense the continuum of credibility even for those to be deployed many times.
wondering if they have any right to your talk about it at all? so if you are on this side of the continuous live with is in the special forces you think of that person on this part but then you meet them they don't think of themselves that way. everyone knows their role is very small and in warfare, a combat is the punctuation mark at the end of the very long paragraph that starts in the civilian world so you have every right to. it is your war to step of what you said about combat to be that punctuation mark the end of a paragraph is beautiful. these potent -- women would agree because s support personnel felt a sense of
love illegitimacy because they would compare themselves to combat veterans and feel that they wonder why is our story valuable or why would somebody want to know our story if we did not have a combat role or old days support personnel? it is something like nine out of 10 are in a support role. and sometimes i think the combat stories are more dramatic and heroic. i was drawn to this in part because their stories are not often told so maybe we don't hear about as much.
>> i don't know if you've shared this or i may have missed it but what were the ethnicities of the women use selected? >> all three women are white i had written a book previously about four mexican-american women and in some ways they're really wanted to do right about whites poverty and what it is from a working-class to be a poor family because sometimes we make the mistake to imagine poverty is experience of color when that just is not true.
so michele comes from a background where her dad was married many times and her mom was on welfare during factory jobs but desma comes from even more difficulty growing up in foster care and really pulled herself together inside the military with the structure is provided she felt was viable to build a healthier lifestyle than the one she grew up in. said to have a less challenging childhood but never rich. was there a second part? >> that was part of the original thought process did you ever think of the perspective if you would have identified a variety or
an african-american or hispanic? i am not coming up with conclusions but i am curious how that would present relative to have your book would have wound up. >> they are incredibly diverse and it would have been a different book and incredibly valuable. i ended that being drawn to this book partly because of meeting michelle first and her introducing me to do it desma and debbie then them willing to return over so much material the strength of the weakness is it is very three personal intimate stories but only three. a very close look at three
individuals but there are so many other stories that could be told. >> one of the things i find interesting, one of the reasons she thought she would get fit to. that is the level. and to debbie was doing it out of patriotism beecher she wanted to please her father and desma was hoping for education and those of the real issues. >> we have time for one more question. >> i the one of the really interesting issues is social
class and that that was interesting and how our desma children during? that was part of the issue she had kids and left for such a long time. >> last fall desma and debbie and i went to washington to speak to the armed services committee for a conversation around the experience they had as women. and during that conversation , i was discussing what it meant to deploy single mothers. and in the book you can see how her children are cared for when she is not here during her to your absences
their preschool age them later elementary school during her later deployments and the repercussions for children even the department of defense looks that as we deploy mothers. we did not draft parents of young children of either gender with the draft so it is an all volunteer military is relatively new to have children at home with parents treat multiple deployments. when i finish talking desma took the microphone to say i just want to add something to that and she said i earned a lot of money during my deployments i got combat pay i chose to invest and i
chose to fill those orders. and i appreciated having that opportunity to earn that money and i earned a lot more money doing this that i was making as a waitress at a truck stop. i would know what might experience in a way to deny a somebody else the same economic opportunity. so essentially she was saying that the author of this book may say it is not great to ruth deploy a single model that is easy for you to say kish you are not trying to raise my children iowa i was earning she said later that my perspective was uppity and she meant upper class. i think she was right.
that a goal is there and it is real but if you speak about in a certain way it sounds like you were looking down on people and desma would not like that at all. says she is not somebody who wants to be seen as a victim. so there is something there in my perspective i don't make it is great as a society to deploy a single mothers and i feel critical of that part because they feel the children are suffering as a result and desma disagreement that there is a lot there that we could talk about. >> she actually got around that they ever not supposed to allow a single mothers to a list and she kind of
cheated. >> the national guard was not recruiting single parents to sign up. but desma actually got married right before she went to basic training or she could have given up custody of her child which was the decision another person might to make but she chose to marry her boyfriend said she was no longer a single mom but there are people who wind up in her situation later that she got divorced and that marriage did not last bin winds up later if you are married when you sign up and have custody of your children then divorced, you can still get the appointment orders as has happened to desma.
is to recover the eighth to introduce my a distinguished panel a senior writer with espn a co-author of the guv denial the nfl and battle for truth the new york but the times best selling truth to come from selling between football and brain damage previously as a foreign correspondent for the "washington post" for international reporting for the investigative series on the rules of mercenaries in
the iraq war author of a big board rules. and the. author of the search for the american dream. his brother is an investigative reporter for espn is a member of the investigation unit to the producer whose work for a sideline. also serving as reporters and writers on a companion documentary of the same name of front-line that documentary earned said george peabody award as well as the emmy nomination. their national honors in 2004 and 2005 for their coverage of the steroid scandal in baseball and there book even shadows --
game of shadows was a best seller prompted major league baseball to investigate steroid use. day you see a pattern beginning to develop? [laughter] regarded as one of the greatest sports agents in sports history her grow one stretch, he is the agent who had six overall picks in the draft and the number one picks he represented is unmatched in history have the of the starting photographs were steinberg's clients. and has since represented 250 athletes. including many more in currently president and ceo
of steinberg sports and entertainment and coasted to a national conference is on the subject of concussions in the nfl and the fourth number who was here as a football player having played for the oregon beavers and the kansas city chiefs assistant professor of african-american studies at emory university and the scholarly interests include african-americans and world war i and the intersection of sports and civil-rights. the first book examines the life thank career of the jockey murphy also to our audience watching around the country on c-span2 booktv. concussions came to a forefront because of the book you co-authored so we want to begin by asking them to prickly issue a summary
statement how this issue came to their attention and the status of the debate and after a stint and to a couple of conferences on confessions the road like them to in with a run dash rate on the player's perspective. >> before i start thanks for having us here it is the second time back and it is amazing how huge it has gotten. we are grateful to be here. for us, there was a lot of good reporting done on the issue of concussions and football prior to last 2011. but our colleagues that espn had done fantastic work but i think the fundamental issues that were not really addressed is what does though the to know and when
did it know when and how does it address the problem that is a huge public health crisis fun dash crisis at the nfl and youth level. the pressure was ratcheting up considerably. in 2010 the commissioner was called before congress and hammered by representative waxman for basically raising the question is there a connection between football and brain damage? there was a number of stories out at this time and the commissioner did what he has done repeatedly to a lot of the question we will but the medical people decide to which the representative was not only does missive but derisive and other people were because for them the question was answered and to do this day that is the commissioners position.
but our book was an opportunity to reflect back to the beginning of the issue that began to percolate in the early '90s because of a few other folks so we wanted to bet to the core of old and of the wood represented was presenting what had been to decades to grow after scientist raising the question between football and brain damage to ostracize them but to a published paper after paper with the "journal" to suggest there was no problem or connection essentially players had different brains
and they just were not susceptible to get confessions and that was the message that percolated over years. but what came out of the book was high above all love publicity accompanied by a documentary that generated additional focus around this issue now there is an ongoing dialogue to talk about where we are now. >> i think one of the things when we started to get into this, we had a real opportunity to talk to a lot of ex football players to get their thoughts on what was going on as a you have the nfl with power and resources trying to deny
this was a problem but yet we were going from player to player and we would see that incredible devastation and that they believed was attributable to your their careers in the nfl. so there was an obvious tension the people were feeling left out and abandoned. like many mental health problems you saw it didn't just affect the players but everyone around them. we tried to lay out what this looked like so when we began the book we knew we wanted to start at patients hero. the center for the pittsburgh steelers in the '70s and essentially we chronicled what had happened that he had gone from being
extremely conservative, a stable, a hero in the community, a great teammates and family man to somebody who was completely unrecognizable to friends and family and went from some eight was financially conservative tarot spending every time his family had he ended up living in his truck as a transient shuttling between wisconsin and pittsburg living on the road you're sleeping in trains or bus stations. incredible physical problems as a result of his career even beyond his mental health issues. and he were to go through extremes to deal with them. his teeth started to fall out so he would literally super glue them back into
his mouth. he had incredible trouble sleeping he could not sleep in the best he would try to sleep in a chair then he would try in his truck and then he purchased several mail-order stun guns and reduce those to literally taser him to sleep so that kyushu and idea of the of magnitude of these issues. and what we saw over time as the book came out, you saw a real tension that exists today and that is that this is a major hub maya dash public health problem that affects thousands of kids and parents and players all the way up through the nfl
then not all made the nfl as an entity, but what it means to our culture it is incredibly popular with hundred million watch the most recent super bowl at the end of a contract to a broadcast monday night football they have done for a reason because it makes a lot of money so that tension is that the heart of where we are now and it will be fascinating to hear what we have to say and where we are going because i don't think anybody totally knows where this will end. >> you posted a couple of conferences from sports agents or scientist, what kind of a reaction did you get? what can amount and what did
you learn? >> to be surrounded by other people who love books is an amazing thing and why a mind-boggling presentation. my book is the agent of my 40 year career. i had to practice that profile players would book for role models. so in 1989 i had a starting quarterback in the nfl and watch troy aikman can hit in phoenix and knocked to the ground with blood coming out of his year. for a while he looked like he had died and a petrified tree. there is a night