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Athletes have long been vocal and expressive leaders at the forefront of change, and no more so than now as our society rapidly evolves.

- Michael Johnson

Episodes
  • Trailer

    Sep 28 2021

    Legendary sprinter Michael Johnson embarks upon a personal journey through the history of protest in sport.

    Drawing on conversations with fellow athletes, commentators and educators, he discovers the remarkable stories of those who’ve taken stands, and assesses the impact of their efforts in driving societal change.

    Michael also reflects on his own actions of defiance, how the modern day differs from the peak years of his career and contemplates whether he himself would take the knee were he still competing.

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    2 mins
  • Ep 1: The Quiet Beginning

    Oct 13 2021

    Michael shines the spotlight on the men and women who protested silently in his own sport of track and field. From Jesse Owens to Tommie Smith and John Carlos to Cathy Freeman. Together, Michael and Cathy reflect on a special night they shared at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

    This episode contains references to historical racism and a reference to suicide. Listener discretion is advised.

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    1 hr and 6 mins
  • Ep 2: Here's to You, Jackie Robinson

    Oct 13 2021

    Michael profiles the Godfather of sporting protest, Jackie Robinson, assessing the impact breaking the colour line in Major League Baseball had on the Civil Rights Movement.

    This episode contains strong language, including the N word, and historically racists terms and descriptions that are offensive. Listener discretion is advised. 

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    1 hr and 5 mins

Uncovering stories of protest and progress

Defiance
Understanding the impact of Jackie Robinson playing in Major League Baseball
Defiance
Billie Jean King is just one of the sportswomen highlighting the glass ceiling in sport
Defiance
Rugby player Ellis Genge and Michael Johnson discuss the backlash they have received
  • Defiance
  • Understanding the impact of Jackie Robinson playing in Major League Baseball
  • Defiance
  • Billie Jean King is just one of the sportswomen highlighting the glass ceiling in sport
  • Defiance
  • Rugby player Ellis Genge and Michael Johnson discuss the backlash they have received

Watch the trailer for Defiance

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What listeners say about Defiance

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Powerful

This is a really well put together documentary brilliantly delivered by Michael Johnson. Some really great guests and some in depth yet tragic stories make for a very powerful program.

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A Must Listen

Only one word best describes this series simply EXCELLENT and Michael's voice is lovely. 🤍💜💗💛💚❤🧡💙🖤

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Educational

This audiobook had me captivated from episode 1 through to the end.

I struggled to keep the tears back when listening to stories and facts about these absolute legends and new heroes of mine.

Great job delivering this Michael Johnson!

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Enlightening and educational

A fine collection of interviews, telling the stories of these courageous people brilliantly out together and informative, especially the one regarding Jackie Robinson.Though aware of him and his impact, here in the UK i was unaware of the whole story. Thank you for a thoroughly enlightening and educational piece of work.

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Outstanding

Fantastic piece of work. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to it on long walks. Highly recommended. Five stars!

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A revelation

This audible production made me stand up and shout, sit and contemplate and kneel in support.

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Inspirational

Excellent review of sports people responsible for challenging the toxic norms in their sports, and bringing about positive change. Michael Jordan is himself an inspirational athlete, and an excellent interviewer. He is also the best athletics pundit on BBC - and probably worldwide - TV programmes.
I especially liked his interview with Cathy Freeman. We were present when she won the 400m Olympic Gold - the most amazing, emotional, wonderful night of athletics we have ever experienced. Everyone - not just Australians - willed her to victory. We all knew how much her win meant to Australia, to the Aboriginal people, to equal rights - and to Cathy herself.

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Insightful, thought provoking, powerful

Brilliant. Superb delivery of an incredibly important topic. A worthwhile listen for anyone interested in sports, social issues and racism.

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Exemplary!

Just getting into the series and it’s exemplary stuff! Michael Johnson’s style and tone of presentation is both compelling and engaging and the content is eye opening and inspirational - not to be missed!

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A great overview of protest by people in sport

Like most people I was more concerned with putting food on the table through my working life. Seeing the sacrifices made by young men and women in the cause of justice and equality, I am sorry for not being more aware and more knowledgeable.

Thanks Michael for this podcast.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-10-21

FASCINATING about sports, culture and conscience

I have listened to every episode of this new series about the history of protest in sport and cannot recommend it more highly to anyone interested in sports and culture. On subjects I thought I knew, Michael Johnson brought me something new and important. On stories that are newer to me, he brought amazing historical and cultural context, thoughtful experts, his personal reflections. In every single episode, I was moved, challenged, expanded, reinforced, enlightened.
I especially appreciate the breadth of the athlete stories, men and women from across many sports and eras, including Tommie Smith and John Carlos Mexico '68 to Cathy Freeman Sydney 2000 to Naomi Osaka and the WNBA 2021, .
There is serious scholarship here as well as heart and soul.
The series explores this fundamental question: Where does our personal conscience lead us? How far we are willing to go to act on our values? What are we really willing to risk?
Thank you for exploring this in such a powerful way.

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  • Stacey Pace
  • 18-10-21

I Learned So Much

Just finished the first episode and have learned so much about some details of the protests, including Black history items that Inonly knew the larger story of. Enjoying the interviews with the actual individual, family members and biographers that give all of that background. So glad to support a fellow Black American, Baylor alum (Sic'em, Class of '92) and a birthday twin!! Awesome podcast , Michael!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-21

Powerful and honest

Very insightful and raw content about issues that are not comfortable to the public. The race issues in sports globally need to be addressed and this podcast actually went beyond sports in providing detailed historical accounts of athletes that were courageous and altruistic. Defiance should be turned in a best selling book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rurik McKaiser
  • 01-11-21

The REAL deal

Wow! Wow! Wow! Now this is some truly AWESOME sh#t right year. An around the world look at THE MOST WONDERFUL BLACK&WHITE MAGIC!

Well done Michael Johnson!

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  • Dede H.
  • 31-10-21

Invigorating podcast

This exhilarating auditory podcast makes you feel like you are actually there! It paints a vivid picture of the athletes' point of view. Looking forward to more episodes

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  • KB
  • 30-10-21

Couldn't stop listening

I appreciate the great content, knowledge and interviews. Definitely passing the title on to friends and family.

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  • Ariel
  • 30-10-21

Life changing decisions people made to help someone else’s cause

Excellent and informative information of which I was totally unaware. Like in the 68 Olympic how the silver metal winner influenced why each runner only had 1 glove and he never going to another Olympic tho qualifying. All episodes are Great

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  • Find your lOOk and live it!
  • 29-10-21

DON’T YOU KNOW?

NO!

I did not know. What was happening with the photograph of the three men; two black, one white.
I know.

I wondered and wondered. When it will have it’s time in the world’s light.
I wonder no more.

NOW,

I know, and I do not wonder.

Khadijah

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-10-21

Inspirational & educational stories told

I loved these stories as they not only inspired and educated me - but it was done in such an engaging manner that pulled me into the stories told. Really well written and excellently narrated by Michael - and great to hear an authentic behind the scenes look at the world of sport, culture and the opportunities for the future of society. Excellent

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  • Mr. Rob Taylor
  • 21-10-21

Stories that Transcend Sports…

A must listen! This podcast is so much more than the stories we’ve heard about athletes who have raised a fist or taken a knee. Each episode provides a path to what shaped an athlete to make a pivotal decision, taking action at a specific moment in time and more times than naught impacted the outcome of their career-often negatively. Host Michael Johnson brings a unique perspective, drawing valuable insights from those he interviews. Whether you support athletes standing up in defiance or not, this podcast delivers a mind opening perspective that all should hear.