Today’s remarkable guest is Brandi Chastain. She represents the highest level of achievement in sports.
Her accomplishments are truly remarkable. Brandi won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics for women’s soccer and World Cup championships in 1991 and 1999. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. She may be best remembered for a remarkable moment in the 1999 World Cup.
First, she inadvertently scored against her goalkeeper in the game against Germany. This was the mistake. Later in the game, she tied the score. This was the redemption. That overtime. She won the game with the penalty kick, but wait.
The best and most visually memorable part happened right after. She whipped off her jersey and waved it around her head in celebration. This was one of the greatest displays of joy in the history of sports. Not just for her team but also her country, women’s soccer, and women’s empowerment in general. The iconic image was on the cover of Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.
Listen to remarkable athlete Brandi Chastain on Remarkable People:
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AI transcript of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast with women’s soccer legend Brandi Chastain.
This is an automated transcript. It is sometimes incomplete and inaccurate because of the limitations of transcription services. However, we wanted to provide it for people who have hearing issues or prefer to read the interview.
Guy Kawasaki: I’m Guy Kawasaki. And this is remarkable people. Today’s remarkable. guest is Brandi Chastain. She represents the highest level of achievement in sports. Her accomplishments are truly remarkable. She won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics for women’s soccer. She won the women’s world cup championships in 1991 and 1999.
She was inducted into the national soccer hall of fame and the Bay area sports hall of fame. She may be best remembered for a remarkable moment. In the 1999 world cup. First, she inadvertently scored against her own goalkeeper in the game against Germany. This was the mistake they, during the game sheet tied the score.
This was the redemption that in overtime, she won the game with the penalty kick, but wait, the best and most visually memorable part happened right after she whipped off her Jersey and waved at her on her head in celebration. This was [00:01:00] one of the greatest displays of joy in the history of sports, not just for her team before her country.
Women’s soccer and women’s empowerment in general, the iconic image was on the cover of Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. This episode of remarkable people is brought to you by remarkable the paper tablet company. Yes, you’ve got that right. Remarkable is sponsored by remarkable. I have version two in my hot little hands and it’s so good.
A very impressive upgrade. Here’s how I use it. One taking notes while I’m interviewing a podcast guests to taking notes while being brief about speaking gigs, three drafting the structure of keynote speeches for storing manuals. For the gizmos that I bought five roughing out drawings for things like surf boards, surf boards, sheds, and office layouts, six, wrapping my head around complex ideas with diagrams and flow charts.
This is a remarkably well thought out product. It [00:02:00] doesn’t try to be all things to all people, but it takes notes better than anything. I’ve used. Check out the recent reviews of the latest version. I’m Guy Kawasaki, and this is remarkable people. And now here’s the remarkable Brandi Chastain.
What is it like to coach soccer at an all?
Brandi Chastain: [00:02:24] I absolutely am delighted by the opportunity to coach an all boys team. In an all boys school, I’m a mom of two boys, two, I should say one man and one young man. And you know, I really get a good balance between all the female coaching I get to do. So it really keeps me in check with, am I thinking about things in the right space?
What works over here? What doesn’t work over here? Can I bridge the gap between the two [00:03:00] entities and what communication style seems to work best? So, and you know what, they’re fun. They’re so fun. They’re they are as wonderful and as, um, sensitive and personable as my girls teams. So I really enjoy coaching the boys a lot.
Are there any
Guy Kawasaki: [00:03:22] key differences in coaching that is necessary for boys versus girls?
Brandi Chastain: [00:03:27] One thing I will say is that what I, I noticed right away is that the majority and this, of course, I don’t want to generalize because they’re all very unique, special people in their own. Right. But the majority have this wonderful confidence.
That I wish my girls had. They come to the field with this bravado and this I’ve got this kind of mentality, which is spectacular, but then they [00:04:00] sometimes hold the ball too long and then they lose the ball and it’s like, well, just share, you know, share. And my girls of course are like, they overshare and they don’t want to step on anybody’s toes.
They don’t want to make anybody feel like they don’t fit in. And so they are kind of polar opposites in the general sense, but then there’s people who blur the lines, they fit in the middle. So what I love about coaching boys or girls, men, or women, is that I’ve come to the realization that they’re all unique and they all need special attention in their own way.
And as the coach that’s, my job is to figure it out.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:04:39] I’ve interviewed many female CEOs for this podcast and. Almost every one of them brings up that they had to overcome the imposter syndrome where they didn’t feel like they deserved it or something like that. And I think it’s related to what you just said.
I [00:05:00] can guarantee you, no man ever said, I don’t really deserve this race. I don’t deserve this $5 million investment. I don’t deserve this honor. Those, those words never pass through the lips of any man in Silicon Valley.
Brandi Chastain: [00:05:14] And that’s either a big burden or a wonderful gift, right? Because you, if you accept those moments, you have to then live up to them.
And if you don’t, then you’re kind of looked upon like you don’t belong. So it’s, it’s interesting, but I think it’s a valuable piece of why sports and team sports specifically are crucial for young girls. No having that experience of being the team leader or being the follower or being the support system, learning how to manipulate your, your style versus someone else’s.
How do you communicate on the regular? How do you resolve conflict? These are all things that I think because of sports, [00:06:00] young men have culturally been able to experience and, and then it’s assumed it’s assumed that they understand those things. And so they’re given the benefit of the doubt. So we are in the process guy of changing this culture positively disrupting the space and, and showcasing women’s sports in a light that I think will be held parallel to our, our counterparts.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:06:25] I work for the Macintosh division. I worked for Steve jobs and I have had to explain what it’s like working for Steve jobs. Probably equal to what I’m going to ask you to do next. So I want you to know that I empathize with the pain that I’m going to put you through now. No,
Brandi Chastain: [00:06:44] it’s not painful at all, to be honest with you.
I’m only assuming I know what you’re going to be saying, but
Guy Kawasaki: [00:06:49] well, yes. What I would like you to relive three moments in the 1999 world cup, which of course is the mistake, the redemption and the penalty kick.
[00:07:00] Brandi Chastain: [00:07:00] Oh, these are all amazing moments and also different. They, they, they absolutely are connected, right?
They’re all connected and they’re necessary. And the, these are, again, this goes to the lessons of life and why sports is so valuable. I tell my players all the time that there’s not a player on this planet who is flawless. So the mistake is going to happen at some point we’ll all make them and my career leading up to that point had a lot of them.
I had a lot of practice and resiliency, but I w I will say that, uh, I just want to say that you didn’t ask me this, but I’m going to say of the three. The mistake is that was the most impactful. The mistake was the most impactful because of what, because of what happened directly after it. So if I can put you in the head space of where I was, we’re [00:08:00] in the quarter final of the world, cup 65 to 70,000 people screaming their heads off in a brand new stadium.
No one’s ever played here. Now, the Washington football team plays there and it was so exciting. It’s the knockout round of the world cup. Now we know that the essence of the quarterfinal is you win and you move on, you lose and you go home. Now, the underlying current of the whole women’s world cup was the us women’s national team must win the world cup to save the future of women’s soccer and girls future like that’s heavy, no pressure, no pressure.
So we had, we had done a lot practice, honestly, the, the mental space, the, uh, sports psychology exercises that we had been going through since the 96 world cup into the 1999 world cup was absolutely paying off. This team was rock solid. We could handle moments that didn’t go [00:09:00] our way, you know, unforeseen turns or twists.
This was our wheelhouse. If we weren’t already the best physically, we had exponentially jumped into this new mental mind space that I think made us even that much more difficult to play against. And so when this mistake happened, the ball comes over my head as the L the last defender on the left side.
And I checked my shoulder to see where the nearest attacker was. And I saw that the, the German attacker was probably about 10 yards away. I said, no problem in my head, I’m thinking I got it. I’m going to make a simple play. She’s never going to beat me to the ball as a defender. My job is not to be fancy in the defensive part portion of the field.
I’m just going to make a playback to Brianna. And at the same time I was thinking that she was thinking, I’m just going to come and get it because it’s a simple play. And as I passed it, she ran out and it went past her and into the goal. And as we raced back, of course, all the, Oh, no’s [00:10:00] are hitting your head and probably in, with more expletives than that, like lots of extra with his I’m.
Sure. And it crosses the line and you’re devastated of course, because you have a responsibility to your team and the future of women’s soccer. Right. And of course, I think initially my head kind of went down, down, and then there was my teammate, Carla Overbeck. She came over and she kind of gave this clap and she has this clap that if I heard it, I would turn around and go Carla’s here.
I know when it’s her. And she said, don’t worry about it. We’ve got a lot of game to play. This was only six minutes into the game. We got a lot of game to play. We’re going to win and you’re going to help us. And I was like, all right, let’s go. And honestly, not for one second post that very short life-changing conversation.
Did I think about [00:11:00] that? I scored a goal because what normally happens in these moments is it crushes people, right? It breaks their soul. It breaks their spirit that now all of a sudden they’re thinking I can’t do it. I’ve lost the game. All these negative, negative, negative things. Carla, didn’t let that get into my head.
And so. It, it really, it solidified the, the, the, the power of teams, the power that each one of us as individuals have to change someone’s life. And so that mistake moment is like my it’s my beacon. It’s a story. I’d love sharing because now we get to the redemption, which is later in that game, I score a goal and this time for our team.
Thank goodness. And we, as we all know, we’d go on to win that game because we advanced through to the final and that redemption goal, even though I wasn’t thinking redemption was w w what makes that moment to [00:12:00] me so special and quite spectacular in its own, right? Is that. You have to be ready and you have to have that mental capacity to be ready for a moment like that.
Just like Carla, she didn’t think she was going to change my life that day. She didn’t get up in the morning and say, I’m going to change someone’s life. But she was ready to do that. Just like my job was not to score a goal, but I put myself in a position to score the goal and fall
Guy Kawasaki: [00:12:31] after Brandy told me this story and how Carla supported her, I reached out to Carla, here she is.
Brandi Chastain: [00:12:39] Well, here we are in the quarter finals. The world cup is in our own country and there were 8,000 people in the stands and millions watching on TV and just the, the magnitude of the game and itself gave us so much pressure. And when that happened, when Brandy and Bri had [00:13:00] this miscommunication and she kicked it into our own goal, I just know that.
If I were in her position, I would have been beating myself up and I’m not sure I could have ever recovered from that. So I wanted to make sure that I was the first one that got to her just so she could see, you know, a smiling face and one of reassurance that we will be okay. And I think that’s what I told her.
I just said, you have to forget about it. We will be fine. And then I said, we’re going to win this fucking game. Sorry for the language
Guy Kawasaki: [00:13:38] there. You have it from Carla Overbeck. That’s what teammates do for each other. By the way, Carla is a remarkable person too. She won four NCAA women’s soccer championships at the university of North Carolina chapel Hill. She was all American three times. She won an Olympic gold medal in [00:14:00] 1996 and a silver medal in 2000, she won two gold medals in the women’s world cup, 1991 and 1999 and a bronze in 1995 back to Brandy.
Brandi Chastain: [00:14:14] You know, I think that redemption is, um, was self, self fulfilling because you have to be able to be willing to, to have that redemptive moment. And I think sometimes when we beat ourselves up about the mistake, we don’t allow ourselves to get into that space. And then the last and the final, of course, the penalty kick, which again, I never saw coming.
I really thought that game would end in regulation at some point. And it nearly did in overtime when Christine Lily. Jumped her five foot, three body behind Brian, a scurry to clear the ball, as it almost crossed the line off a corner kick header by China. And then we cleared the ball in the game, [00:15:00] went on, and that was really a catalyst for us winning, because I think if you, if you can bend and not break, you can, can achieve the, the victories that you’re looking for.
And that’s really what happens. So the PKS, I don’t say this flippantly were easy, right? They were easy. See, at that point, because we had kind of gone through this, this game and we hadn’t broken and we stayed together and every kick and then Brianna’s save on the third player. Was so great that there was no doubt in my head for one second, that we would win in this penalty kicks situation.
The going up to the ball was don’t look at the goalkeeper because earlier in the year she had psych me out. She totally pulled them. Jedi mind trick on me. And she came, I had a penalty kick in one of our earlier games in Portugal. And as I put the ball down and looked [00:16:00] up, she was standing in front of me and it was like two boxers in the, in the, in the ring.
I’d never experienced that before. And I felt like I shook it off, but then I, I guess I didn’t. And I ended up hitting the crossbar. The ball went out and we lost the game. And I was like, no, that is not happening again. No way. So the celebration, I think, uh, was what I love about sports, which is this.
Unabridged uninhibited, genuine organic moment. That was just born of this, maybe this life’s journey of playing the game, but also for sure, the journey just during the world cup and to see it through with. 90,000 plus people at the Rose bowl was
[00:17:00] Guy Kawasaki: [00:17:12] So there was no source off. Like if I say, Oh gosh,
Brandi Chastain: [00:17:17] no herein lies. Another reason why I believe sports is so incredibly important is the coach came to me. The coach came to me in the end of 95 and said when I wasn’t on the team and I was trying to make my way back, I had a great camp and he said, we want you on the team.
All, gosh, God, I was so excited because having been on the world cup team in 91 and then missing the 95 world cup team, cause I was cut. Was devastating as a player, as a person, I had a lot, I had a journey to go on, who am I? What does this mean? Where does it fall in the rank and file of importance in my life.
And, and so I had to do a lot of soul searching and a lot of [00:18:00] hard physical work because I wanted to be there. And so when I got to that place and now we’re standing on the field and the coach came up to me. So, you know, and I went from being a forward to a defender, which is they’re opposite sides of the fields, opposite responsibilities, having to re create myself.
The coach comes up to me before we go out to the penalty kicks and he says, okay, you’re going to take a kick. And I said, yep, I got it. No problem. I talked to the assistant coach. We, we chatted about it. It’s all good. He says, okay, but you’re going to take it with your left foot. And then he left really fast and he didn’t want it to be a discussion.
It was a comment, right. It was a point. And. And luckily, I think we were also exhausted that, you know, you’re not spending any time overthinking anything anymore. The time for that was done, this was now just do the things that you, you know, how to do in the instinctive way, you know how to do them. And even though I’d never taken a [00:19:00] penalty kick with my left foot in a game before, how about that?
He trusted and he believed, and I think that trust and belief like Carla had in me and the quarterfinal game really wore it really wore off on me. And I think that’s why being a good manager or a good owner or a good coach matters because you really have a chance to, to put some positive or positive Cotivity out to your employees or your players in a way that really can impact their life.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:19:33] Do you think that what was going through his head was you’re telling the Chinese goalkeeper that I can beat you with my weak foot.
Brandi Chastain: [00:19:42] Hey, I never thought about it that way, but here’s the truth. During that world cup, our practices were all open, so anybody could come. So China could have been at our practice and I would suspect that they were because if it was open, why wouldn’t you go?
[00:20:00] And so I think he was a tad bit worried that maybe they had been watching. So even in training, he would make sure that we kicked with both feet. We kicked to all places in the goal. And then on that day it was just do what you do except for Brandy. You kick it left.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:20:20] No, no extra pressure. Yeah. So a big picture with hindsight, what did that world cup mean to you?
To women in the country?
Brandi Chastain: [00:20:31] Well, I think now that we’re 20 plus years away, it’s, it’s certainly becoming more emphatic the meaning about the power and the presence of women in sports. And though that was not the intention. I think sometimes again, like I said, the celebration being this organic moment, that’s when we see the true light, right?
When we see things in their purest [00:21:00] form, we get to examine them for what they really are. And I think that 99 game was examined in a way that people started thinking like, Oh my gosh, this is something that young girls and women can do. Obviously we’re in a stadium of 90,000 plus people there’s people who enjoy it.
This thing is for real. And I think big picture wise, It’s one of the stepping stones, like a Billie Jean King, when she
Guy Kawasaki: [00:21:32] be Bob
Brandi Chastain: [00:21:33] Briggs, just one of those moments that you think about, or that has happened, that you can’t deny it, you can’t deny it any. And the argument is not for less it’s for more right. We want to see more of, of that.
And so I think this sheer confidence, the maybe, maybe the shedding of the shirt was a, here we are. [00:22:00] We’re, we’re unapologetic about being here and see us for who we are in these moments and how meaningful these moments are. I talked to people of all ages, guy. It could be 10 year olds to 80 year olds and everybody in between men, female, trans, whatever you are or they are.
And they come to me with a different story of how it impacted them, which I think is also very. Crucial because we all see things differently and we’re all impacted in different ways. So big picture, I think absolutely catalysts to a movement, not an intentional action, which I think maybe has endeared itself to exhibit, to its perpetual existence.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:22:46] Did any organization or group criticize you for partial nudity? I mean, I don’t know. No,
Brandi Chastain: [00:22:55] there was, yeah. So there was, this is so great. I’m glad that you [00:23:00] brought up this question because I think it pertains a lot to what we’re all experiencing in the world right now. Right? So there’s there’s belief systems, there’s political parties.
It could be gender, it could race, whatever it is. There always seems to be people who want to divide things. And I would say 99% of the comments were like, wow, that was an amazing moment. I’ve never seen a moment like that. I, I was present for the game. I w I wasn’t present for the game, but I watched it on television, or now I’ve seen it be a YouTube only.
And wow, this is the impact it’s having. Now, there were some people who said, you know what? You totally blew it. You’ve, you’ve sexualized sports for women. You totally took a moment. That was sports-related. And now you’ve, you’ve done X, Y, and Z. And initially I kind of stopped me in my tracks. And then I realized what a great opportunity this is to have a conversation, [00:24:00] because if someone doesn’t believe or see the things that you believe or see doesn’t mean that their beliefs and their things aren’t.
Important or aren’t valid and that you should listen to them. And maybe we can bridge the gap between the, of the divide that, that separates us. And so I would listen and I would give my, you know, here’s what was happening in the moment here was the non-intentional experience that I, it was like an out-of-body experience.
Like I don’t, I didn’t say I was going to do that. Never did I ever think I would be scoring the winning goal in the world cup anyway. So how do you prepare for that? Right. I mean, I think that’s where you got to start to say, okay, now, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s authentic because as a defender, that was not my responsibility primarily, but I loved having those conversations because then I would say to the person, come to our practice, come and [00:25:00] see what it’s like to be on the women’s national team.
Watch the body of work that’s put in. And you will see that this isn’t about sexualizing sport or shaming women or any of those things. This is really about the grit and the drive and the determination, and then the celebration of a job. Well done.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:25:25] Well, Rhonda, you’re a better person than me because I would have had a two word conversation with anybody who told me that you don’t want to know what to do, words it be.
But I think you can keep getting on a little lighter subject here. So. What’s your reaction to Langdon Donovan’s
Brandi Chastain: [00:25:45] tribute. Oh yeah. I think mimicry is the best form of a compliment minus his hair color at the time. I think he had also, he might’ve had his hair dyed some gasoline, [00:26:00] yellow color, but no, as a San Jose native and land and playing for the San Jose earthquakes at the time, I honestly felt that it was, it was a shout out.
It was a, a great moment, but because he planned it, I even think it was even deeper of a meeting. He understood the magnitude of that moment. And I think he was willing. I think, think there’s a part humorous, there’s a humorous component that I think a lot of people might find funny, which me too, I’ve got a great sense of humor.
I feel, and I could laugh like hit, Oh my gosh, he just did that. But then the deeper meaning to me is that I think he really appreciated what. The women’s national team did and stood for, and that, and for him too, you know, he scored some big goals in his career to that point, but I think he scored some of the bigger goals, maybe even post that moment.
And so I think he could appreciate it.
[00:27:00] Guy Kawasaki: [00:27:00] This is a semi-serious question. You think that taking off your Jersey should not be a yellow card offense?
Brandi Chastain: [00:27:08] No, no. And I believe this for all sports, you know, I mean, I think there’s, it’s hard to know where to draw the line in the sand between excessive celebration on every play or allowing what is so great about sports, which are these triumphant moments, right?
We all love the agony, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. We, we, we thrive on that as sports. Viewers. Right. And so to kind of deny that from happening, I just, with all the time VAR takes up now in sport, you should let people celebrate as far as I’m concerned that that doesn’t seem
Guy Kawasaki: [00:27:52] congruent with all the time what’s VAR.
Brandi Chastain: [00:27:55] Oh, that’s the video. That’s the video replay. [00:28:00] So in soccer now, they, they replay every potential goal scoring moment and goal. So now there’s a, this pause that happens, which doesn’t allow for these moments to really blossom, which is really too bad. Well, while
Guy Kawasaki: [00:28:20] we’re on that subject, because I really don’t understand this what’s with all the drama.
Like what’s with all the drama where you flopping on the ground, like you just got crippled and then 30 seconds later you’re back. What is that about?
Brandi Chastain: [00:28:33] I don’t know. No, if we have enough time here, but I’ll try to give some kind of a, an explanation. Okay. How do you start this conversation? Well, I think partly what you have to start by knowing that soccer is a game of deception and it’s a game of territory.
So you want to invade the other team’s territory so that you [00:29:00] can score and to do that, you have to deceive them and attract their attention all the while, knowing that maybe you’re going to do the action over here and, and the ability to outwit your opponent in a one-on-one moment as well is highly valued.
So deception is a part of it. The rules are the rules. But the referee has to enforce the rules. And if you are quite good at deception, you can make someone believe something. That’s almost like magic, which is you weren’t fouled, but you were so good that you got a whistle anyway. And the bet, I mean, I shouldn’t say the best Julie.
Foudy used to call me Hollywood because I could get a foul like that. But the art of deception in [00:30:00] soccer is crucial because if you, if you Telegraph every play, the likelihood of you getting the end result is pretty low. So that’s why if you look at culturally across the board, you look at the South Americans, um, The Brazils the Argentinas, they’re phenomenal.
They are phenomenal. They love it. They have a flare for the dramatic there. They just, they, they have taken it to exponential Heights, but it’s also too much. There’s a fine line between you’re ruining the game and your influencing the game. That’s where I’m going to leave it. How’s that
Guy Kawasaki: [00:30:49] sound, I’m also a big hockey fan and somebody tried to do that in hockey.
They would be laughed out of the NHL. It would last,
Brandi Chastain: [00:30:59] it’s very [00:31:00] much interesting because if you look at the MBA, I think there a very big influence now of soccer. On basketball because a lot of the players now playing in the NBA are international players. And so they have a big influence of, of soccer or football in their lives.
And so I think that quotient of flopping has gone up because everybody wants to pretend they’re shooting so that they get two free throws or they want the foul. They want to get the other team into, into some kind of peril because then that’s one less foul they can give up and they have to let them maybe go to the basket.
So I think there’s a lot of gamesmanship and that’s what I would call a gamesmanship. There’s a lot of gamesmanship. What’s the gamesmanship in hockey. It used to be beating the crap out of each other, but now you can’t do that anymore.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:31:54] There’s not too much flopping in hockey, but anyway, so, uh, just while I noticed, is [00:32:00] that the bra over your right shoulder?
Brandi Chastain: [00:32:03] Yeah.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:32:03] Yeah. That’s it take a screenshot of that last question about 1999. Did Phil Knight call you up and thank you for the exposure and for winning it for the USA and making women’s sports.
Brandi Chastain: [00:32:19] Cool. Gosh, no, the answer’s no to Joe directly. No, I think it’s, it’s it’s funny that you say enhancing. Did you say enhancing?
I had been previously, I had been working with Nike, so I think they were satisfied that my small contract with them was sufficient.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:32:43] I would say for dollar that’s the best contract in the history of sports.
Brandi Chastain: [00:32:50] I wish we had done something bigger posts that we worked together for a long time. I really actually enjoy my relationship with Nike.
I wish [00:33:00] it would be, I wish it would be a lifetime. Because there’s a lot of things that we can do going forward. But I think in terms of what they have given to women’s soccer, it’s been significant and their continual support is really great. Again, I don’t give Phil Knight a hard time because he’s got bigger fish to fry than, than Brandy chestain.
But, but I have had some significant relationships in terms of awareness and being asked to come back to Nike and to campus and to be involved in and in programs up there. So I, I want to keep that bridge solidly built solidly.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:39] I can read between the lines. Okay. So now back then,
Brandi Chastain: [00:33:45] Like back then, like it was so long ago.
No, I’m kidding guts. Okay. It wasn’t
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:49] a long time ago. I worked at the Macintosh division 1984. So you were barely born. So who did [00:34:00] you look up to as your heroes back then
Brandi Chastain: [00:34:03] in sport?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:34:05] In sport? Well, in anything but in sports.
Brandi Chastain: [00:34:07] Yeah. First I would say in sports, most of my, my, the role models that I saw were people that my dad watched.
Right. So it was NFL football, it was baseball. My mom loved tennis. So really Billie Jean King and, and the, the w Chrissy Everett, even though we’re not that far apart in our ages, I think that was kind of seminal time for me to see athletes. So, and, and really, it was only individual athletes that I could see on the women’s side.
So I thought I would play in the NFL because I saw. That on television and I love playing football. So my, my godfather, my mom’s uncle was an old time NFL player with the leather helmets. And so I assumed because I liked football, I would play football. Why wouldn’t I? Yeah, why not? In [00:35:00] sixth grade, I remember playing, um, flag football for the first time and I was the defensive end and I chased down the quarterback and I’d pull the flags and I loved it.
I thought that was phenomenal. And then as I got every year older, I realized there were no girls that were playing NFL. So the Steelers were my team at the time. Then of course my now my beloved 49ers, because I’m a native to the Bay area and I I’m a big hometown. Teen fan. And so that leads me to probably the one who had the most influence on me in sports was George Best.
And when he came to play for the San Jose earthquakes from Manchester United, I think if you asked the soccer purists top five players, maybe top 10 players in the world ever, he would make that list. And he just, he played the game so effortlessly [00:36:00] and so gracefully, he would slither his way through five, six, seven players in a 10 by 10 spot.
And then he’d score a goal and he’d do it with a smile on his face. And I just thought I’m going to do that. That is phenomenal. So he w he was, his game was a big influence on me. And then I think the biggest person guy, and in all honesty was my mom, because. She didn’t grow up in the title nine era. She wasn’t encouraged to play sports, but she had an incredible resiliency and amazing love of all people open arms to everybody.
And she found her way into a vice president position at a temporary and ser service employment company, where she worked with IBM and Hewlett packer, like you said, in the eighties. And she wore a suit to work and she was the boss. [00:37:00] And not only just being the boss, but I had people all the time, come to me guy and say, your mom got me the first job.
And she believed in me and I can’t thank her enough. And she’s been passed away now for gosh, almost 20 years. And people still will come to me and say, your mom was so influential in my life. She really saw something in me that I never. Selling myself. And so without like sitting me down and say, Hey, here’s the lesson, young lady.
She just lived by example, she was a great person, a wonderful role model, hardworking, no one ever told her she could be some kind of big executive person. And she did.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:37:43] So you brought up title nine and title IX was not so much about sports, but it was about discrimination in general, but one of the applications was of course, giving women more opportunity to play in sports.
What do you think the impact has been of [00:38:00] title nine?
Brandi Chastain: [00:38:02] I mean, I don’t even know if I’m eloquent or adept enough to explain the impact. I think it’s hugely profound in whether that’s in a physical sense of just creating more physical opportunities to be on fields. Whether that’s on the emotional mental side of just the belief that you belong here.
I’m going to give you a little numbers so that maybe you can see. So prior let’s say 1996, we win the Olympic games for the first time. Women’s soccer had never been in the Olympics before. So now all of a sudden you have this platform and USC is great. They have an ambassador programs and they send athletes into different places around the country.
You’re preaching, women’s soccer in these little communities and it’s like, Oh, we have a thousand girls playing, which a thousand girls that’s a lot like awesome. You know, keep up the good work, keep going, girls. You’re excellent. Now we have [00:39:00] 1999 happens and I go back to the same community that had a thousand girls and 1999 happens and they had 10,000 girls sign up.
Which I don’t even know if they thought they had 10,000 girls living in this area, in this very rural South Dakota knit neighborhood. If we went from a thousand to 10,000 in a place like South Dakota, imagine where we had these populous States with big metropolitan areas and then the sheer numbers of young girls that are playing, right.
So it was mind blowing. Uh, and title nine of course, is the support or the foundation to this happening because the players on the 1999 team were absolutely born of the title IX movement. Michelle acres, myself, joy faucet, Carla Overbeck. We were all born before [00:40:00] 1972. It wasn’t about sports. It was about education that anything that the government would spend its money on had to be equally distributed.
And since sports fell under education, sports was a, by-product a recipient from as a by-product. And so it really was about educating the whole person, you know, gaining opportunity to all these experiences that existed. And, and it absolutely 100% unequivocally changed the landscape of the United States.
And I think potentially I’m saying this because I believe it to be true has changed the globe because now these women who have title nine as their foundation are influencing things outside of these communities that we live in here. And so it’s changing the way women see themselves, whether that be an equality space, whether that be an agender space, whether that be in a payment space, whether that be.
In the [00:41:00] business arena or sports, whatever it is.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:41:03] And yet there are people who say that by giving women equal shots and sports, it has caused the decline and closure of some men’s sports, right? Because it just wasn’t budget for both to which my response would be tough shit, honestly. Well,
Brandi Chastain: [00:41:27] my, my re my response is my response is that it’s not because of women’s sports.
It’s because of the organizations that are handling those finances, where they choose to put their money. So I’ll give you an example again. I told you I love football. College football is a money sucker. It’s a lot of people, a lot of resources. Now, why is it necessary for [00:42:00] any football team to take their players and put them in a hotel the night before a home game and spend whatever it is that they spend on hotel and food away from their homes, where they would be eating and sleeping.
That’s a cost that probably could for a year could sustain men’s wrestling. Yes. It’s a choice one night. You mean? Yes, it’s a choice. It could be night. It could be a whole season, but those are, those are pro those are decisions. Athletic directors are making. We’re obviously we’re talking to kind of at the collegiate level, right?
Those are, those are in-house decisions that, that, uh, university’s athletic directors are making. And. Sometimes there is a suffering that happens. It’s not because of women’s sports. It’s because of decisions of where to put your resources
Guy Kawasaki: [00:42:56] if you were playing today. Yeah. Would you kneel [00:43:00] during the national Anthem?
Oh God, I
Brandi Chastain: [00:43:02] didn’t know. We were going to go there.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:43:04] I mean, you can say you don’t want to ask no
Brandi Chastain: [00:43:08] valuable conversation and I’m, I go back and forth. I, my three, my father and my two grandfathers were in the military and I have always put my hand over my heart and some the national Anthem. And I believed that we did live in a country of the free and the brave.
I feel that I’ve been educated about the. Inequality. I knew it as a woman. And then I knew it as a woman in sports and I subconsciously knew it on a race component or level, but maybe I just didn’t know it to what to do gree. And I can see the difficulty in [00:44:00] standing for that. And so like the conversation I had with the people that maybe thought that what I did was detrimental to women’s sports, I can look at the other side and say, maybe standing is detrimental because we’re forgetting to appreciate what everybody is going through.
Not just what I’m going through. It’s hard for me to answer 100%. Whether I would stand or whether I would kneel. I have had many conversations with friends, black friends, Hispanic friends, and I’m continuing to try to learn.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:44:57] Let’s see you won the world cup or the [00:45:00] Olympics? I did wait, wait during the last four or five years. Okay. And you were invited to the white house. Would you have gone?
Brandi Chastain: [00:45:19] Here’s what I said to some people about Megan Rapinoe. Here’s what I said. And I guess then I would say yes, for this reason, for the same reason I gave you before, which is the same thing I would say to Megan, which we haven’t had this conversation, which is go there, go there and express your right. Your opinion to the person who you feel is giving you the most conflict and have a conversation face to face because perhaps that will close the gap.
Now [00:46:00] maybe the bigger statement in there, I think in her opinion was not going, is, is her statement that she’s entitled to that me, I w I, I guess I feel like I want to have the conversation and the only way to have the conversation is face-to-face again, I might not like.
The comments. I might not agree with them, but I think showing up sometimes is as impactful as not showing up.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:46:37] Okay. Okay. Plus you get all the free, big Macs you can have
is the donation of your brain to medical research still on. Yes.
Brandi Chastain: [00:46:50] It’s still want to keep it for the time heading. Yeah. The heading is a great conversation. Again, this is one of those kind of touchy [00:47:00] subjects because the purist in me headings a part of the game. But the realist in me understands that we didn’t know the science that we know now, and we should listen to science, um, because it’s offering valuable information.
So the science to me says that our young players are more vulnerable than our older, more mature, more seasoned athletes. So I should help protect those young players so that they can matriculate to being that older, lifelong soccer player. And I feel that it’s up to the coaches and the club directors, the NGOs too, to protect its most valuable asset, which is the people.
And so if we know that heading is not, [00:48:00] is potentially dangerous, then let’s just raise the age level because ultimately we want the ball on the ground. Anyway, we want the ball on the ground. We want to be able to keep control of the ball. When we put the ball into the air, there’s a percentage of doubt as to what’s going to happen.
Does that, do you and I read the play the same, and if we don’t, what’s that collision going to look like it’s and it’s not always that it’s the heading part that becomes the issue. Now it’s the MIS management of time and space and awareness that creates some kind of collision. But we can, we could mitigate that, I think a little bit by influencing the age and protecting our players
Guy Kawasaki: [00:48:45] equal pay.
Like why, why would there not be equal? Yeah.
Brandi Chastain: [00:48:50] Why? I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t know why there wouldn’t be,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:48:53] but it’s the same people who are putting the football team in the Hyatt Regency the night before the game. Isn’t it.
[00:49:00] Brandi Chastain: [00:49:00] I’m not really sure why. I don’t know why, but here’s what I do know. There are solutions out there there’s going to be solutions like just women’s sports, which is going to change the.
Alter the paradigm that’s happening right now, 96% of the digestible content out there is on men’s sports. 96%, 4% on the women’s side. And we have millions of girls in just in soccer, in the soccer space, young girls playing soccer. And then as we matriculate and count college and adult soccer and then professional soccer, those numbers jump.
So we know that that exists in soccer. So it exists in basketball. It exists in other places. We know that I think the number is I was just having this conversation today. I wish I had the deck in front of me talking about the billions of dollars that are spent in sports and how many of those dollars are spent by women.
Very significant. [00:50:00] So we know that there’s interest. Right. That was a, that was a, one of the misnomers about title IX was, Oh, there’s just not interest of girls. They don’t want to play
Guy Kawasaki: [00:50:13] well.
Brandi Chastain: [00:50:15] Yes. And this is the same in this argument too, is, Oh, there’s just not this much, that much interest. It’s not true.
It’s not true. And women are the, by far, the majority spender of the household items. And yet most of the commercials during sports are drawn up for male consumption. So it it’s strange.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:50:41] Could we draw a line from Patsy mink and title nine to 1999 world cup to equal pay someday?
Brandi Chastain: [00:50:53] Uh, 100% Patsy mink for sure.
Billy Jean King. [00:51:00] As the driver. I think that the conduit from that, that early stage two 99, because she was such a heavy influencer of our team, a huge sounding board for negotiations, for contracts and what we should be thinking about instead of being present and only wanting what was good for the present, but what was going to be good for the future.
She was a huge influence. And I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it until I can. I don’t have to say it any longer. I’m tired of this conversation. I’m exhausted by this equal pay. Th maybe it’s been rhetoric in the past and now I’m just, we should be here. The fact that someone saying, Oh, the night, the 2019 women’s world cup team is talking about equal pay.
I’m like, are you kidding? We’ve been talking about this for 30 years, but it’s time to stop talking about it. It’s time for it to be a thing of the [00:52:00] past. And, and I believe that that’s, there are so many amazing influential women now in positions of power, in the C-suites and in sports that I don’t think we want to take over the, the, the world.
I think we want to deliver our potential. And I think we understand now that our potential is greater than it’s ever been.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:52:32] Pretend a young girl is listening to this episode and she wants to be the top of her sport, the top of her field, academic sport, whatever it is. What’s your advice.
Brandi Chastain: [00:52:44] Number one, I would say congratulations for making such a bold statement because now comes the hard stuff, which is the actions, right?
But when you put it out [00:53:00] there, when you put it out there, I think you’re making a statement to the world, but also to yourself that I’m going to take steps to go forward. So for me, it’s find the thing that you love and you’re passionate about, and then be unapologetic in the amount of time that you spend doing it.
And people say, what did you sacrifice? I say nothing. I didn’t sacrifice anything. Did I go to every dance? No. Did I play in all the soccer games I wanted to? Probably I would have loved more. But I chose those things and those are the things that led me to this conversation. They’re the things that fulfilled my interests level, or it, it peaked my competitiveness.
Those were choices. I made not a sacrifice at all. So I would say to that young girl do not overlook the details, the details matter. And though they might not make the [00:54:00] highlight reel though. They may only be seen by you. Those are the ones that are going to get you to the place that
Guy Kawasaki: [00:54:10] okay, here comes this.
Episode’s a remarkable moment. It is brought to you by the sponsor of the remarkable people podcast, the remarkable tablet company. In this moment, I ask each guest when he or she does her best and deepest thinking, the remarkable tablet helps you do your best and deepest thinking because it’s a single purpose device.
It is for taking notes. It is not an iPad. It doesn’t let you check your email, check social media and do all the other things that the focus you now, his brand new chest pain about her best and deepest thinking.
When do you do your deepest thinking?
[00:55:00] Brandi Chastain: [00:55:03] It’s very hard because I’m just started getting into this book right here called wins.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:55:08] Daniel pink. Yes, man. How I read that? I read his other work that’s for
Brandi Chastain: [00:55:13] sure. So this one is talking about a study done on what part of the day are we the most impactful or where do we find these LOLs in the day? And they did it with groups of women.
They did it with other populations and, and somehow around the world globally, there was this confluence of early morning was high, mid day, low up and it’s across the board. I’m kind of an unusual person. I’m a late night, early morning. Which probably I should get more sleep. I’ve been told that sleep is very valuable.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:55:55] Oh, I just mean you’re a mom. Yeah.
Brandi Chastain: [00:55:58] Fair enough. Maybe. [00:56:00] So I do mind my best thinking maybe late at night, late at night when it’s quiet when everybody else is sleeping or when I’m doing exercise, like on my bike right here. When ideas come into my head, I wouldn’t, but I would also say guy, I would also say that there’s for me, I think part of, part of the, another component of that answer is when I have good conversations with people like you.
Your questions or our conversation, make me think, am I in the right place? Okay. I am. I have, I really examined standing for the national Anthem. Have I really examined? What’s the influence of 1999 picture or so I think those are moments that I maybe I should say are the most valuable talking with people.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:56:58] I lied. I have [00:57:00] one more question. Where do you keep your gold medals?
Brandi Chastain: [00:57:03] Well, I have one in the drawer because I take it places and the other one right now is you can see behind me. So you see that, see the moment. Right there, but right behind it, that’s the first gold metal. And the reason why it’s behind these other things is because I just got the walls painted and now I have to put them back up on the walls.
So the first one is framed and the other one goes with me places because I love sharing it. I remember the first Olympics where I was really cognizant of a championship team, and that was the 1980 men’s hockey team. And when I saw and his team step up onto the podium and they received their gold medals and they had that big American flag behind them, that was really powerful.
And I thought, I wonder what I want to do that, but I wonder what that feels like. So that first time you get that metal put [00:58:00] over your head and it kind of falls, it’s substantial, it’s heavier than you think. And so I, I love sharing that with people like that for me is so fun. It goes places. It used to get the BP beep at the, at the airport and then they’d have to take it out and examine it and you know, no.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:58:23] Yeah. Detective want to take selfies with it from Tennessee.
Brandi Chastain: [00:58:26] I’m up for that. I’m up for that all the time. The metal belongs to everybody, huh? Absolutely.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:58:32] Post pandemic. You and I, and John will have to get together. We’ll take you surfing.
Brandi Chastain: [00:58:37] See, now he asked me about that. I said, I’m happy to cheer you on from, I was going to say the slide line, but I’ll cheer you on from the cliff.
I know where you are. Why not try it? This is my funny answer and my serious answer all in the same. I’ve I respect mother nature. She is powerful. Okay. [00:59:00] So I believe that I don’t know if I have the skills to take her on, on a surf board. Powerful wave
Guy Kawasaki: [00:59:13] Brown. If you can, if you can take a penalty kick with your left foot in the world cup, I guarantee you, you
Brandi Chastain: [00:59:20] can surf.
Okay. So let me tell you the truth. I say I hate being cold and yeah, and I said, but I know how cold the water is in Santa Cruz. That is not warm. Even with a wetsuit on my toes. Get so cold guy booties.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:59:39] You’re not going to come up with a reason that I wouldn’t accept. I
Brandi Chastain: [00:59:43] feel like that’s true. I feel that’s true.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:59:47] I will let you know if I get Brandy Chastain into the water, the cold water with a wetsuit on a surf board. If you have a chance, Google Brandi Chastain [01:00:00] 1999 world cup and watch her celebration, it’s worth the effort. My thanks to John Conway, proprietor of the con cam the finest surfing camera in Santa Cruz.
He made this interview possible by thanks to Jeff Sieh and Peg Fitzpatrick who produced another remarkable podcast. Someday. I’m going to get the two of them into the water too. And that will be an event I’m guy Kawasaki, and this is remarkable people. And for the upteenth time, let me tell you, please wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands and get vaccinated, Aloha and Mahalo.
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.