Fairfax Radio 6/28/2022 8:00 AM

M.K. Lever, a former Division 1 athlete and Ph.D. candidate at UT Austin, combines her personal experiences as a college athlete and the weight of her academic research in areas concerning NCAA rhetoric, discourse, and policy to create her stunning and emotionally driven literary debut. Surviving the Second Tier depicts a new day in college athletics in which the old multi-sport model has collapsed and the bare bones, but extremely profitable Amateur Fighting Association has risen in its place. Where students once competed in a multitude of sports on a variety of playing fields, now college athletes have only the AFA ring in which to prove themselves in full-contact, no holds barred fights to the finish.

As a graduate student researching NCAA policy and rhetoric, Lever began to describe college athletics as a “dystopia” and soon found that listeners engaged more with the ideas she was sharing. “Surviving the Second Tier is different from other dystopias,” explains Lever. “It targets the college sports industry, inviting the reader to spend some time living and experiencing the life of a college athlete rather than just watching them compete or reading about them in the media. I wanted to present the real-world issues that affect college athletes in an engaging and palatable way and give a bigger picture of the issues beyond just economic exploitation, which is where most of the public discourse focuses.” Lever’s debut novel, Surviving the Second Tier, combines her personal experiences as an athlete with her academic research to bring attention to issues such as corruption, censorship, exploitation, and abuse that affect the lives of the athletes within the college sports industry. M. K. Lever is an advocate for college athletes and resides in Austin, TX.

Our second guest is Michael Letts a pro-police advocate who serves as founder and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs.

Today Michael will discuss the topic: NYC Councilwoman calls Police Shooting “White Supremacy.” Only one problem: The officer was a Black Male. When it comes to finding out the motives of someone responsible for a mass shooting, there’s a lot to look at, from emotional to physical abuse. However, New York City Councilwoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn recently went way off base when it came to determining the reasoning for a shooting incident in Tulsa a few days ago. Not long after Tulsa Police Department Chief Wendell Franklin identified the shooter as a disgruntled patient who was merely looking for further treatment for his back pain, Hermelyn posted a tweet in response to one made from the White House. She noted that “today’s atrocity in Tulsa happened on the 101st anniversary of the Tulsa Black Wall Street massacre. White Supremacy is clearly a factor.”  Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.

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