Audible Launches 'Defiance with Michael Johnson'

14 Oct 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Audible has announced the launch of 'Defiance with Michael Johnson', a new eight-part Audible original podcast, hosted by the inspirational Michael Johnson.

Produced by Folding Pocket in conjunction with thinkBeyond Talent Ventures, the series explores the history of protest in sport and its importance in driving societal change.

As one of the most recognisable sporting figures in the world, Michael Johnson is nothing short of a sporting legend, breaking world records in the 200m, 400m and the 4 x 400m relay and, owning 12 Olympic and World Championship gold medals during his 11-year career.

In this new podcast, Michael explores the roots of sporting protest by embarking upon a 100-year odyssey to learn how those athletes who’ve come before, and after him, have attempted to drive systemic change through their profiles.

The series sees Michael learn, in great detail, the stories of sportspeople, from Jesse Owens and Rose Robinson, through to Colin Kaepernick and Gwen Berry, who’ve attempted to alter society for the greater good.

The series also features exclusive interviews with sporting trailblazers and commentators such as Cathy Freeman, Renee Montgomery, Ellis Genge, John Amaechi, Nate Boyer, Francois Pienaar, Toni Smith-Thompson, and Gwen Berry.

Michael Johnson, host of the series, commented: “Interviewing the incredible sportsmen and women featured in this series has been one of the privileges of my life. They are the icons of sport, not just for what they have achieved on the field of play, but for their bravery in standing up for what is right and sacrificing so much often to the detriment of their achievement and on occasions completely destroying their careers.

“Athletes have long been vocal and expressive leaders at the forefront of change, and no more so than now as our society rapidly evolves. I hope listeners will tune in and be inspired as I have to take part in these conversations and to honour those who have had the courage to speak truth to power.”

As each episode unfolds, Michael reflects on the takeaways and gradually assesses the era in which he reached the pinnacle of his sport and questions what he might do if he was an athlete in today’s time of heightened political activism.

The series reaches a remarkable crescendo in the final episode as Michael declares, powerfully, that he would take the knee if he was still an active athlete.

Defiance with Michael Johnson, an Audible original podcast is now available to download here: