MLB Hosts AAPI Heritage Month Conversations – MLB Sports

After the highlights of Japanese megastar Shohei Ohtani attacking MLB’s record book in a different way the league has seen for more than half a century when Asian-American baseball fans recently turned to MLB Network. You may find highlights.

In the news, several channels have left that the same person may face reports of another discouraging attack on members of the Asian-American community and question their security and their position in this society. I am.

This is a dichotomy related to MLB celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May this year. Of course, not only in the world of baseball, but in all communities, we emphasize the recognition and commemoration of the common roots and contributions of AAPI people.

But at this turning point in American society, a collective consideration of the annoying increase in hate crimes for the descendants of the Asia-Pacific Islands and the harmful rhetoric for communities that have become very common as fragmented. Without it, it is impossible to make these discussions. The country picks up that part of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Farhan Zaidi, head of baseball operations at the Giants, said: “Like everyone in this country, we all believe in hope, but the fact that we have citizens, Asian Americans in this country makes us really uneasy. It’s time. Feel safe in your current environment. “

How did we get here? How are you going to move forward? And where is baseball in this national conversation?

These are questions that voices from around the MLB community tried to answer as part of MLB’s “unfiltered” series, led by MLB Network Stephen Nelson and Adnan Virk, shared between platforms on Sunday and Monday. It is a part. Athletes, media members and front office officials discuss their sports experience, celebrate the contribution of the Asian community to baseball, and most importantly, openly about the turmoil in Asian-American relations in 2021. Did.

The discussion entitled “#StopAsianHate” culminated in a round-table conference that raised the voices of prominent Asian-American leaders around MLB: Zaidi, Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, and Marlins General. Manager Kim Ng, Royals assistant general manager Jin Won.

“There is deep sorrow in the fact that it is the phrase we are talking about in this country in 2021,” said Zaidi. “I don’t think any of us can actually say those words without wondering why we have to use that phrase.”

To understand the Asian-American experience in the United States, understand the fact that there is no such peculiar “Asian-American experience” given the variety of proud roots of AAPI Diaspora in the United States. is needed.

Ng is East Asian first person Wong, also of East Asian descent, moved to the United States at the age of three and will lead the MLB front office. Roberts was born to a black father and a Japanese mother. His Asian relatives grew up. Zaidi, a Muslim of South Asian descent, said he was racially profiled after 9/11.

Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu (whose father was born in a Japanese-American camp in the United States) and baseball non-binary AAPI writer Jen McClamos will be featured in MLB Tonight: Conversation on Sunday night. Prospectus talked about the challenge of navigating the dynamics of MLB clubhouses for their identity, which emphasized other such experiences.

For all their nuances, one strong commonality of their Asian-American experience is the sense of incompatibility, or simply different, as part of their minority nation and social structure.

“It took me a while before I was happy to speak up when I felt comfortable with my skin and disagreed with something,” Wong said. “When I was young, I just wanted to fit myself, so I was deeply asking,’Why aren’t you treated like any other person?'”

This is a more emphasized difference than ever before.

And even if you set aside the problems caused by the pandemic for a moment, it’s also a historically widespread distinction in the baseball industry.

It took Zaidi until 2018 to be hired as the first MLB front office leader of Asian descent, and then 20 years before Ng became the first person of East Asian descent. Zaidi was allowed to play the rest of the series with the Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish’s ethnicity, with the baseball environment turning the world’s eyes to baseball, like the 2017 World Series. It was.

“I think that moment and the fact that we didn’t take more powerful action is still at the heart of all Asian fans around the game,” said Zaidi. “I think we have to talk about such moments. We can’t allow such things to happen without taking stronger action. That’s what we reach the other side of this. I think it’s the only way to do it. “

Many of these issues have traditionally not risen to the level of truly widespread and subtle discourse in the media and the American community. This is the harmful myth of “model minority” often faced by Asian Americans, and the position of traditional broadcast media and power.

This is not one of those moments-and panelists emphasized the importance of maintaining this exposure.

“I think we’re just relentlessly working on our voice,” Roberts said. “This isn’t just the isolated moment we’re talking about. It’s something we need to talk about. [on an] in progress [basis], And be obsessed with it. “

As part of that, we continue to diversify baseball games, providing other people like them with a platform to speak out in the future. Asian superstars like Otani and Ichiro a few years ago will pitch themselves and the game. However, to make the dents in clubhouses and front offices more noticeable, they agreed and encouraged that things start in areas that are undervalued at the youth level and promote an environment where differences are acceptable.

“I think it’s sometimes a problem in our games, let’s embrace the variety rather than tackle the suitability,” said Zaidi. “Making people feel real, comfortable and safe is one of the biggest gestures anyone can do right now.”

These are complex problems and structural problems that cannot be resolved immediately. But, as Roberts said, it’s more important than ever to give AAPI leaders a platform and voice to talk to communities and allies to work towards a better future and better games. ..

“We all want the ideal that it doesn’t matter: we don’t see color, we don’t see gender,” Ng said. “But it’s most obvious when you enter the room. It’s hard to disassemble. It’s hard to be identified just like that. You can’t avoid it.

“So, the more we accept it, the better we will be, our difference, how we look to people, and how we educate.”

– MLB Sports

MLB Hosts AAPI Heritage Month Conversations MLB Hosts AAPI Heritage Month Conversations

Back to top button