By Grace Fong
As it made headlines in the national news, all of America was in awe of the accomplishments of one woman. After 31 years of working in the baseball industry, she had become the highest-ranking female in professional sports.
On Friday, November 13, Kim Ng achieved what no one ever expected at this time— she became the first Asian American female general manager of any professional sports team. While being an accomplishment for females, this is also a major accomplishment for Asian Americans: she has taken the first step forward into normalizing the presence of females and people of color in sports industries.
Students at South have been amazed by Ng’s drive and hard work. John Fukuda and Quentin Okui, tenth graders on the baseball team, know that Ng has gone through a lot to be where she is now. Fukuda calls it a “double tricky” when he explains that not only did she have to go against stereotypical gender roles, but she also fought through the stereotypes of being an Asian American working in the sports field. As Fukuda and Okui grew up playing baseball, they felt a sense of discomfort and discrimination whenever they played outside of school. However, after Ng acquired this major position in the MLB, Fukuda said, “this makes me proud to be an Asian American.”
Okui believes that this will set a path for the rising generation of Asian Americans to follow. He believes Ng is an example that anyone can break beyond the boundaries of racial stereotypes. The biggest lesson he learned from Ng is that “No matter who you are and where you come from, you should never give up because there is always a light at the end of the road.”
Sophomore Riley Boshnack and Junior Sabrina DePaulis, members of the softball team, have also been impacted by Ng’s accomplishments. Boshnack has been playing softball practically since she could walk. As a female, Boshnack has received quite a lot of backlash that “baseball is harder than softball” although the positions are exactly the same. She relates to Ng in that she understands as a woman in a predominantly male industry, Ng had to fight to show everyone that she could make it to the top.
When DePaulis heard about Ng’s accomplishment, she was pleasantly surprised; however, she realized that the fact that she was so surprised proved how society had ingrained stereotypes on careers. DaPaulis is able to relate and look up to Ng on many levels. During team gym, she feels outnumbered by the majority of males in that class. Usually girls tend to shy away from team gym and aggressive sports because of the stereotype that girls are “dainty.” Additionally, when males are talking about sports, they don’t usually include females or think that females have any knowledge on that subject. “There have been times when people weren’t expecting me to know something about sports,” DePaulis said.
Although it took her 31 years to achieve this history making position, Ng has paved a path that many females of the rising generation will follow. She has shown many girls that women can obtain these high positions when the norm of society is against them. According to Boshnack, Ng’s accomplishment shows the people of America who never would have thought a female could acquire a position like this “that it can be done, and it will be done again.”
Ng has not only made history in the baseball industry, but also the entirety of sports industries. At first, Ng didn’t notice her influence; however, as the news spread on Friday morning, she became aware of her immense impact on America. As she was asked what advice Ng would give to high schoolers with a large goal and long path to follow, she said, “don’t give up on your dreams. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence. It’s going to take a long time, but when you get there it’ll be worth it.”