By: Elliot Pototsky — Correspondent
History was made as the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball hired Kim Ng as their General Manager. Ng will become the first female general manager (GM) in major league baseball history, as well as becoming the first East Asian American to serve as GM.
Social studies teacher Ms. Hannah Cohen says she was quite excited when the Marlins hired Ng as their new GM. “In America we often have an attitude that sports knowledge belongs exclusively to men,” she said. She adds that she is glad the MLB is moving in the right direction. “Women can be competent in this field too,” she said.
Cohen says this is a big step for the Marlins to take. However the attitude towards employing females in sports has been shifting in the last decade, so this is not a seismic shift for the MLB. She also says there will need to be a follow up conversation about other teams interviewing female candidates moving forward. “The preference remains for male candidates,” she said.
Cohen says females are often seen as being interested in sports only to please a man in their life whether it’s a spouse, child, or father. Although she herself has never been passionate about sports, Cohen knows a lot of women that are. “I hope that we can start to see passion for baseball as America’s pastime not just for men,” she said. “The biggest Red Sox fan I know is my grandmother after all,” she added.
Cohen says she hopes the hiring of Ng leads other women who may not have felt there was a place for them to see that they can go for the job. “It helps in any profession to see a role model in the job,” she said.
Sophomore Gabby Reinbold of Norfolk Aggie says she was very surprised to see that a woman could get such an amazing position in the MLB. “I figured we would see a female player before a female GM,” she said.
Reibold says there is a very good chance that men who work for or play in the MLB will not like the hiring of Ng. “Players would not want a woman telling them what to do,” she said. “Having a woman join a male dominant sport may cause controversy between the men,” she added.
Reinbold says it took so long for a pro sports team to hire a female GM because the major sports leagues are rarely influenced by women. “It’s not realistic for our society to have a woman in control of a bunch of men,” she said.
Reinbold says there are many stereotypes that factor into the way females are looked at in the sports world. There is one stereotype that stands out to her, and that is the belief that men are more intelligent when it comes to sports such as baseball. “People say that men know more about the game,” she said.
Reinbold says this hiring opens up the door for more females to put themselves out there and help create a more equal community where gender is not a deciding characteristic of one’s abilities.
Senior Jordan Saks says it is outstanding that a woman is finally getting the opportunity to fulfill a high level job in the MLB. “This opens the door for other women to get these types of jobs in sports,” he said. Saks also says that women have been getting roles in sports that are gradually getting bigger and bigger as the years go on. “This is definitely a step in the right direction,” he said. “We are making progress,” he added.
Saks says the rest of the MLB will love this move because the Marlins are giving teams an opportunity to evaluate how well this works. “If it works out well, teams will hire more women to fulfill high-level roles,” he said.
Saks says change is a lengthy process in sports. “It took a long time for the NBA to have black players in the league,” he said. “Dating back to Jackie Robinson, he had a very difficult time in the MLB being the only black person,” he added.
Saks says that over the past ten years or so, women have been getting introduced to the world of men’s sports, and like all other big changes to the sports Industries, this change takes time. “Hopefully, over time there are more women in sports and not just baseball,” he said.
Saks says that there is this belief in American culture where women are not supposed to be into sports. He adds that there is a stigma around women not paying attention to sports and instead doing chores while men relax and watch the games. “It’s stereotyped as a masculine activity,” he said.
Saks says that if Ng does a good job and proves herself, there will be a positive change. “This hiring is great for baseball, great for sports, and great for America,” he said.
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