It’s not easy being a woman in sports. Especially a woman in male-dominated sports. There’s an incredible amount of unnecessary criticism and harassment that comes with the territory, which is ridiculous at this time in our history. But alas, it is.
But a lot of things have changed over the course of history when it comes to women in sports. Including Friday’s groundbreaking news that Kim Ng became the first woman general manager in a North American professional male sports league. Ng, who is also the first Asian-American general manager in Major League Baseball, was named the GM of the Miami Marlins.
The travesty here is that it didn’t happen sooner. It’s been 15 years since Ng, who has over 30 years of experience, first interviewed for a vacant general manager position with the Los Angeles Dodgers. She also interviewed for the GM job with the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants.
She didn’t get any of those positions. But it wasn’t because she wasn’t qualified. If anything, she’s the most qualified for the position of general manager than any candidate in sports history.
Ng has a wealth of experience — over 30 years — starting with the Chicago White Sox in 1990, where she worked as an intern and became assistant director of baseball operations. She then worked her way to become the youngest GM in MLB with the New York Yankees in 1998. She went on to hold the same title with the Dodgers from 2002-11.
While Ng became the highest-ranking female in professional sports, it’s a reminder that were many before her that were long denied. So while this is an important milestone in sports history, it’s also a reminder that we still have a long way to go in making women in sports — especially male-centered sports — the norm.