The NFL works with the MLB and NBA to provide valuable perspectives at the AAPI Sports and Culture Symposium.


The Asian American and Pacific Islander Sports and Culture Symposium continues to present new perspectives for the fifth year in a row.

Jointly run by the Asian Staff Resource Groups of MLB, NBA and NFL in conjunction with the Asia Professional Exchange (APEX), the symposium’s mission is to recognize and mobilize the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities within the sports world. The 2022 event was broadcast live in New York on Thursday, May 19, with virtual attendees from all time zones across the United States.

“It was amazing to see the NFL, NBA and MLB all coming together to share experiences and celebrate the different ways the AAPI community is making a difference in the sports industry,” said Caroline Davis, a Korean-American, attending the event. said. Senior Coordinator of NFL Global Brand and Consumer Marketing. “My favorite part of the symposium was meeting many of my fellow AAPI colleagues in the sports arena, discovering together the impact that sports can make for future generations through representation, and bringing others along as we grow. The hope is that this event continues, as representatives from the sports industry continue to expand and others want to know more about our community, so we can join in additional sports leagues and attend from people outside the AAPI community.”

This year’s panelists consisted of ESPN’s Jun Lee, NJ/NY Gotham FC’s star defender Caprice Dydasco and AMAZN HQ founder Pranav Iyer. These three young Asian Americans shared a common experience in their unique circumstances.

Raised in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, a Korean-born immigrant, Lee grew up as a minority in a predominantly white neighborhood and his upbringing demonstrated the importance of representation.

“The first sports publication I bought was Sports illustrations for children Hideki Matsui appeared on the cover,” said Lee. “I remember it as a gateway to what it means to get serious about the sports industry and be an Asian with a team to watch baseball, soccer, or basketball.” Lee said. said.

Currently working as an MLB staff writer and regular panelist for ESPN. around the horn In the program, Lee pointed out that the importance of being represented in sports is not limited to athletes. He also provided a perspective on the internal struggles that still remain a stumbling block within the Asian community for sporting activities.

“When I said that I wanted to work in the sports media field, many reactions from inside, not just Korean/Asian outsiders, were ‘Why are you doing that? Why is that a job you want to pursue?’ You could be a doctor, you could be a lawyer, all kinds of stereotypes.” said Lee. “I think Jeremy Lin was a big turning point for me, and to know that there are stories that only Asians can tell with real authenticity and to understand the cultural factors and nuances that made his growth so. Important but the people on TV If you look at people like Michael Kim, sports center for a long time. If you look at people like Pablo Torre for me around the horn It was great, and he looked at him as if he were vaguely like me doing something vaguely representative of what I wanted to do at some point.

“It was all really important to me to look at my parents and think, ‘Hey, this is something we can do.'” “

Defender of the Year in the National Women’s Soccer League, Dydasco grew up in Hawaii. In a symposium panel, Dydasco spoke of her “culture shock” she experienced when she came to the US mainland despite being a US citizen.

“I’ve never seen myself as a minority in Hawaii,” said Dydasco, who is Guamanian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hawaiian. “By going to college, I realized I was the only Asian on the team. And when I went to professional football, I was still the only Asian on the team.”

Dydasco, a member of UCLA’s 2013 national championship team, has revealed that he has decided to emulate the growing Japanese national football team. Dydasco, who had just discovered the inner workings within the AAPI community, valued internal reflection and engagement.

“It took me back to my childhood and made me reflect on my upbringing and how lucky I was to be surrounded by people like me,” Dydasco said. “Now I think there are some young girls who want to play professional football because I think it’s my duty to be a pioneer for people like me, and I have someone to imitate.”

For Indian-American sports journalist Iyer, growing up in California’s San Francisco Bay Area provided a well-established Indian community, but that all changed when he started pursuing his dream of becoming an NFL quarterback.

“There aren’t many of us because we’re Asian Americans and Indian Americans,” said Aiur, who played as a defender at Chapman University. “For many of my teammates, I was the first Indian-American they met.”

Iyer founded AMAZN HQ, a sports media company that expands Asian Americans within professional sports with the goal of breaking Asian stereotypes and providing often overlooked stories.

“You’ve probably seen a sense of responsibility to represent the community,” Iyer said. “As if, you are basically how they perceive the whole community because you are all they know about the whole community.

“So obviously there is a strong force to change the narrative, but you have to portray yourself in the right way.”

Among the various topics and experiences discussed prior to the Q&A session, the panel highlighted the undue burden among Asian Americans, highlighting overlooked ignorance that still exists today. It is a topic that has especially captured the hearts of NFL staff who attended the event virtually.

Akshay Pulipaka, Senior Video Systems Engineer, said, “Celebrating Asian heritage is a very complex and in some ways paradoxical undertaking in itself, as it seeks to celebrate a group that is very diverse culturally, socially, historically and economically. “He said. For the NFL, who immigrated to the United States from India in 2007. “At the same time, there are themes that bring them closer together, and there are many themes that actually fall under the theme of ‘issues’. It’s about personal experiences that bring the entire Asian community together, talking about similar stereotypes, and experiences of being ignored or ignored because of cultural background. It was kind of comforting. Asian people will enrich this with stories or experiences like this.”

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