GLENDALE, AZ — One Arizona Cardinal is proving just how vital representation is.
With just 0.1% of NFL athletes identifying as Asian American according to Yahoo! Sports, groups like the Arizona Korean Association are hoping with players like Kyler Murray, stereotypes will continue to go away and glass ceilings will be shattered.
Kyler Murray is number one on the football field and number one in the hearts of so many Cardinals fans, like Nancy Bae.
"Excitement is the first word I can use to describe - and pride," Bae explained.
And it's for good reason. Nancy, Kyler, and 30,000 other Arizonans have something very special in common - their Korean heritage.
Kyler's father is black and his mom is half Korean.
"Every game he is playing, we are glued to the TV. And as Korean Americans, we are behind Kyler Murray every single week," stated Nancy. "We are rooting for him every single week. When he gets tackled we get hurt. When he scores we all get excited! Everyone does especially for Korean Americans in Arizona."
Bae goes on to say what a good example Kyler is on and off the field, like when he tweeted in support of other Asian Americans in March 2021 following a string of hate crimes targeting AAPI communities.
"We are grateful to have his support, especially someone like Kyler Murray who is a high-profile person to come out and say hate against Asians is non-tolerable. It means a great deal to Asian Americans," she said.
Nancy says it's not just a proud moment for the Korean community but all Asian Americans, especially as we work to end stereotypes in professional sports and in other areas of our society.
"Unfortunately, there is a stereotype associated with Asian Americans in sports, but I'm hoping Mr. Murray will play a pivotal role in setting the standard and changing the mindsets associated with Asian Americans."