May 19, 2021 – The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in baseball will be the focus of a new MLB Tonight: A Conversation program this Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network. Co-hosted by Stephen Nelson and Adnan Virk, the 90-minute program will feature MLB Network analyst Ron Darling, Miami Marlins General Manager Kim Ng, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Texas Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong, Kansas City Royals Assistant General Manager-Baseball Administration Jin Wong and San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi discussing baseball’s stand against the recent increase in violence towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and the importance of growing the community throughout the game.
A clip from the program featuring Kolten Wong can be viewed here with Wong remarking, “Keston [Hiura] and I and [Christian] Yelich, we always have conversations about it and how we can affect people and how we can impact people of Asian heritage and what not. It’s a time in the world right now where it’s just not good, so hopefully we can continue to bring light to the situation, show people that love is love man, hate is hate, let’s be on one side and love each other. So, I think that if we can get that message across man, more people will have fun and we can kind of get back to living the way we used to live.”
“Being a voice in and for our community is probably the driving force in my professional life, so I am incredibly grateful to MLB Network and MLB for giving us a stage like this to celebrate our cultures, highlight the outstanding representatives within our game, and amplify our stories,” said Nelson.
“Being of Asian descent is something I take great pride in,” said Virk. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this show which shines a light on Asians in my favorite sport of baseball and the impact they are making both inside and outside the lines.”
To further address the landscape for members of the AAPI community in baseball, Joon Lee (ESPN), Sweeny Murti (WFAN New York), Do-Hyoung Park (MLB.com) and Jen Mac Ramos (Baseball Prospectus) will join the program as part of a media roundtable.
Timed to AAPI Heritage Month and as part of the UNFILTERED SERIES organized by MLB’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team, clips from Nelson’s recent conversation on Asian representation in baseball with Ng, Roberts, Jin Wong and Zaidi will be featured throughout Sunday’s program on MLB Network. The entire UNFILTERED SERIES conversation, titled “Supporting the AAPI Community,” will livestream on MLB.com on Monday, May 24 at 12 p.m. ET.
MLB Network launched its MLB Tonight: A Conversation series in June 2020 to generate candid discussion about how to create a more diverse, safe and inclusive environment inside and outside of Major League Baseball. Hosted by Lauren Shehadi, the most recent MLB Tonight: A Conversation featured a discussion about the struggles, successes and future for women in baseball. Panel discussions covering racial injustice and inequality in society and baseball have also aired leading up to this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and on Juneteenth 2020.