Hawaii’s Kolten Wong featured on MLB Network’s AAPI special

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Kolten Wong

With May serving as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, MLB Network aired a special over the weekend titled “A Conversation,” featuring multiple discussions with prominent figures in the professional baseball world.

Former University of Hawaii All-American and current Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong was one of the featured members of the special. Wong, who is of Hawaiian and Chinese descent, was asked about the increase in violence, harassment and hate crimes towards Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the racism that exists in America.

[Latest stories from Hawaii’s Sports Station — KHON2 Sports]

“Show people that love is love man, hate is hate. Let’s be on one side and love each other,” Wong told MLB Network’s Stephen Nelson, a fourth generation Asian American whose maternal family was born and raised on Oahu.

“Guys with platforms, bigger names need to step up a little more and just make it a cool thing to love everybody, to bring the love, spread the love and understand that we’re all human. We all bleed the same color blood and it is what it is.”

Wong, a two-time National League Gold Glove winner at second base, is viewed as one of the game’s most exciting players for his consistent highlight-reel plays in the middle of the infield. As the MLB attempts to grow the game and gain fans among the younger generation, Wong is hopeful it can be done by showcasing the league’s diversity among its players.

“I feel like we get caught in just trying to find that one guy who has this swag about him who plays the game with this excitement. Let’s try and find more other kids out there that have that same thing. It might not be the same kind of swag that’s loud and in somebody’s face but find a guy that is proud of where he’s from,” Wong said. “Find a guy that has pride and takes pride in playing the game the right way and doing things to bring pride to their family. I think that’s one thing that we can do. We can take different heritages and different people and different races and put them in positions to be in a big spotlight. Show that every single race can be in the spotlight. Show that every single race has a chance to stand out.”

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