The San Francisco Giants hired the first full-time female coach in MLB
The world is becoming a better place with each and every female trailblazer — each boundary breaker becoming more important than the last. Alyssa Nakken recently became the newest female hired into American professional sports after the San Francisco Giants selected her this past month. She is the first full-time female coach in the Major Leagues.
Nakken is entering into a sport that has a patriarchal reputation, meaning not all men in the profession are particularly looking forward to a woman in power. Former MLB player and Giant Aubrey Huff took to social media to express his thoughts on the hire.
“I got in trouble for wearing a thong in my own clubhouse when female reporters were present. Can’t imagine how it will play out with a full time female coach running around. This has #metoo & #BelieveAllWomen written all over it. Couldn’t imagine taking baseball instruction from an ex female softball player. Have fun with that @bcraw35 [Brendan Crawford] @bbelt9 [Brandon Belt] @BusterPosey,” said Huff in a Twitter post.
For starters, the incompetence in the final sentence is remarkable — I didn’t know that Nakken was an ex-female and a former softball player. In a mere five sentences, Huff was able to perfectly sum up the problem with some men in the sports world. The more you read that quote, the more abhorrent it gets. Huff’s comments are rash, inappropriate and unfair, to say the least. It summarizes the attitude of patriarchy in the course of sports history.
One of the biggest misconceptions from men who share Huff’s perspective is that somehow this woman didn’t earn the job. When you look at the history of women who have been hired in other sports, the opposite is usually the case.
Becky Hammon was the first female coach hired in the NBA, which was a well-deserved honor. Before coaching, Hammon was one of the best female players in college and professionally. As a three-time All-American at Colorado State University (CSU), Hammon holds countless records, which would lead to her number being retired in Moby Arena. Hammon proceeded to become a six-time Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star and a two-time All-WNBA First Team player. She was voted as one of the top 15 players in WNBA history in 2011 and has the only retired number San Antonio Stars history. All of her years of dedication on the court grabbed the eye of legendary coach Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs in 2015.
Jennifer Melter has made a name for herself in men’s professional football and the NFL, serving as an inspiration to all women. After a career of playing football for over 10 years in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), Melter turned to coaching. She began as an assistant coach intern in 2015 with the Arizona Cardinals, becoming the first-ever female coach in the NFL. She paved the way for other women seeking job opportunities in the NFL. Without her, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wouldn’t have hired two female coaches entering into the 2019 season and the San Francisco 49ers wouldn’t have the first-ever female to coach in the Super Bowl this February.
All of these examples of female success in the realm of professional sports stem from other women who serve as an inspiration. For every Melter or Hammon, it’s crucial to remember those that came before — from three-time gold medal winner Wilma Rudolph to the all-time tennis great, Serena Williams.
The future of women in sports is becoming clearer and clearer with each and every day. Major League baseball was behind the 8 ball once again. Go figure. Still, Alyssa Nakken deserves to be highly praised for getting to this point in her career and making history. It feels as if with the new decade, more significant and influential things are still to come. After all, limitations are just bogged down dreams, and in today’s day and age, we don’t need any more of that.