April 13, 2011

"Bamboo Ceiling" Blocks Asian Americans from Top Jobs in Athletics

The "pipeline" that limits minorities access to top jobs in athletics is similar to that facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in obtaining high-level academic jobs, said Leslie E. Wong, president of Northern Michigan University. Like African-Americans being concentrated in the lower levels of coaching or athletic administrators, Asian Americans are highly represented in higher education as deans and department chairs but hit the "bamboo ceiling" at the provost or chief academic level, he said.

In athletics, there are many Asian American' athletic trainers and equipment managers, but not many coaches, he said. Wong argues for slowing down the hiring process and utilizing best business practices to reject racial stereotypes and attract a larger pool of candidates.

"It’s a troublesome thing when you talk to young people engaged in sports. Could you craft a career in athletic administration for Asian Americans? The answer is clearly no. It makes me feel like I'm back in the 1950s and Jackie Robinson." --- Kerry M. King

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