Nothing says breaking the glass ceiling like a snide comment about a woman's looks, right?
An historic moment for women has been overshadowed by the male perception, as first-time female coach on a Major League Baseball field Alyssa Nakken was the subject of sexist remarks by NBC Sports commentator Duane Kuiper.
The San Fransisco Giants first base coach was ejected from the third inning Tuesday night in their game against the San Diego Padres. Assistant coach Nakken took over for him afterward, making history on the field as the first woman to ever coach during a regular-season MLB game.
While announcing the plays, Kuiper and fellow commentator Mike Krukow addressed Nakken's historic role.
“So it’s confirmed, this is the first time Alyssa Nakken has been coaching at first during a regular season game.”
Krukow followed up:
"Which is historical, which means that it’s the first time that a woman has ever coached first base in a big-league ballgame."
"So nice goin’, Nak. She is a great trailblazer.”
Of course, Kuiper couldn't just let leave it at that.
He then said:
“Who wears that helmet better than she does?”
The comment was followed by laughter.
See the exchange below:
In a detailed thread, one person wrote:
"Alyssa Nakken making history yesterday was really dampened by the commentators talking about how good she looked in her helmet and how she knows how to look good because of her softball experience."
"@SFGiants commentators keep talking about how women look and it's gross."
"Please let women exist without it being about their looks. Period."
"Especially at a baseball game where they're just working."
"They would never talk about how good Brandon Belt makes his hat look or that Kapler has a beautiful smile."
Many others picked up on the degrading moment.
"Alyssa Nakken breaking the gender barrier is an outstanding baseball moment, diluted by the several MLB announcers calling her a 'girl'."
"Some even getting her first name wrong. Be better."
"Baseball and softball are sports that thrive when we appreciate our diversity."
Unfortunately, the incident is unsurprising in the world of MLB.
The organization's infamous problems with misogynistic conduct are abundant. From accusations of sexual misconduct against Angels coach Mickey Callaway for his lewd behavior and harassment of a number of women to Mets manager Jared Porter's obscene treatment of a female reporter to sexual assault accusations against Seattle Mariners executives and so on.
It's apparent to many the league has work to do.
"Alyssa Nakkan makes first ever on-field appearance for a female coach in MLB history and the @SFGiants announcers talk about her looking good in her helmet."
"What f*cking year is this?"
"I normally love Kruk & Kuip, but that was some bullsh*t."
The official MLB Twitter account posted the clip but conveniently excluded Kuiper's comment.
"Not surprising that MLB social media would clip the video right before the announcer said 'who wears that helmet better than she does'."
All in all, Nakken is receiving all kinds of public accolades.
Many reactions are exclusively positive, raining the coach in congratulations.
While it was frustrating for many that another huge moment for women in sports was blemished by sexist comments, it doesn't take away from Nakken's incredible feat—a beacon for female coaching staff everywhere.
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