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South Florida's Pro Teams Playing Significant Role In Increasing Diversity In Sports

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Dolphins, Heat, Panthers, Marlins and Inter Miami are all in on diversity.

This week alone, two franchises broke barriers.

First, the Marlins hired Kim Ng, the first female general manager in the history of America's major pro sports leagues.

"In terms of the little girls, it means the world to me. And anybody who knows me, knows I've spent countless hours advocating for young girls, advocating for young women, and really trying to help them advance their careers," she said.

She's also the first Asian-American GM in major league baseball.

Marlins GM Kim Ng
Marlins GM Kim Ng (Courtesy: Miami Marlins/Joseph Guzy)

Also this week, the Florida Panthers hired Brett Peterson as assistant general manager, the first Black man to get that job title in National Hockey League history.

"To be honest with you, it's really hard to put into words. It's an honor. It's something that never in my wildest dreams would I have even thought would be possible," he said. "I'm just happy that now there can be a second and a third. So it's a very fun time."

Peterson played college hockey at Boston College in the early 2000s, where he won a national championship. At the same time, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores played on the football team.

Brett Peterson
Brett Peterson (Source: Florida Panthers)

The new Panther is familiar with the current Fins HC.

"We were at BC at the same time. One of my wife's brothers played on the football team, so I knew Brian very well. It's exciting to see how well he's doing down there," he said.

Flores is one of only three Black NFL head coaches. And with general manager Chris Grier, they are the only Black coach-GM duo in the league.

brian-flores-dolphins (1)
Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

"I was looking for my Florida Panthers hat this morning," Flores said. "Yeah, I'm excited for Brett... I think that they got a great hire there."

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You also have Erik Spoelstra with the Heat. He's of Filipino descent and became the first Asian-American head coach in the history of the four major sports leagues.

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 28, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Finally, there's Inter Miami CF's diverse ownership group.

The South Florida sports scene truly is a melting pot.


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