Examining the many overlapping stereotypes faced by Jewish and Asian athletes

Munenori Kawasaki played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2013-2015. (Photo: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

It’s May, which means you can still wish people a happy Jewish Heritage Month. You can also wish them a happy Asian Heritage Month—because, in Canada, both minority groups got their politically fluffy cultural celebrations crammed into the same 31-day timespan.

To honour the stuffing-together of both heritage months, the Menschwarmers wanted to take a look at a different minority group with some solidarity in mind: Asian athletes. The similarities and societal hurdles between both Asian and Jewish athletes are striking, with both groups coming from largely immigrant communities, facing stereotypes about mathematic abilities and flippant derogatory comments.

To examine the subject, we invited on Adrian Lee, an opinion editor at the Globe and Mail who is also a longtime sports fan and good friend of the hosts. They discuss these themes and more, including the complicated relationship between minority fans and players who share their ethnicity—and even rattle off a few Asian-Jewish athletes worth remembering.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.