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Historic NFL draft: Asian American is No. 1 pick

Kyler Murray is seen here with his mom Missy and father Kevin along with his brother and sister Kevin and Precious. Murray was drafted by baseball’s Oakland A’s, but decided to play football instead.

Views from the Edge

When the Arizona Cardinals picked Kyler Murray as the No. 1 pick in the National Football League draft Thursday evening, the team made history by picking the Asian American quarterback.

His father, Kevin Murray, is African American but his mother, Misun (Missy) Murray is half Korean. Kyler’s mother is used to people noting the differences in appearance between her and her son.

“I know a lot of people are like, ‘What is he?’” said Murray. quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. “I get asked that a lot myself. So we do subtle things to represent that.”

In late 2018, Murray wore a black dragon-imprinted kimono jacket. He wore that traditional Japanese jacket knowing that people would notice the choice because of his Asian features. Here’s how Missy explained it to the press:

“When we saw the jacket it was like, ‘Gotta have it,’” Missy said. “Cause we’re all about representing our Asian culture. That subtle statement … came across as kind of a strong statement, but it’s awesome.”

Murray has had quite a year, first getting drafted by the Oakland Athletics and then  winning the Heisman Trophy as the best college football player in the country. As an athlete, Murray faced the dilemma of having to choose between football or baseball for a professional career.
By choosing football, he will likely get a contract from the Cardinals higher than the $4.8 million contract that he signed for the A’s.

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  1. RE: Historic NFL Draft: Asian American is number 1 pick: Could someone explain exactly how this pick “made history?” Not trying to be combative, I’m asking because I’m not a football fan and I’d love to know what makes it historic. Thank you!

    • RE: Historic NFL Draft: Asian American is number 1 pick: To the best of our knowledge, he is the first Asian American ever to be drafted number 1 in the NFL.Marcus Ardel Taulauniu Mariota from the University of Oregon was the second overall pick in 2015. He is an Hawaiian native.


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