Athletes of Team USA with Asian roots speak out over the country's recent anti-Asian incidents before they will depart for Tokyo Olympics. There have been different anti-Asian attacks recently in the country because of the global pandemic. Some Americans use anti-Asian slurs and associate the pandemic's root cause with Asians living in the country.
Athletes of Team USA Speak Out About Anti-Asian Incidents
Three current or potential Team USA participants for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo this summer spoke out against recent anti-Asian prejudice and bigotry, which has been on the rise around the world since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In a recently published article on Yahoo Sports, during the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee's media summit on Wednesday, Olympic karate qualifier Sakura Kokumai, men's gymnastics favorite Yul Moldauer, and wheelchair tennis player Dana Mathewson all spoke about common encounters and events they've had in recent weeks.
Experiences of Future Members of Team USA With Asian Roots
Kokumai said that "We are, in a way, being targeted, and the violence, harassment, and discrimination is real. So, again, I just wanted to raise awareness that this can happen to anybody. And we all just need to be [there] for each other and protect each other."
Meanwhile, Moldauer, who played collegiately at Oklahoma and was a member of the 2018 national team, posted on Instagram last month about an incident in which a woman allegedly cut him off on the lane.
Moldauer said the woman screamed at him to "go back to China" after he honked at her, and the two then pulled up next to each other at a red light, according to a recently published article in the USA Today.
Though he acknowledged that it's difficult to realize that he has to serve Americans who feel the same way as the woman on the lane, Moldauer isn't letting it affect him - and understands how important it is to speak out about the incident and those like it.
The Goal of the Future Members of Team USA
Nevertheless, Moldauer said that despite what transpired, his job is still to represent the country. The athlete also added that he just laughed when he heard those words because he is one of the athletes representing the United States at the end of the day.
He also added, "No matter if an individual feels like they need to say something, or harass me, I'm just gonna push that away because there are so many other great Americans in this country that I get to represent."
Kokumai, born in Hawaii but spent her childhood in Japan, said she was insulted and labeled ethnic slurs while exercising at a park last week. A guy has just begun to threaten her sexually in some way. She was taken aback by it.
She also shared that there was no point in worsening the situation, so she just laughed it off. She just sat there and let him say what he wanted to say, not realizing what had happened until later since ethnic slurs were used after the incident.