Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has responded to the rise in hate and violence against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States.
Pacquiao posted an image on Instagram with the message: "Stop attacking Asians who can't defend themselves! Fight Me Instead."
"We have one color in our Blood," he wrote in the caption. "Stop discriminating. LOVE AND PEACE TO EVERYONE!! #StopAsianHate"
Last month, a study released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 149 percent in the 16 largest cities in the United States in 2020.
That translates to an increase from 49 reported hate crimes against Asians in 2019 to 122 last year.
Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., received 3,795 reports of hate incidents between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
Pacquiao is one of many athletes who have condemned the rise in anti-Asian violence.
Former NBA star Jeremy Lin spoke out against anti-Asian racism in a Feb. 25 post on Instagram and wrote that he was called "coronavirus" during a G League game.
LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Steve Kerr and several NBA stars spoke out on social media in the wake of last month's shootings that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three spas in the Atlanta area.