Grassroots 365 Condemns Violence, Alleged Anti-Asian Slurs at Oakland Basketball GameMay 5, 2021
The organizers of an AAU basketball tournament in Oakland, California, banned a team and condemned the "senseless and deplorable" actions that took place on Saturday when two players attacked an opponent while allegedly using anti-Asian slurs.
According to the parents of the victim, youth basketball organizers at Grassroots 365 initially declined to watch video which shows one player push an opponent and another punch him in the head during a game. No fouls were called during play and no officials stepped in to address the issue.
In a statement released by Grassroots 365 on Monday, the organizers condemned anti-Asian racism and said they were "sickened" by the players' actions and have taken "swift" action to address and investigate the matter.
A Tuesday follow-up statement on the status of the investigation said Grassroots 365 could not confirm reports of anti-Asian slurs directed at the victim and his teammates but said it had banned the team and player who punched the victim from future events:
AAU released its own statement Monday explaining it did not host the event and has no jurisdiction over the attack.
Other parents at the game told CBS SF Bay Area's Maria Medina that multiple slurs were directed towards the team, which is made up primarily of Asian American athletes.
“Several of the boys said they were using a lot of profanity using the ‘B’ word using the ‘C’ word,” One witness identified as Olivia said. “How was a technical foul not called when he was obviously punching him in the face? They said, ‘Oh, we saw what happened,’ and I was pressing them because I said, ‘If you saw what happened, you should not let that go.'”
The parents of the victim—who declined to give their full names for fear of retaliation—told Medina they plan to file a report with Oakland police.