Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson took a stand against racism in his team's home state after seeing the hateful anti-Asian messages and images spray-painted on the World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck, which serves Asian fusion and Filipino food in northern Utah.
He joined with vehicle wrap company Identity Graphx and local politicians to restore the truck, which will be reintroduced Saturday at the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Salt Lake City.
Clarkson spoke with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN about his thoughts when he saw the racist messages:
"If you want me to be real honest, my first reaction was, 'This is bulls--t!' I was just like, 'We can't be f--king doing this.' Those were the exact words that came out of my mouth to my boys, my family and everybody that was around me. So they were like, let's do something [about it].
"There's just no room for that, especially right now. It's been tough, tough years on this Earth, this country, this world. There's a lot of stuff going on. I feel like us together, and everybody finding a peace, will make things a lot more comforting in this world. We ain't got no room for the hate no more. That's got to go out of the window real quick."
Youngmisuk reported Clarkson also paid for interior cleaning and detailing and offered financial support to the owners Ben and Erin Pierce.
The truck's owners thanked Clarkson and others involved in a Facebook post:
"It has been an emotional few days. The love and support that we got from all of you has been deeply heartfelt. My family can't thank you guys enough. Special thanks to Utah Jazz's Jordan Clarkson and Dan from Identity graphics for the new look. We want to thank everyone individually in a couple weeks when we have our LOVE celebration in the park and feed the community. Thanks to Mayor Joy Petro, Councilman Clint Morris, Councilman Zach Bloxham, Dustin, everyone in the neighborhood and all of you angels. Love prevails. We are going to have our grand reopening this Saturday at the Philippine independence day celebration in slc."
The spray-paint was just another example of racism that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have recently faced in the United States.
"From March 2020 to March 2021, there were more than 6,600 anti-Asian hate incidents documented by Stop AAPI Hate," Youngmisuk wrote. "Asian-targeted hate crimes in the biggest U.S. cities spiked 145% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to The Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino."
Clarkson wants to use his platform to help change that.
"It is a big thing that we are trying to really change and really be a part of, especially here in Utah," Clarkson said. "It is kind of a worldwide thing that is going on that you see is a movement with everything. Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, all of these things are being put into really the eye of everybody now because everybody has social media, everybody has phones. I feel like a lot of this has been going on for a long time."
The guard invited the truck's owners and employees to attend Game 2 of Utah's second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.