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Dave Roberts Condemns Racism Against Asian Americans After Jeremy Lin's Comments

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts yells in the dugout before the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts condemned racism and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in a recent email sent to the entire Dodgers organization (via Dennis Lin and Pedro Moura of The Athletic):

"I have just come to a peace about speaking out about things that I believe are right. And this particular situation towards Asians, Asian Americans, is something that obviously affects me personally, having a mother from Okinawa, Japan. Seeing what's going on in our country, I just felt that I wanted to internally put something together for our organization, showing my support toward Asian Americans in our organization and acknowledge what's going in our country and around the world that I just don't believe is right."

Roberts, whose mother is Japanese and father is Black, said he was alerted to the importance of the moment after Jeremy Lin spoke out against racism directed toward Asian Americans amid a rise in racism and violence against the Asian American community. Lin also revealed he was called "coronavirus" on the court during a G League game. 

Anti-Asian violence has spiked in the United States since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with about 3,000 incidents across all 50 states, per CNN.com.

Lin called on others to support Asian Americans, speak up and stand against violence:

Jeremy Lin @JLin7

❤️ https://t.co/BTailOSS28

In his letter to the organization, Roberts criticized past and current racism against Asian Americans.

"Unfortunately, anti-Asian sentiment is a part of American history (see 1880s, 1940s, or the 1980s as examples) and it has resurfaced again during the pandemic as some seem to blame the world's problems on one ethnic group," the email read. "To blame Asian Americans at all for the global pandemic is just plain wrong."

Roberts said numerous staffers of all backgrounds have thanked him for the message, and traveling secretary Scott Akasaki also heard positive feedback.

"I've received a couple of text messages from Asian American staff members, and they said that Dave's letter meant so much to them, because for one of the first times they felt seen and they felt heard," Akasaki said.

Roberts also notably provided support for Black players in August when the team chose not to play following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, standing alongside Dodgers stars Mookie Betts and Kenley Jansen at a press conference.