Clippers' Paul George Says Hate Crime Against Asian Americans 'Has to Stop'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) dribbles in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George voiced the need for an end to hate crimes and urged all races to treat each other with equality and respect.

George was asked about the treatment of Asian Americans on Wednesday after eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent, in three shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors Tuesday:

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM

Paul George stood up for the Asian American community and said, "We are all here to share this world together... it's no point that any race should look at another race any less equal... This has to stop. We have to do better as brothers and sisters living in this world." https://t.co/TzHvtkBGfv

Christian Boone and Joshua Sharpe of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long was charged with multiple counts of murder but denied the shootings had any connection to the race or ethnicity of the victims. He has confessed to the murders.

Long attributed the shootings to a "sexual addiction at odds with his religious beliefs," but Georgia State sociology professor Rosalind S. Chou told the AJC that Long's comments to investigators don't mean the killings weren't a hate crime.

"The entire Asian massage parlor industry is sexualized in a particularly racialized way," Chou said.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp added it's possible Long may face hate-crime charges, but he wanted the investigation to conclude so authorities could make that decision.

"Early indications look like that could be the case," Kemp told the AJC. "I'm willing to ... let the GBI, FBI and others get into the facts before we start weighing in."

NBC News' Kimmy Yam reported research from the Stop AAPI Hate group showed there were 3,800 reports of anti-Asian racist incidents over the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and 68 percent of those reports came from Asian women.

George, who's also been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter cause, was in Atlanta earlier this month for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.