Asian American teen racially abused and punched in head by opponents during California basketball tournament
Parents of the boy alleged 'two-thirds' of his team were Asians and none of the other adults at the game tried to stop the altercation or reprimand the other team's members
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: A mid-game argument saw a San Jose teenager being punched in the head and allegedly being racially abused during a basketball tournament in Oakland on Saturday. Caught on a video, the incident caused massive outrage after the boy's parents claimed the opposing team's players were reprimanded only after agitated parents demanded action.
According to local outlet KPIX 5, Lennie and Eduardo's son Evan (the family's last name has not been released fearing retaliation) was participating in a tournament game at the Soldiertown gym in Oakland. The video obtained by the outlet shows Evan trying to grab a loose ball before an opposing player reaches it. The player can then be seen passing the ball to another teammate before pushing Evan down. Evan gets up and is once again pushed to the ground by another opposing player nearby. Soon words are exchanged between the engaging parties and Evan can be seen walking away, but he returns to the opposing player who then hits Evan in the head.
Lennie told the outlet, “Not one single parent stood up to go protect my son, I ran across the gym to get him." Lennie also alleged that even before the punch, the opposing San Francisco Generals repeatedly abused Evan and his teammates in the South Bay Snipers teammates with a racial slur targeted at Asians.
"They did use the ‘C’ word,” Lennie said. Eduardo noted, "Two-thirds of the team are Asian."
Another witness called Olivia, who also requested her last name be kept private, said her son, also a player on Evan's team, was also targeted with racial abuse on the court.
“Several of the boys said they were using a lot of profanity using the ‘B’ word using the ‘C’ word,” Olivia said. The parents also alleged nobody tried to stop the altercation or even reprimand the players. The director of the tournament hosted by Grassroots 365 also allegedly refused to watch the video of the incident, the parents said. “How was a technical foul not called when he was obviously punching him in the face?” Olivia asked. “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 worst part is no one apologized,” Eduardo said after his son was left with a concussion from the punch. It was only after several frustrated parents complained to the director that itv was agreed that the player who threw the punch would be banned from upcoming Sunday's game.
The player who had initially pushed Evan was however not banned from the game. “We pay a lot of money, a lot of families pay a lot of money for this AAU,” Lennie said. “It just makes parents not want to pay all this money to put their kids in danger if they’re not going to be protected and be safe,” said Olivia. “That’s sad, because they love basketball.” Evan's parents plan on filing a report with the Oakland police.
Grassroots 365 addressed the incident over a statement on its Instagram account and on the organization’s website, saying, “We are sickened by the senseless and deplorable actions of individual players on the court this past weekend in Oakland. We have taken swift action to address the individuals involved and will continue to diligently and comprehensively investigate the incident that took place.”
After the San Francisco Generals had initially claimed they were under the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the organization clarified in a statement on Instagram, "During a recent travel basketball game on May 1st at Soldiertown gym in Oakland, California, an incident occurred in which two players from the opposing team pushed, punched, and uttered a racial slur towards an opposing player. This basketball event has been incorrectly reported as AAU licensed but was not hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) organization. The AAU organization has no jurisdiction over this incident."