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Youth Team Suspended Over Anti-Asian Slurs

Andy Berg

A California youth basketball team has been suspended from play, and one of its players permanently banned, after the player punched an opponent and used and anti-Asian slur during a tournament last weekend.  

The move by Grassroots 365 Basketball to suspend the San Francisco Generals, comes after a member of the Generals punched Evan, a 14-year-old member of the majority Asian-American South Bay Snipers during a travel basketball game at Soldiertown gym in Oakland. Several members of the Generals used anti-Asian slurs during the altercation.

The Generals player suffered a concussion as a result of the punch. Parents and witnesses at the event told San Francisco’s KPIX that officials and tournament organizers did nothing at the time and refused watch video of the incident which later surfaced online.

“Not one single parent stood up to go protect my son," Lennie, Evan’s mother, told KPIX. "I ran across the gym to get him. ... They did use the C-word."

The parents who spoke with KPIX declined to offer last names for fear of retaliation.

In a statement, San Francisco Generals Coach Donte Brown apologized for “the unfortunate incident to Evan and his family” and stated that his team does “not condone violence or hate.” He told KPIX that the player who threw the punch was banned from the team. 

Grassroots 365 issued its own statement. “We strongly condemn anti-Asian racism and any and all forms of discrimination,” the statement read. Grassroots 365 said the Generals would be suspended from the organization’s events and that the player who threw the punch was banned. That player "adamantly stated that racial slurs were not used," according to the statement. 

The organization also said in the statement that tournament staff members immediately intervened and “properly de-escalated the situation.”

The Amateur Athletic Union issued a statement saying the event was incorrectly reported as a sanctioned event, saying the Union has no affiliation with the San Francisco Generals.

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