Youth basketball team suspended, player banned after punch, alleged anti-Asian slurs during game

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A youth basketball team has been suspended and a player permanently banned after a punch followed the alleged use of anti-Asian slurs during a tournament in California last weekend.

Members of the San Francisco Generals allegedly used slurs against the majority Asian-American members of the South Bay Snipers during a game, parents told San Francisco's KPIX. Video obtained by the news outlet shows a member of the Generals punching a Snipers player in the face after an altercation on the floor. 

How the attack happened

The video shows a 14-year-old Snipers player named Evan and a Generals player tussling on the floor for a loose ball. The players then shove each other on the floor before Evan stands up. As he stands up and walks toward the Generals player still on the floor, another Generals player shoves Evan back to the ground. 

Evan stands back up and starts to walk away. When he turns around to face the Generals player who shoved him, the two appear to exchange words before the Generals player punches him in the face. The video provided does not show what happens next.

Basketball on court floor
(Associated Press)

Parents: Slurs were used, tournament officials didn't intervene

Parents of Snipers players told KPIX that officials didn't intervene or whistle a technical foul and allowed everyone to keep playing. Evan's mother Lennie told KPIX that Generals players directed an anti-Asian slur toward her son.

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

Another parent also said that Snipers players repeatedly used slurs.

“Two-thirds of the team are Asian so they were being called the ‘c****’ name,” a parent named Eduardo said. “The most infuriating thing is no one apologized.”

The parents who spoke to KPIX declined to provide their last names. One told the outlet that the director of the tournament hosted by a group called Grassroots 365 initially refused to review video of the incident and only did so under pressure from parents. Grassroots 365 initially suspended the player who threw the punch from the next game after watching the video, according to a parent. 

Generals coach apologizes: We don't 'condone violence or hate'

San Francisco Generals Coach Donte Brown said in a statement that they “apologize for the unfortunate incident to Evan and his family” and “do not condone violence or hate.” He told KPIX that the player who threw the punch was banned from the team. 

That player's parents have not publicly spoken on the incident. 

Grassroots 365 wrote in a statement that "we strongly condemn anti-Asian racism and any and all forms of discrimination" and that an investigation was underway following the KPIX report.

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Player banned, denies using slur

On Monday, Grassroots 365 issued an update announcing that the Generals were 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 states that tournament staff members immediately intervened and "properly de-escalated the situation." It also announced a zero-tolerance policy on “racial comments” and that it is “fully committed to being a strong advocate for equality, justice and racial harmony.”

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Evan's parents told KPIX that their son suffered a concussion and that they plan to file a report with Oakland police.

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