Dave Roberts, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has addressed the rising anti-Asian violence in an internal email sent to the organization.
In the email obtained by The Athletic, Roberts, a son of a Black man and a Japanese woman, described the rising attacks against elderly Asians in New York and California as “cowardice,” according to ESPN.
“Over the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans and the Pacific Islander community,” Roberts said. “In recent months, those attacks have intensified and have targeted the elderly in California and New York — such bullying is cowardice.”
“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. To blame Asian Americans at all for the global pandemic is just wrong,” Roberts continued. “I am thankful that Major League Baseball has issued a statement condemning the recent crimes.”
— MLB (@MLB) February 25, 2021
Roberts addressed the urgent issue after professional basketball player Jeremy Lin posted about it in February. The manager then drafted a letter along with Scott Akasaki, the traveling secretary for the Dodgers, and who is also Japanese American.
“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,” he wrote, USA Today reported.
During the spring training for the team on Monday, the manager explained the current issue is close to home to him, and he wanted to address it for the Asian Americans in the team.
“I just think that there’s a lot of things going on in and outside of our country towards Asians, and racist, bullying acts,” he said. “It hit obviously close to home for me, and I just felt that I wanted to address it internally and show my support for the Asian Americans in our organization first off. We’re all aware of it. It’s just something that was in my heart that I felt needed to be shared.”
Roberts noted many people “felt heard and supported” with his email.
Roberts is the second Asian American in history to become a manager of a professional baseball team in the MLB, with the first being Don Wakamatsu of the Seattle Mariners. Kim Ng was named the first woman and Asian American to become a general manager for an MLB team — Miami Marlins — in November.
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