After the severe backlash from fans, minor league baseball team the San Jose Giants offered an apology for the “tone deaf” Japanese Heritage Night social media post it created in August.
The baseball team posted the apology letter on its Twitter account on September 6. The statement reads:
The San Jose Giants company goal has always been to partner with our local communities to make sure our heritage nights are as authentic as possible. This year for Japanese Heritage Night, we were proud to partner with Kakehashi Chorus group, the Stanford Taiko Drummers, and Shoichi Nagayoshi to assist with our evening. Events included a traditional Yukata dress up station, a station to learn to write in calligraphy and a jet balloon release ceremony during the seventh inning. We are proud to partner with these groups from Historic San Jose Japantown, and to try to create an authentic experience where our fans come to an inclusive environment at Municipal Stadium to celebrate Japanese Heritage. Unfortunately, our message on social media was tone deaf and did not capture this environment, and we deeply apologize to those who we have offended. The San Jose Giants and their fans have enjoyed Japanese Heritage night these past five years and apologize that our content released on social media did not represent the intention and spirit of the event.”
The team came under fire when its Twitter account posted a brief video showing three of its members wearing a traditional Yukata dress. While it may sound harmless, their actions in the video have caused severe negative feedback from the Asian community.
According to CBS San Francisco, the player on the right in the video was fanning himself, the player on the left was mimicking karate kicks, and the middle player bowed with palms close together.
Fans were not exactly happy by San Jose Giants’ tweet that day. Some called out the team on its social media account saying, “Casual Asian racism is still racism. The @sjgiants need to correct this immediately.”
The original Twitter post as well as the GIF taken from the video have since been removed.