Portland, Oregon 2021-04-09 02:00:50 –
(((KTLA) – Last Thursday, 28-year-old US Olympic karate athlete Sakura Kokumai was in Grigalva Park, Orange, California, where strangers began yelling at her out of nowhere.
Kokumai said it started as a normal day in the park. There she exercises frequently as she prepares for the next Olympics. Then the man started yelling at her random things.
“He basically said,’Don’t talk behind me. Why are you looking at my car?” She told KTLA. “So I realized that it might be something a bit like that, I don’t know, so I’ll let it do.”
She recorded the incident on her phone.
“It was obviously scary,” Kokumai said. “You can see in the video that I was laughing a bit, but at that moment you really don’t know what to do.”
At first she didn’t understand why he was aiming for her, but as he got into the car and departed, he heard a racial slur.
“I knew about the anti-Asian hatred that was happening. I watch it almost every day in the news,” she said. “But I didn’t think that would happen in the park where I usually go to the train.”
Japanese-American Kokumai says there were people around him, but most people ignored it.
“A woman came to the end, asking if I was okay,” Kokumai said. “But until then, there were people walking and screaming, but they were protecting themselves all the time,” she said. “What if this was my grandma or mom? It scares me.”
That is one of the main reasons she decided to share the case publicly.
“I have a platform and know my responsibility to be one of the best athletes in the United States, so I really thought it was important to raise awareness,” she said. “This is an incident. This is a reality.”
Kokumai says he is still working on what happened and has not reported it to the police.
‘This is happening, this is real’: US Olympic athlete targeted in racist rant while training at park Source link ‘This is happening, this is real’: US Olympic athlete targeted in racist rant while training at park