Sakura Kokumai, a gold medal winner at the 2019 Pan American Games, was accosted by an unidentified man who yelled racial slurs and threatened to attack her. The incident was caught on video.
Local news station KTLA 5 reports that a 28-year-old karate athlete was training for the upcoming Olympics when a white man launched a racial attack against her.
“Yeah you’re scared!” he told her, seemingly not understanding that she is a highly accomplished martial artist. “I’ll f*ck you up!”
Kokumai told the station that the man eventually walked away while yelling racial slurs at her.
“I was aware about the anti-Asian hate that was going on. You see it almost every day on the news. But I didn’t think it would happen to me at a park I usually go to train,” she said before explaining that she wanted to talk about the incident publicly because she’s worried too many people do not see the hatred that many Asian-Americans are experiencing right now.
“I do know the responsibility of having the platform and being an athlete representing the U.S. so I really thought it’s important to raise awareness,” she said. “This is happening. This is real.”
Watch KTLA 5’s report below.