For the second time in less than a year, BSE Global, parent company to the Nets, Liberty and Barclays Center, has called for an end to racially targeted violence, this time noting the recent surge in attacks on Asians and Asian-Americans, including Tuesday night’s massacre in Georgia.
The statement, issued on Friday morning, stated
“The surge in racially motivated violence over the past year, especially those most recently targeted at the Asian community is unconscionable and must be condemned. Regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, age or sexual orientation, hate has no place in our society.”
The statement also noted that the Nets will join with the Atlanta Hawks to make donations to Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, a non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the community. It added contact information for city and state hate crime offices.
Here’s the full statement.
Last May, BSE Global issued a similar statement following two days of protest on the Barclays Center entrance plaza against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Tayler and others by police. It too was entitled, “Enough is Enough.”
The statement comes less than 24 hours after Nets and Liberty owner Joe Tsai offered to meet with the Cherokee County, Georgia, police spokesman who came under fire for statements he made about the suspect in the Atlanta-area spa shootings that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, as well as a anti-Asian comment he made on Facebook last year.
Tsai, who has been sounding the alarm on anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American violence for nearly a year, tweeted the message Thursday afternoon, two days after the killings at three spas in the Atlanta area.
Open message to Jay Baker: as your department investigates the hate-murders in Atlanta, I’d like to discuss your endorsement of racist speech. Attributing COVID-19 to national origin and use of “CHY-NA” is an affront to all Chinese-Americans. Let’s talk. Ignorance is no excuse. https://t.co/Z3XrDouEMu— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) March 18, 2021
At a news conference Wednesday, Capt. Jay Baker, a spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said that Robert Aaron Long, who has been charged with eight counts of murder, “was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope” and that Tuesday “was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”
After the comments were criticized widely as being inappropriate and insensitive, news organizations unearthed screenshots of 2020 Facebook posts by Baker that promoted anti-Asian T-shirts.
“Place your order while they last,” Baker wrote above the photo of two T-shirts that said, “Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA.”
Since the news, there have been calls for Baker to resign or be fired.
Tsai, who owns the Nets, Liberty and San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League, has spoken about the growing Anti-Asian sentiment and resulting violence since the middle of last year, blaming former President Trump’s commentary for much of the rise.
Tsai had strong words for then-President Trump’s treatment of Asian-Americans last September, including his references to the “China virus” and “kung flu.” Tsai did not call out Trump by name, instead pointedly calling him, “the guy in the White House.” Tsai is a native of Taiwan with Canadian citizenship. His wife, Clara, a native of Kansas, and their children are U.S. citizens.
“I say, history does repeat itself because of what I’ve seen in the recent environment with sentiment in society against, for example, Asian-Americans because of COVID and because you know the guy in the White House is communicating a message that affects all Asian-Americans,” said Tsai in a discussion with Yale students.
“You know during World War II, when America went to war with Japan, Japanese-Americans were rounded up and put into these internment camps because they were not trusted as Americans. It only happened 60, 70 years ago, it could repeat itself. So for me, going back in history is very important.”
On Wednesday, Tsai also used Twitter to thank LeBron James for his condolences following the attacks.
Thank you for speaking up for the Asian community https://t.co/utAeV8QQcF— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) March 17, 2021