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Liberty’s Han Xu calls out anti-Asian attacks, describing them as ‘frightening and upsetting’

Han Xu, the Liberty and Chinese national team center, called out the wave of anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American violence in New York recently. Han, the only Chinese player in the WNBA, lamented the violence in recent comments to Xinhua, the state-owned Chinese news agency.

The comments were also published in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, whose president is Joe Tsai, co-owner of the Liberty and Nets.

“It is frightening and upsetting to see the rising hate crimes and attacks against the Asian American community and in particular in New York, a community I love,” Han told Xinhua.

“We all need to show solidarity for those being targeted and take action to stop this horrific violence. Please be kind to one another,” Han added.

In New York, Asian-Americans have been attacked on the street in several recent incidents involving random slashings and other attacks.

Last month, the Liberty called for an end of the violence which is nationwide but has been seen most prominently in New York and San Francisco. The commentary was posted on the Liberty website and social media...

Specifically, the statement said, “We will not ignore this issue and will continue to use our platform in the fight for justice and equality for all people” and even provided law enforcement contact information to report an incident.

Liberty and Nets owners Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai have been out front on this issue since last year, with Tsai criticizing “the guy in the White House” and ex-President Donald Trump and his then lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for inflaming resentment and violence against Asians and Asian-Americans. Among other things, Trump called COVID-19 “Kung flu” and the “Chinese virus.”

President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) among others, have called for an end to the violence

The 6’9” Han has often been compared to to Yao Ming for her height. She’s the tallest player in the WNBA. She completed her rookie season in 2019 but like several of her international teammates, opted out of the 2020 “wubble” over fears of contracting COVID-19 and played for a Chinese team in Xingjiang. In January the Liberty extended her contract through 2022. At the time, Han said she couldn’t yet say if she’ll play this season in Brooklyn, noting continuing concerns about COVID and potential conflicts with the Tokyo Olympics.