Professional sports players like Lee occasionally host streams on Twitch, where Lee shared with his audience his experience in the United States during the pandemic. During the stream, Lee talked about what it’s like to live in Texas during this time. The state recently eased Covid restrictions, opening up the city while simultaneously rolling back mask mandates.
I do not know if I “go out of line” to translate something about what another team player is experiencing
but here is the complete translation of the fearless clip.
Please see some of what OWL players and staff face as Asians in America. pic.twitter.com/LZWvnRkuAx
– swingchip (@ swingchip930) April 6, 2021
This happened when Lee was talking about the encounters with racism while he was in Texas. “Being Asian here is scary,” says Lee, who described incidents where people would come to him, remove his mask and cough at him.
Lee says he sometimes wears the team jersey when he goes out as a form of deterrent harassment. “If I wear the jersey, I think they realize that we are part of a kind of team, so they do not bother us so much, but if I wear my everyday clothes, they run up to us, harass us run away.”
There has been an increase in awareness of anti-Asian racism, especially in the past year where rhetoric surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, such as when former President Donald Trump referred to it as “the Chinese virus.”
“They call us Chinese and harass us. The racism here is unspeakable, “Lee said at one point during his stream.
Incidents of anti-Asian racism have escalated in the United States, ranging from attacks on the elderly to a shooting in Georgia that killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
I’m very sorry about the situations that some of our @DallasFuel players have been put in while walking the streets here in Dallas, TX. This is a great city in a proud state. This is not something we should be proud of at all, and everyone should make an effort to change it. pic.twitter.com/Sq7MGlco50
– Mike Rufail (@ hastr0) April 6, 2021
Team Envy boss Mike Rufail took to his personal Twitter account to deny the harassment his players encountered while in Dallas. “This is a great city in a proud state. This is not something we should be proud of at all, and everyone should start to change it, “writes Rufail.
Rufail says that measures are being taken to ensure the players’ safety when they go out, but no specific details were given during Rufail’s video.
In a statement to IGN, an Activision Blizzard spokesman also condemned the harassment. “At Activision Blizzard, we strongly condemn racism. We stand with the Asian community, our employees and our players and work across our organization, including esports, to do our part to fight hatred and ignorance. ”
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s news editor.
Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment