Cleveland infielder Yu Chang pushed back against racist comments he received after committing a pivotal error in his team’s 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Chang, who is Taiwanese, tried to start an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth inning in Chicago. Instead, his throw from first base glanced off baserunner Yasmani Grandal‘s helmet, enabling Nick Madrigal to chug home with the winning run for the White Sox.
Tuesday morning, Chang posted to his Instagram story and Twitter account a handful of racist messages sent to him and added his own rebuke:
“I accept all comments, everyone has their freedom of speech but THESE RACIST COMMENTS ARE NOT NECESSARY,” Chang wrote, adding the hashtag #StopAsianHate.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by nearly 150% in 2020, according to the Center For the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. Those numbers do not include the March 2021 shootings at spas in Georgia that killed eight, including six women of Asian descent. Advcoates have called for the Justice Department to classify the killings as hate crimes.
The killings prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts – who is of Japanese and Black descent – to send an internal email speaking out against bullying and acts of violence toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Basketball star Jeremy Lin shared that he was called “coronavirus” during a G League game in February and released a PSA in March after the Georgia shootings.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yu Chang: Cleveland MLB player pushes back against racist messages