US Olympic karate athlete target of an anti-Asian rant in California park

US Olympic karate athlete target of an anti-Asian rant in California park
© screenshot @sakurakokumaikarate

Sakura Kokumai, who is set to compete in karate for the U.S. at the Summer Olympics, shared on social media a recent incident in which she was the target of an anti-Asian rant at a park in California.

Kokumai last week posted series of videos to Instagram which showed a man verbally assaulting her while she was talking on the phone at an outdoor basketball court.

“You’re a loser. Go home, you stupid bitch,” the man can be heard saying in one video. “I’ll f--- you up.”


Kokumai, 28, who is set to compete at the Olympics in Tokyo, said the incident is not something she would typically share on her Instagram feed but felt that "these issues needs to be addressed so we can protect each other."

"Yes what happened was horrible, but I don’t know which was worse, a stranger yelling and threatening to hurt me for no reason or people around me who witnessed everything and not doing a thing," she wrote in a caption.

Kokumai described dealing with the irate man while onlookers in the park proceeded to walk by or even smile. She said it wasn't until toward the end of the encounter that a woman came over to see if she was OK.

"This could have happened to anyone, if it wasn’t me, someone could’ve gotten hurt," she wrote. "We need to take care of each other. Why is it so hard to treat people with respect... yes, everyone is fighting inner battles but have RESPECT. REACH OUT. BE KIND. ITS NOT THAT HARD."

The U.S. has seen a surge in anti-Asian attacks during the coronavirus pandemic. Kokumai spoke out against the rise in violence during a virtual U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee media summit on Wednesday.

“People are getting hit, people are getting slashed, people are getting killed,” Kokumai said, according to The Washington Post. “We are, in a way, being targeted, and the violence, harassment and discrimination is real."