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Erik Spoelstra on rise in violence against Asian Americans: ‘It is despicable’

Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 04: Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts during the third quarter of an NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on March 04, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is Asian American, his mother is from the Philippines.

He has seen the sharp increase nationwide in anti-Asian attacks during the past year. Friday night, before the Heat took on the Pacers, Spoelstra spoke out about it.

“Look, I am Asian American. I’m proud to be Asian American,” Spoelstra said, via the Associated Press. “And seeing what’s happening, with another just outright form of racism and hatred, it really is sickening. It breaks my heart. It is despicable.”

Spoelstra isn’t the only Asian American tied to the NBA who spoke out on the issue.

Rich Cho, the former Portland and Charlotte GM who now is a vice president with the Grizzlies, spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on the issue.

“The past year has been such a sobering time in the area of racial injustice, particularly as these issues affect the Black community and now as incidents rise against Asian Americans,” Cho... told Yahoo Sports. “Hate crimes and hate speech are things so cruel and reprehensible, yet they occur almost daily. Many of these attacks never even make the news, but they still happen.

“We cannot let this behavior ever become normalized.”

Jeremy Lin has been out in front of this issue since he was in the G-League bubble, before the shootings in Atlanta. He has used the power of his social media following to bring the issues forward.

The Atlanta Hawks had a moment of silence for the shooting victims at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area. The team also released a statement condemning the violence.