SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A San Jose teenager was punched in the head and allegedly called racial slurs during a tournament basketball game on Saturday in Oakland and it was all caught on video.
What makes the situation even worse, the attacked player’s parents said, is that the players behind the physical altercation were only reprimanded after frustrated parents demanded something be done.
The physical confrontation, which was caught on camera and obtained by KPIX 5, shows Lennie and Eduardo’s son, Evan (last names were not given for fear of retaliation) at a tournament game at the Soldiertown gym in Oakland.
In the video, Evan is seen trying to grab a loose ball before an opposing player reaches it. That player passes the ball to a teammate and then is seen pushing Evan. Evan gets up and is then pushed to the ground by a second opposing player standing nearby.
Words are exchanged before Evan walks away and returns to the player, who then punches Evan in the head.
“Not one single parent stood up to go protect my son, I ran across the gym to get him,” Lennie said.
She said that, well before the punch, the other team — the San Francisco Generals — repeatedly called Evan and his South Bay Snipers teammates a racial slur used against Asians.
“They did use the ‘C’ word,” Lennie said.
“Two-thirds of the team are Asian,” Eduardo said.
A witness named Olivia, who also didn’t want her last name released, said her son who also played at the tournament heard the alleged racial abuse on the court.
“Several of the boys said they were using a lot of profanity using the ‘B’ word using the ‘C’ word,” Olivia said.
The parents said no one jumped in to stop the altercation or reprimand the players. They also claim the director of the tournament, hosted by Grassroots 365, initially refused to watch video of the incident.
“How was a technical foul not called when he was obviously punching him in the face?” Olivia asked. “They said, ‘Oh, we saw what happened,’ and I was pressing them because I said, ‘If you saw what happened, you should not let that go!'”
Evan’s parents say the punch left him with a concussion and left them angry that no one condemned the physical and racial attacks.
“The worst part is no one apologized,” Eduardo said.
After several frustrated parents confronted the tournament director, they agreed the player who threw the punch would be banned for Sunday’s game but Olivia said the player who initially pushed Evan was not pulled from play.
“We pay a lot of money, a lot of families pay a lot of money for this [tournament basketball],” Lennie said.
“It just makes parents not want to pay all this money to put their kids in danger if they’re not going to be protected and be safe,” said Olivia. “That’s sad, because they love basketball.”
Evan’s parents say they plan to file a report with Oakland police.
A representative with the Amateur Athletic Union or AAU told KPIX 5 Monday the San Francisco Generals are not affiliated with the organization. The representative also said AAU did not host Saturday’s tournament, and therefore has no jurisdiction over disciplining the players involved. The confirmation came after the San Francisco Generals posted on their now-deleted Instagram page that they were part of the AAU.
Grassroots 365 posted a statement on its Instagram account and on the organization’s website, saying, “We are sickened by the senseless and deplorable actions of individual players on the court this past weekend in Oakland. We have taken swift action to address the individuals involved and will continue to diligently and comprehensively investigate the incident that took place.”