49ers Owner Apologizes in Chinatown

June 15, 2005

It's great that York was contrite and said sorry in every way possible. I hope he follows through with getting his football players more involved with the Asian American and other communities.

But in the "boys will be boys" culture of pro sports, there aren't many Asians or Asian Americans. There will be other incidents. Maybe some day when there are more Ichiros, Tigers (yes, we claim him), Yao Mings, Dat Nguyens (Dallas Cowboys) and Bruce Chens (Baltimore Orioles) in sports, Danny Graves (hapa Vietnamese now with the New York Mets) won't have fans yelling "Go back to Vietnam" at him when he doesn't do well. Graves, understandably, flipped the fan off, which led to his release from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds were pretty harsh in releasing Graves, viewing it only as him acting in a profane manner toward a fan. Granted, taking crap from fans comes with the job of being a pro athlete, and Graves says he shouldn't have reacted the way he did, but it's only human. Don't know if the fan was thrown out or anything, but probably not.

The 49ers could have also just said, sorry, we got rid of the guy who did this and moved on. But it appears, for now at least, that York is serious. Maybe part of it is because this incident blew up so publicly, but let's hope not. Let's hope he follows through.


Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.