Yu Chang, a Taiwanese infielder for the Cleveland Indians, said Tuesday that he was the target of online racial abuse after committing an error in Cleveland’s loss Monday night.

Key Facts

In a Tuesday-morning tweet, Chang posted a screenshot of vile remarks, laced with anti-Asian epithets, that he received on social media. 

“Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative,” Chang wrote, “but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES. Thank you all and love you all. #StopAsianHate.”

Chang attempted to start an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth Monday vs. the White Sox, but his throw caromed off baserunner Yasmani Grandal’s helmet, allowing Nick Madrigal to score the game-winning for Chicago. 

Key Background:

Other Asian athletes have been subjected to abuse amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. In February, Jeremy Lin, one of the most accomplished Asian-American players in NBA history, revealed that an opponent called him “coronavirus” during a game. In an interview earlier this month, reigning Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, a first-generation Korean American, stated she experiences hate “on a daily basis” and that although she was born and raised in the United States, she does not feel “accepted” in her home country. “I was nervous to share my experiences with racism, but we need to hear more of these conversations,” Kim said.

Big Number:

149%. That’s the year-over-year percentage increase in anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in major U.S. cities in 2020 (while hate crimes overall fell by 7%), according to the Center For the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

Crucial Quote: 

“I never go anywhere by myself unless it’s for a quick appointment or I know the place is crowded,” Kim said. “I have Tasers, pepper spray, a knife. If I go outside to walk my dog or go to the grocery store, my fanny pack has all three of those in it and my hand never leaves my side.”


Last month, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to combat mounting hate and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in part by assigning a Justice Department official to facilitate reviews of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes,  but it faces resistance from some GOP lawmakers. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) believes the Senate should hold off on considering the act until Attorney General Merrick Garland concludes his review of hate crime prosecutions, according to CNN. Last March, Grassley faced a backlash after he tweeted, “I don’t understand why China gets upset bc we refer to the virus that originated there the “Chinese virus.” Spain never got upset when we referred to the Spanish flu in 1918 and 1919.”

Further Reading:

Jeremy Lin Won’t Publically Name Player He Says Called Him ‘Coronavirus’ (Forbes) 

Senate Democrats push bill to combat surge of Asian American hate crimes amid GOP resistance (CNN)