A South Korean professional video game player described the “indescribable” racism he has suffered since he moved to Texas, in a clip that has gone viral on social networks, raising numerous condemnatory reactions.
Violence against Asians has escalated in the United States since last year, something activists link to the rhetoric of former President Donald Trump, especially his repeated labeling of the coronavirus as the “virus of China.”
Lee Eui-seok, who plays the Overwatch video game for the Dallas Fuel team under the name Fearless, said during a round of questions on the Twitch platform that this is the first time he has suffered from racism of this kind.
“Being Asian here is scary,” said the 22-year-old.
“People try to start fights with us … There are even people coughing on us. They deliberately cough on us. They (insult us) while laughing.”
“The racism here is not a joke,” he added.
A clip of the broadcast was posted on Twitter Tuesday, with English subtitles, by Jade “swingchip” Kim, a Korean player and manager of the Florida Mayhem team who said she was also targeted for racism.
Kim told The Washington Post that Lee’s comments were like “a whiplash.”
“With everything that is happening in America lately, I couldn’t let this go too, so I translated the clip and posted it,” he explained.
The captioned clip had logged more than 326,000 views as of Thursday.
Hate crimes against Asians practically tripled, from 49 to 122, last year in the 16 largest cities in the United States, while this type of crime fell 7% overall, according to a recent report by the Center for the Study. of Hate and Extremism.
According to Lee, the racist attacks he suffered in Dallas “occurred almost daily” and were “terrifying” and “serious.”
People would come up to him on the street and yell racist insults at him, he said, adding that three years ago, when he was based in Los Angeles, he could “(live) peacefully in the United States.”
“I don’t think we had any problems there.”
Lee’s team is owned by Envy Gaming, whose founder Mark Rufail condemned the attacks and “unwarranted hatred”, promising to ensure the safety of his players.