esperanza high schoolANAHEIM — At a high school basketball game on Jan. 30, fans allegedly yelled racial slurs at Japanese American player Reed Nakakihara.

A senior point guard for the visiting Foothill High School squad, Nakakihara was subjected to taunts including “Jackie Chan” and “shrimp fried rice” from individuals in the Esperanza High School crowd.

Esperanza High School officials are investigating the incident and Principal Kevin Fox issued the following statement: “When I became aware of the issue I contacted the Foothill Principal, Dr. (Nick) Stephany, to express my deepest apologies for the incident. These actions are not reflective of the values or standards of Esperanza High School.”

In a letter to Fox, JACL Midwest Regional Director Bill Yoshino condemned the taunting as both demeaning and contributing to an unsafe environment.

Yoshino appreciated Fox’s actions in apologizing to the Foothill principal and recommended that it be reiterated to the entire student body that racist behavior would not be tolerated.


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