Sakura Kokumai

U.S. Olympic karate athlete Sakura Kokumai harassed at Grijalva Park in Orange, CA

A 28-year-old U.S. Olympic karate athlete had her workout interrupted by a man who started yelling at her for no reason. Japanese American Sakura Kokumai posted a video of the altercation on her Instagram which took place last week at Grijalva Park in Orange, California.

“He was basically just yelling stuff like, ‘Don’t talk behind my back. Why are you looking at my car?'” she told KTLA. “So things like that that made me notice it could be something a little bit, I don’t know, off. So I let it be.”

Although Kokumai could be seen on video laughing it off she was “obviously scared.”

The altercation ended after the suspect got back into his car but not before he yelled racial slurs at her, according to Kokumai.

“I was aware about the anti-Asian hate that was going on. You see it almost every day on the news,” she said. “But I didn’t think it would happen to me at a park I usually go to to train.”

Sakura Kokumai said she was saddened that there were people at the park but no one helped her until later on during the incident. But what scared her was the idea of her mother or grandmother in that situation so she decided to speak up.

“I do know the responsibility of having the platform and being an athlete representing the U.S., so I really thought it’s important to raise awareness,” she said. “This is happening. This is real.”

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