As a kid, NBA guard Jordan Clarkson would watch his father in the front yard separate trucks to make a living.
So when Clarkson, the 2020-2021 Sixth Man of the Year award winner, saw images circulating on social media last week of a Salt Lake City Yum Yum Food Truck filled with hate speech and images of Asia, she struck a chord.
Clarkson, a proud Filipino American, was just one of thousands of social media users who saw racist slurs and images drawn across the iconic Filipino food truck last week. Amid a pandemic that has seen a sharp jump in hate crimes against Asian Americans, Clarkson knew he couldn’t sit on the sidelines in this crime.
“There’s no room for that, especially right now,” Clarkson said. “It’s been tough, hard years for this land, this country, this world. There’s a lot of things going on. I feel like we’re together, everyone finds peace, it’s going to make things more comfortable in this world. We no longer have a place to hate. out the window very quickly.”
With the help of vehicle wrapping company Identity Graphx, the 29-year-old paid for the interior cleaning, detailing and designing an all-new exterior for the truck that will be revealed tomorrow at the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Salt Lake City.
It hurts so bad to see that Salt Lake Tweet embed The food truck was recently vandalized – I know the pain of hateful language and racism. with help from Tweet embed We will be able to get the truck back and hopefully raise the spirits of Ben and his family!! #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/HLfzX7AaEc
– Jordan Clarksons June 9, 2021
The organization stepped in to aid Clarkson’s efforts, local businesses and politicians by inviting Ben Pearce, co-owner of the Yum Yum Food Truck, and his family to Game 2 of Jazz’s Western Conference Series semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers.
During the third-quarter timeout, the Jazz presented Pierce and his family with a signed Jordan Clarkson jersey on the Jumptron. The all-sold Vivint Arena provided deafening applause in support of the family.
distance Tweet embed Give a helping hand to the Filipino owners of a vandalized Yum Yum Food truck, and Tweet embed And JC welcomed the family to Game 2. 🇵🇭 #RepublikaNgNBA #jordan 6 larksson pic.twitter.com/4DHIwxGw9z
– NBA Philippines (NBA_Philippines) June 11, 2021
Due to the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans, many Asian Americans are currently living in fear.
According to Stop AAPI HateThere were more than 6,600 accident reports from March 2020 to March 2021 Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism Reports show that Asian-American hate crimes rose by 145% in 2020 compared to 2019.
“It was strong, and for me, it was a lot,” Clarkson said. “But you know, I’m learning and doing a lot of things as well to try to catch up on a lot of these things. Being young in the league, you don’t really care about a lot of these things. As you get older, you really embrace that role who you are. It really hits home at those times.