NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The head baseball coach at San Francisco’s Galileo High School has been put on administrative leave after he allegedly shouted at an Asian American player, while mocking him with a fake Chinese accent.
“Mr. (Don) Papa is not coaching the Galileo baseball team,” Gentle Blythe, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District, said in an email.
Blythe said the district placed Papa on paid administrative leave on March 15 “as a result of information that emerged in the course of the investigation” into the racially charged incident.
The targeted player, who is American-born, appeared confused by the instructions given to him by coach Papa during a Feb. 24 game.
Witness Nakia Kashima told the San Francisco Chronicle that the player, who has not been identified, seemed puzzled by what Papa was telling him.
According to Kashima, Papa started yelling, “Ching, chong, something something,” and then added, “Do you understand me now? Do you understand English?”
Asian American organizations in San Francisco denounced the incident. In a joint statement, members of the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Asian Pacific Islander Council of San Francisco, and the Japanese American Citizens League of San Francisco said, “Mr. Papa’s actions reinforces bigotry and intolerance against the Asian Pacific Islander community in this politically charged environment, where our refugee, immigrant, Muslim, South Asian, and Jewish communities are being targeted. This behavior is unacceptable and we demand transparency on behalf of Galileo High School’s principal, Michael Reimer, and the San Francisco Unified School District on their disciplinary actions for Don Papa and their plan moving forward to ensure this does not happen again.”
62.9 percent of Galileo’s high school population consists of Asians.