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Shaq Media Alert 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
17 January 2003 

WHO: Mr. Raymond Wong, National President, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), Charlene Tsang-Kao, President, OCA Greater Houston Chapter, and representatives from other Asian Pacific American Advocacy Groups
WHAT: Press Conference Condemning Derogatory Remarks Made by Shaquille O’Neal
WHEN: Friday, January 17, 2003  3 p.m.
WHERE: Compaq Center, Outdoors in front of sign on Timmons and Southwest Freeway
WHY: Shaquille O’Neal's derogatory and racist taunt "ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh” on June 28, 2002 aimed at Yao Ming was racially offensive and particularly hurtful to the millions of Asian Americans in this country. "Mr. O’Neal's subsequent claim that his race-based taunting was merely a "joke" is not an apology, but instead a misguided attempt to diffuse the public’s outrage over his remarks and a hollow excuse to justify his prior racist statement. Rather than sincerely apologize for being insensitive and unaware of the hurtful impact of what he claims was a joke, Mr. O'Neal issued a statement blaming those who accuse him of making inappropriate remarks of misunderstanding his humor," said Charlene Tsang-Kao, President, Greater Houston Chapter of OCA.   Further, Mr. O'Neal also attempted to excuse his behavior by claiming he is not the first and only to use these words.  

For these reasons, OCA and other Asian American advocacy groups, including the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NFFAA), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Council of Asian Organizations, Houston 80-20 and the Pakistani American Volunteer Association*, look to the leadership of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to:
1) encourage Mr. O’Neal to reexamine his statements and issue a sincere, unqualified apology to Mr. Yao and all Americans for his racist rhetoric;
2) issue a statement denouncing race-based "taunts” by all NBA personnel;
3) require diversity awareness seminars for all NBA personnel, including its players and coaching staff; and
4) prepare a public service announcement to educate all Americans, in particular, our youth, by denouncing race-based taunting.

 "This situation goes beyond Yao Ming or even Asian Americans, in general. We hope the positive outcome of what has happened, the lesson we can learn, is for ALL of us to reaffirm our respect and consideration for one another, no matter what color, what nationality, or what sport, " said OCA National President Raymond Wong.
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