But after pictures of the graffiti started circulating on social media in recent days, the World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck in the Salt Lake City area got some help from an unexpected celebrity supporter: Utah Jazz basketball star Jordan Clarkson.
Clarkson, a Filipino-American player who is also a big name back in the basketball-mad Philippines, said in a tweet on Thursday that he’s helping the owners refurbish the truck through a local design agency.
“It hurt me deeply to see that Salt Lake’s @yumyumasian food truck was recently vandalized – I know the pain that hateful language and racism causes,” the NBA Sixth Man of the Year told his nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter Thursday.
Clarkson, who has family roots in Pampanga, a central Philippine province known for its culinary heritage, said he hopes the support would “hopefully lift Ben and his family’s spirit,” referring to one of the owners.
“I stand in solidarity with Utah’s Filipino community – love is more powerful than hate! #utahfilipino #StopAAPIHate #stopasianhate,” Clarkson said in another tweet.
The posts received thousands of likes and retweets.
Images of the new design show elements of the Philippine flag with a rice bowl sitting in the middle of the sun.
The owners, identified in reports as Benjamin Pierce and Erin Cotter, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But they issued statements on the company’s Facebook page thanking Clarkson and others after the vandalism.
“It has been an emotional few days. The love and support that we got from all of you has been deeply heartfelt. My family can’t thank you guys enough. Special thanks to Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson and Dan from Identity graphics for the new look,” they said in a Facebook post. “Love prevails.”
Although “hurt” by the attack, they vowed to reopen in time for the commemoration of Philippine Independence Day on June 12 with mouth-watering Filipino dishes on the menu. The truck serves Filipino and Asian culinary staples such as sisig (a minced pork dish), pancit (noodles), adobo and lumpia (egg rolls), among other items.
Clarkson’s act of charity made headlines around the world including back in the Philippines where fans praised him.
The racist graffiti comes in the wake of reports, viral videos and research showing a surge in violence against Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the U.S. since the pandemic hit.
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