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P.F. CHANG'S HEAD TO ATLANTA

TEAMING UP WITH JEREMY LIN TO FIGHT BULLYING

BY: MACKENZIE GOODMAN | JANUARY 2019

In early 2018, while playing in a high school basketball game, multi-racial students Nathan and Bobby were taunted with vile racist chants by students from the opposing school. Bobby, an African American player, was berated with jabs about being illiterate, on welfare, or on drugs. Nathan, who is Asian American, was subjected to chants about opening his eyes, going back to China, and P.F. Chang’s. While most would react with justifiable anger, Nathan and Bobby chose a different route. Although young, the boys saw the value of rising above their bullies’ horrific words and instead decided to turn them into something empowering.

When Nathan’s mom reached out to let us know he was planning to decorate his shoes with the P.F. Chang's logo as a sign of strength against his harassers, we knew we couldn't just sit on the sidelines. We're a restaurant born from adversity, and thriving today because of one family’s determined strength, innovation, and focus on inclusivity. We’re a restaurant that does not stand for bullying in any form, and we find both Nathan and Bobby’s display of courage and confidence truly inspiring. In fact, we consider them to be an embodiment of many of our core values, and we think these exceptional young men deserve to be celebrated in a big way.

Which is why we decided to work on a special surprise.


THE DETAILS

After coordinating with the boys’ mothers, we reached out to Jeremy Lin,
a professional basketball player with the Atlanta Hawks, whose foundation focuses
on anti-bullying. Within hours, Lin responded and agreed to help,
and even got adidas to donate shoes to the cause.

We then contacted insanely talented custom sneaker artist, Kickstradomis, about creating one-of-a-kind P.F. Chang’s sneakers for Nathan. Kickstradomis came through in record time, decorating a pair with our logo and the Chinese characters for “strength” and “focus,” all set against a deep red background to symbolize luck.

Shoes 

Custom shoes by Kickstradomis.

the trip

On Saturday, January 12th, Nathan and Bobby, along with their families, flew to Atlanta and attended a dinner at P.F. Chang’s held in their honor. The night was filled with food, new friends, Hawks-themed decorations, and even a special guest appearance by Jeremy Lin.

P.F. Chang's Dinner 

Chopsticks up! Dinner's on us.



Atlanta Hawks Courtside 

The following day, Nathan and Bobby sat courtside during their pre-game warm-up.



Jeremy Lin and Nathan - P.F. Chang's head to Atlanta 

Following the warm-up, Nathan and Bobby ventured up to the Hawks’ press room with Jeremy Lin for their “Magic Moment.” We then presented the custom P.F. Chang’s shoes to Nathan and the donated shoes from adidas to Bobby.*


THE reason

Maybe you’re wondering why we got involved. As an internationally known brand, we believe it’s our responsibility to use what platform we have to speak out against racism and bullying, as well as praise those who’ve set positive examples as Nathan and Bobby have done. Both boys’ courage and maturity continually inspire us, and we believe they’ll go on to do amazing things, both on and off the court.

You got this, guys. We’re so honored to have met you, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

*Bobby is now a Division 1 athlete (which is an incredible accomplishment and a huge deal!) so his photos have been omitted in order to adhere to NCAA guidelines. He also received a pair of shoes donated by adidas.