Jeremy Lin released an Instagram post on Friday revealing the racism he dealt with in the NBA G League.
Lin says he was called ‘coronavirus’ while playing in a game, but did not say who made the comment.
Lin has been the subject of racial insults dating back to his college career at Harvard by both players and the media.
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Chinese American basketball player Jeremy Lin revealed that he was treated with racially charged insults this year when he competed in the NBA G-League.
Lin, who is currently competing for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the subsidiary of the G League of Golden State Warriors, released an Instagram post Friday pleading racism against Asians in America. He also revealed that he was called ‘coronavirus’ during games.
“Being a 9-year-old NBA veteran does not protect me from being called ‘Coronavirus’ in court,” Lin said in the post.
Lin has been the subject of racism because of his Chinese background dating back to his college career at Harvard when he heard racial slurs by opposing players and crowds. During an appearance on the Outside The Shot Podcast in 2017, Lin said he heard more insults while playing in college than in the NBA.
Lin, a California native, first entered the NBA in 2010 as an indefinite free agent for the Warriors. He is best known for his stint with the New York Knicks in 2011-12. In February of 2012, Lin broke into the national spotlight after coming off the bench to average 23.9 points over 11 games.
Lin’s emergence as Cinderella’s NBA story resulted in a cultural phenomenon called “Linsanity.” Weeks, Lin was the biggest name in mainstream NBA media. Much of the notoriety was due to his Asian heritage, as he represented a significantly underrepresented demographic among NBA players. Bloomberg News’ Hua Hsu even claimed that Lin “was already the most famous [Asian American NBA player]. “
However, Lin was also subjected to racial insults from the mainstream media and other sports figures during his meteoric rise in New York. Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock made a damaging reference to Lin’s genitals on Twitter, while boxer Floyd Mayweather tweeted that Lin only got attention because of his race.
That same month, ESPN published an article with a headline that Lin referred to as a “knuckle in the armor.” ESPN took the headline down, and the editor who wrote the headline was fired.
Lin was not even safe for the Knicks Spero Dedes radio broadcaster, who also used the term “chink” in reference to Lin during a broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York. Dedes received unknown discipline by the MSG Network, according to Sporting News.
The harmful references to Lin were so prevalent by the mainstream media at the time of its inception that the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) was forced to issue a set of guidelines on Lin’s coverage to help limit offensive language.
In 2016, former Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni, who led the team when Lin was formed in 2012, said during a performance on the Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski that some Knicks players Lin during his time in New York bored.
However, the resentment was not inherent in Lin’s race, but more to do with the conflict he created with the team’s pre-determined chemistry.
The Knicks did not sign Lin again after the 2012 season, and he went on to serve seven other NBA teams, including the Toronto Raptors in their 2018-19 championship season. Lin also spent the 2019-20 season in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) for the Beijing Ducks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an uptick in anti-Asian sentiment over the past year over the origin of the virus in Wuhan, China. This includes comparisons between Korean pop group BTS and the virus of German radio host Matthias Matuschik on Thursday.
During his NBA career, Lin has become a leading figure for Asian American athletes and non-athletes. He now takes it upon himself to speak out against anti-Asian sentiment in the US and stereotypes that have plagued its sociological status.
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