How Racism Affects One Of The Most Prominent Asian-American Role Models In The NBA


GRAPHIC BY DENISE THUONG

By HALO KWOK

STAFF WRITER


Even Jeremy Lin, one of the greatest Asian-American basketball players, can be negatively influenced by the harmful effects of systemic racism.


Our world is experiencing a time of change, and it is certainly not for the better. After COVID-19 came trampling into people’s lives, Asians have been put down, stepped on and harassed due to the overwhelming amount of bigotry that exists within this nation. Racism is so deeply rooted in our institution that even the most influential and inspirational figures that lead America are exposed to its painful effects day-by-day.


Everything needs to change: minority groups in the United States will no longer take the mistreatment that comes along just for being who they are.


During a time of reflection for Asians throughout this country, star basketball player from the Golden State Warriors’s G-League team Jeremy Lin revealed his traumatic experiences with racism in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He shares how another player in the G-League, (a minor league of the NBA), called him “coronavirus” on the court along with other hurtful names. This just goes to show that no matter where you are and who you are, People Of Color (POC) will still be condescended upon for something that they cannot control-- the appearance of their skin.


On Lin’s Instagram page, a powerful statement condemning the nationwide prejudice against the people of his skin was posted in order to shift attention to the saddened realities that currently exist for Asians all across America.


“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans. We are tired of being told that we don’t experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble,” Lin stated. “We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we’re inherently unattractive. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren’t as real.”


Fortunately, the player who made the racist remark to Jeremy Lin was identified on Mar. 13. Though the accused individual has not been named, the league is taking action internally. The player who made such a derogatory remark to a national icon needs to learn about the severity of his words and understand that racial comments will never be tolerated in an industry built upon the efforts of colored people from all parts of the world.


In a statement to ESPN, Warriors’s head coach Steve Kerr condemned the name calling that Lin faced and showed support for the Taiwanese-American’s bravery in speaking out.

“Really powerful. I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community.”


It is heartwarming to see the league actively denouncing racism, and the future shines bright for the next generation of Asians that will grow up educated on the pain that was experienced by their ancestors of this time. As long as we continue advocating for what is right and fighting for our rights, there will be a day when we can look back on this era and be proud of all that was accomplished. Linsanity’s experience was just a fraction of all the bigotry that the Asian community has to face, and his courage lights the way for the path that will guide America to become a place where people from all ethnic backgrounds can call “home.”