NBA star player Jeremy Lin speaks up about ‘Asian Hate,’ gets support from Chinese and Asian-American netizens
Published: Feb 28, 2021 06:20 PM

The Charlotte Hornets' Jeremy Lin goes for a layup against the Miami Heat on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: IC

"Being a nine-year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," a heartbreaking post by Chinese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin on Instagram on Friday has once again made racism toward the Asian-American community in the US the center of criticism, fueling both US and Chinese netizens' anger over irrational COVID-19 "related" hate.  

In Lin's Friday post, besides mentioning having been racially insulted on the basketball court during his stint in the NBA G-league, he also emphasized that he was fed up with the typical stereotypes about Asian-Americans that may eventually lead to racially-charged insults. 

"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," said Lin on Instagram. 

We are tired of the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be…" 

The NBA star also shared his goal to stop racism in order to provide a fair environment for future Asian-American generations to grow, stating that he hopes the labors of future Asian-American athletes can be treated with respect rather than being called "deceptively athletic."  

Lin' solid stance against anti-Asian sentiment inspired netizens to flood his Instagram with posts of support, especially from those who have also suffered from racial inequality.

"Thanks for fighting and sharing. As a small biz founded by 3 proud Chinese Canadians, we feel your heartbreak," posted a netizen on Instagram. 

"As a Black woman I understand your experiences related to racism.... I'm here to say we are better together!" said another. 

Netizens on Sina Weibo also showed their support of the athlete, who has Chinese mainland Taiwan cultural roots, stating that they will be on Lin's side no matter what happens.  

"The dirty racism that happens in sports is so terrible, it really ruins the athletic spirit," posted one Chinese netizen. 

According to veteran NBA insider Shams Charania's post on Twitter stating that the NBA G league has already commenced investigations into Lin's statement, Lin held tight to his honor and said that he would not name or shame the player who committed such a wrong act on the court, according to a Saturday Twitter post from Lin. 

Besides Lin, there are some other Asian-American celebrities such as Daniel Wu, Edison Chen, Daniel Dae Kim and Naomi Osaka that have joined the "Stop Asian Hate" movement to strive for justice for their people in the US. Recently, both Wu and Kim put up a total of $25,000 as a reward for information about an incident in which a 91-year-old Asian-American man was pushed over by a masked man in Oakland's Chinatown district. 

Another recent sensational incident of COVID-19-related racism toward the Asian community involved the globally known South Korean idol group BTS, who was compared to the "coronavirus" on-air by a German radio host Matthias Matuschik of the Bayern 3 radio station in Bavaria, Germany. 

According to the Associated Press, Matuschik described BTS's cover of Coldplay's "Fix You" as "some crappy virus that hopefully there will be a vaccine for soon as well" on his Wednesday program.  

The host said that his banter was not an insult against South Korea and that people should not be accusing him of xenophobia because he was interviewing a boy band that is not German. However, the incident nevertheless agitated not only the popular band's fans, but also South Korean netizens and non-fans who consider the Germany host's comment to be a racist insult. 

Lin, the first Asian-American to win an NBA championship, was behind the "Linsanity" movement, a term to describe fans' love for the basketball player's outstanding career in the NBA.  

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