Early in his professional basketball career, Jeremy Lin had a meteoric rise as a member of the New York Knicks, prompting a “Linsanity” movement, which culminated in an invitation to the NBA’s Rising Stars game.
Now, Lin is in the NBA’s developmental league, hoping to earn his way back into the league.
In doing so, Lin said he has been the target of racism directed at his Chinese-American heritage.
On Thursday, Lin opened up in a Facebook post that he has been called “coronavirus” while on the court.
"Being an Asian American doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism,” Lin said. “Being a nine-year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court.”
Lin added that Asian Americans are increasingly becoming the targets of racism.
“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans,” Lin said. “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. 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 the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren't as real.”
Since the onset of the coronavirus, there has been a number of noted incidents of racism directed toward Asian Americans. As recently as Thursday, the Washington Post defended reporter Seung Min Kim who was the target of online bullies.