Jeremy Lin: Standing Up Against Anti-Asian Racism

  • March 30,2021 

As Asian-American/Pacific Islander hate crimes continue to increase during the Covid-19 pandemic, basketball player Jeremy Lin, in collaboration with Bleacher Report, released a PSA video condemning the attacks and encouraging everyone to put an end to violence and discrimination. Lin posted the PSA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with the caption, “We are TIRED of our pain being overlooked #StopAsianHate.”

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Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin dribbles against Raptors 905 on Feb. 15, 2021 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando.

Photo Obtained from rappler.com

“We’re tired. We’re tired of our cries and anguish not being heard. We’re tired of our pain being overlooked. We’re tired of keeping our heads down or not making any trouble when our elders are being assaulted, stabbed, and killed. Wouldn’t you be?” Lin spoke.

“We must learn to love one another, to hear one another’s anguish and actually care. Don’t overlook the pain those around you are experiencing on a daily basis. Reach out to offer your support. To educate others. And let’s put an end to this violence and hate together.”

Jeremy Lin, who rose to fame in 2012 with his “Linsanity” run on the Knicks and was the first Asian-American to win an NBA championship, has been a long-time advocate for anti-Asian racism in his career. On February 26th, Lin revealed that he was called “coronavirus” in an NBA G-League game. The player called Lin “coronavirus” has since been identified, and the situation has been dealt with by Lin privately. In response to the racist name-calling, Lin made it clear that he would not name or shame the player. Instead, he emphasized the message not to fight stereotypes with stereotypes and listen to each other’s perspectives to stop racism for all people.

“What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down? It doesn’t make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism… Fighting ignorance with ignorance will get us nowhere. Sharing our own pain by painting another group of people with stereotypes is NOT the way,”

“Listen to the voice that is teaching us how to be anti-racist towards ALL people. Hear other stories, expand your perspective. I believe this generation can be different. But we will need empathy and solidarity to get us there,”

Lin’s words have inspired many people in the sports world, including Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. In a letter sent to the entire Dodgers organization, Roberts condemned the discrimination and violence towards Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“Many of you know that I was born in Okinawa, Japan, and my mother is Japanese. I am proud to stand with my Asian-American co-workers, the community, and others who support an inclusive and open-minded society. #StopAsianHate”

Jeremy Lin’s activism has also inspired Asian-Americans at Gahr High School. Varsity basketball player Franci Chang gave her own experience dealing with racism and calls for the same message as Lin’s same message of understanding and solidarity.

“Growing up as an Asian-American and being in an environment where I had no peers of my race to connect to, besides my little brother, was difficult. My Asian features and accent stood out, and I believe it to be a reason why I seem to be misunderstood and often overlooked in my passion in sports,” Chang noted.

“Jeremy Lin’s leadership has definitely inspired me, and I’m certain he has inspired several others. [As] Lin spoke, with all these conflicts and hardships, we as the new generation should humbly speak up for ourselves. Our parents and ancestors have sacrificed and faced unimaginable circumstances for us to be given a good life here in America. People must also understand that Asian-Americans are not perpetually foreigners either. Asian-Americans represent a grand variety of remarkable cultures, backgrounds, and stories. We solely desire for unity, regardless of race and color.”

Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks and responds to incidents on Asian-American/Pacific-Islander hate crimes, reported over 2,800 incidents of racism and discrimination from March to December 2020. 15 cities were observed, including San Jose, California, which saw an increase of 162%.

Jeremy Lin’s call to action has helped tremendously to shed light on this severe issue in America. Hopefully, through Lin’s message for peace and solidarity and other activists, racism against all cultures can one day be extinguished. To partake in supporting the AAPI community, visit https://stopaapihate.org/actnow/.