NBA G-League Opens Investigation After Jeremy Lin Said He’d Been Called ‘Coronavirus’

Mar 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin (17) reacts during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, Jeremy Lin made a post about what it means to be an Asian-American.

“We are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble,” Lin said. “We are tired of Asian American kids grow up and being asked where they’re really from, of having our eyes mocked,” and so on.

Jeremy Lin

Even during Linsanity, Lin’s race at times overshadowed his legendary performance on the court. Media outlets made puns based on Asian stereotypes. An ESPN segment featured the phrase “chink-in-the-armor” phrase.

Racism has followed Lin every step of the way in his career. People called him deceptively athletic coming into the league since the basketball world doesn’t perceive Asian-Americans as the quickest, strongest, or highest leapers. The state named Lin the Divison II state player of the in California. Yet, he had no Division I college interest until Harvard showed up at the last minute.

That same racism still follows Lin even now when he’s in his thirties. At the end of his post, Lin states that even though he is a “nine-year NBA veteran, [it] doesn’t protect me from [players calling me] ‘coronavirus’ on the court.”

His implication that a player called him the coronavirus is frustrating. Even after a long career in the NBA, his race still influences how others judge him on the court.

In response, Shams Charania reports that the G-League opened an investigation on that accusation. 

Not Something to Sweep Away

June 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin (17) during the fourth quarter in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Raptors defeated the Warriors 123-109 to lead the series 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

People may play down the significance of calling Lin “coronavirus.” Unfortunately, the past presidential administration used that same rhetoric. Asian-Americans across the nation are experiencing the result of that type of speech: a rise in hate crimes.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative recorded 2,907 incidents of hate against Asian-Americans. One hundred twenty-six incidents were against elderly individuals. Recently, bystanders recorded multiple accounts of hate crimes. A man slashed an older person’s face with a box cutter. Another instance saw another older person killed after someone shoved him to the ground.

It’s important to condemn these types of actions on a large scale to defuse the situation.

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