NBA Player Jeremy Lin Points To Anti-Asian Racism, Says He's Been Called 'Coronavirus' On The Court
"Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," Lin wrote on his Facebook page.
February 28, 2021 at 6:37 pm
In his post, Lin wrote that he's been called "coronavirus" on the court, among facing other acts of racism and prejudice.
"Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans," Lin wrote. "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."
Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans. We are tired of being told that we don't experience racism,...Posted by Jeremy Lin 林書豪 on Thursday, February 25, 2021
Lin further posted that his status as a nine-year NBA veteran has done nothing to stop him from having these experiences.
"Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," he wrote.
Anti-Asian acts of terror have ramped up since former President Donald Trump began referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus." The recently ousted president also used the controversial phrase in his final address to America as he exited office on the morning of January 20, ahead of President Joe Biden's inauguration.
While Lin did not specify who has called him "coronavirus," that sort of name-calling is only a small portion of the prejudices Asian Americans have faced since COVID-19 was first discovered to have traced to Wuhan, China.
According to CNN, several violent anti-Asian attacks have been occurring across the country, including the case of Denny Kim, a 27-year-old Korean American whose Los Angeles physical assault is being investigated as a hate crime.
"All of a sudden they just started saying very terrible things," Kim told CNN, adding that he also heard his attackers say, "You have the Chinese Virus, go back to China."
The two suspects implicated in Kim's attack have been identified as Hispanic males.
Civil rights activist Connie Chung Joe of Stop AAPI Hate told CNN that she has received more than 3,000 reports of anti-Asian assaults since the coronavirus pandemic began in America.
"It set a bullseye on the Asian American community," Joe said. "It's easier to go after someone who doesn't speak English well because you think they're not going to fight back."
Stop AAPI Hate was launched in March 2020 as a hate crime reporting center for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities "in response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."
Joe told CNN that the 3,000 known hate crime cases are the "tip of the iceberg," as many instances go unreported, likely due to language barriers.
According to Stop AAPI Hate's website, "the center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States." The center uses a "5-pronged approach," for which multi-lingual resources covering 12 frequently-spoken Asian American languages are included.
For Lin, however, this terrifying time for the Asian American community is also a significant opportunity for all Americans to seek not just understanding, but to support those affected by these hate crimes.
"So here we are again, sharing how we feel. Is anyone listening?" Lin wrote.