Jeremy Lin’s talent deserves recognition, not racial prejudices

“Linsanity,” “Lin-credible,” “Lin-conceivable,” – call it what you want, but New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin’s current reign over SportsCenter is making “Tebow-mania” of the NFL season seem slightly mediocre in comparison.

The 23-year-old California native is fascinating to the American public. Unfortunately, Lin has recently made headlines as a victim of countless racist remarks coming from various sources.

Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently criticized the hype surrounding the Taiwanese-American player by tweeting, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all of the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

While I truly despise resorting to the “race card” in an attempt to make excuses, I do think Jeremy Lin’s nationality should not go unrecognized. Jeremy Lin is the first Taiwanese-American to not only play in the NBA, but to make an impact. For that reason I believe Mayweather’s comment was unfair.

In a country that promotes firsts, to discount Lin’s success because “black players do that every night” is nonsense. In 2008, if someone were to say, “The hype around Barack Obama should be downplayed because 43 white males have served as President of the United States in the past,” it would sound preposterous.

One of the worst offenses came from ESPN. After the Knicks lost to the Hornets on Feb. 17, ending a 7-game win streak, ESPN ran a questionable headline, a rascist pun titled, “Chink in the Armor.”

Some found this offensive, including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) who said the headline was horrifying.

I think ESPN could not have possibly used a more tasteless, offensive headline.
ESPN later issued an apology and announced the editor responsible for the offensive remark was fired.

AALDEF did not think the apology was enough. The racist remarks that have grown with Jeremy Lin’s rise to fame are signs that our country still is not free of bigotry.

The racism surrounding Lin is unwarranted. I believe the unusual captures the public’s attention. We love to sink our teeth into the unconventional, and Jeremy Lin is unconventional. We should be focused more on celebrating that someone is changing the face of the NBA, and less on ostracizing  him and making cheap shots at his expense.  

Jeremy Lin’s story is a remarkable one. Overlooked out of high school and originally undrafted in the pros. His success with a struggling New York Knicks team is unexpected and inspiring. Lin is destroying stereotypes in the NBA. He is a beacon to the Asian community in a venue where they have little representation, let alone a poster child like Lin.


Andrea Masenda is a junior journalism major from Denton.