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March 1, 2021

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Lin won’t ‘name, shame’ in racism row

Jeremy Lin says he won’t be “naming or shaming anyone” amid reports the NBA’s G League is investigating his claim he was called “coronavirus” during a game.

“I know this will disappoint some of you but I’m not naming or shaming anyone,” Lin tweeted on Saturday.

“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.”

Lin, a former National Basketball Association guard whose heroics for the New York Knicks sparked “Linsanity” in 2012, spoke in a Facebook post on Thursday of racism that the Asian-American community faces, a problem made worse in the coronavirus pandemic during which former president Donald Trump routinely referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus.”

“Being a 9-year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,” wrote Lin, who is currently a member of the Golden State Warriors’ Santa Cruz affiliate in the NBA’s developmental G League.

He said there were better ways to support Asian-American communities experiencing 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,” Lin said.

“Listen to the voices that are teaching us how to be anti-racist towards ALL people. Hear others’ stories, expand your perspective, stop comparing experiences. I believe this generation can be different.”

Lin became the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA when he played for the Warriors in the 2010-11 season.

He became a breakout star for the Knicks the following season, and became the first Asian-American to win an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

After struggling with injury and failing to cement a spot with an NBA team, he enjoyed a successful spell with the Chinese Basketball Association, helping the Beijing Ducks reach the league semifinals before opting to return to the States.

Lin has spoken previously of encountering racism during his career, although in 2017 he said it was worse when he was playing for Harvard as a university student.

“When I experienced racism in the Ivy League, it was my assistant coach Kenny Blakeney that talked me through it,” Lin tweeted on Saturday.

“He shared with me his own experiences as a Black man — stories of racism I couldn’t begin to comprehend. Stories of being called the n-word and having things thrown at him from cars. He drew from his experiences with identity to teach me how to stay strong in mine.

“He was also the first person to tell me I was an NBA player as a sophomore at Harvard. I thought he was crazy.”


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