In chapter 9 of Dave Zirin’s book Game Over, he discusses the racial barriers that exist in the modern day professional sport world. Zirin goes on to discuss various examples of racism that occur in professional sport. One of the examples was the case of NBA player Jeremy Lin, and I look to examine this case and discuss some thoughts.
In February 2012, Jeremy Lin was playing for the New York Knicks when he unexpectedly helped lead the Knicks to an extended winning streak. During this time Jeremy Lin became a huge star, and the term “Linsanity” was known throughout the world. Lin was the first American born player of Taiwanese descent, and his heritage and success led to much attention, but it also opened the door for a lot of scrutiny and hate from NBA fans. An employee of Fox Sport tweeted “I thought Asians couldn’t drive” and other extremist said that he was the “chink in the chain”. Many believe that these sorts of comments are extremely offensive and are quick to jump to the defensive of Lin’s case. I believe that comments like Asians cannot drive is not an extremely racist comment, and is only blown up because in today’s society people have become sensitive to racism and equal rights. If anyone says something that can be related to a stereotype, then it is racist. In my opinion, people will always have something to say about someone’s success, they will either hate them or love them, but unless the comment is derogatory and meant to offend the person, then it is only one persons opinion. Racism is all around us, whether we can see it or not. Coming to the defence of Lin about jokes that can be deemed racist is not going to stop the world from being racist. All you can do is enjoy the high level of athleticism that is being put on display.
Zirin, D. (2013). Game over: How politics has turned the sports world upside down. (pp. 163-183). New York, United States of America: The New Press.