By Brianna Bush
The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes has compelled many advocates to speak out on the racism prevalent across our nation. Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese-American basketball athlete who plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors (the Golden State Warriors NBA G League affiliate), is amongst those who spoke out against this massive and overlooked intolerance.
“I feel bad for someone who harbors hate for somebody else whom they’ve never met just based on skin color,” said Lin on NBC Bay Area in their ‘Race in America’ segment. It makes me want to educate people, speak out and find ways to make a difference. Honestly, it goes from anger to just heartbreak.”
According to Cynthia Silva of NBC News, “Anti-Asian violence has surged since the coronavirus pandemic began. A recent analysis that examined hate crimes in America’s largest cities revealed that while hate crimes decreased overall by 7 percent, hate crimes targeting Asian Americans increased by 150 percent last year.”
The statistics are disheartening, and Jeremy Lin proves why we need more athletes to be vocal about the racism minorities face.
Jonathan White, a Senior Production Editor of Sport on the Post, said, “It really should not take athletes with Asian heritage to be speaking up or taking a stand.”
White believes that “all sporting bodies with a platform should be taking a stand,” and frequently, Lin is the only athlete with a platform leading the fight against anti-Asian violence.
Lin’s Instagram platform has over 1.5 million followers, and he uses it religiously to spread important messages. He is very transparent with the discrimination he faces on the court, sharing his quite unsettling testimonies.
“Being a nine-year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,” said Lin via Instagram.
Despite the darkness, he sheds light through inspirational posts. “When I was 22, I was the first Asian-American to make the NBA in 50 years, and all I cared about was being recognized for my skills, not my skin color,” said Lin on another Instagram post.
He continued by outlining his remarkable accomplishments leading up to his current age. At 32 years old, he becomes the first Asian-American to have a signature basketball shoe.
Even with setbacks, discrimination, and disparities that come with being a minority in America, Lin finds a way to give hope to those who look up to him.
The first time I saw Jeremy Lin on the court was when he was a player on the New York Knicks. His charisma shined through; I knew by the way he carried himself at such a young age that he would be a leader of today.
“It’s on all of us to speak up against bigotry and protect our neighbors,” said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via Twitter, a US Representative and a brave voice for all issues.
Although Jeremy Lin is a tremendous force in speaking out, he should not be the only one. All of us need to speak out, so we can live in a world where everyone can live out our dreams free of the plight that hate crimes bring upon the nation.