Jeremy Lin has long been outspoken about the backlash and hate that he and the Asian American community have faced over the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As it turns out, though, Lin himself isn’t immune from the bigotry — even when he’s out on the court.
Lin, in a lengthy social media post on Thursday, revealed that he has been called “coronavirus” while playing during a basketball game over the past year.
“Being a nine-year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,” he wrote.
That language is exactly what Lin was pushing back against former President Donald Trump about last year. Lin slammed Trump on social media for his choice of words when describing the coronavirus — as Trump repeatedly referred to it as the “Chinese virus” and some in his administration even would reportedly use the phrase “Kung Flu.”
“And I don’t wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu bc everyday Asian-Americans [including people] I know are threatened and physically attacked,” Lin wrote on Twitter last year. “I don’t give a crap about the history of names [right now]. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards Asians.”
Lin spoke out again this week, too, as more videos detailing horrific attacks against Asian Americans keep surfacing on social media and hate crimes against them are on the rise.
“After a while, I feel bad,” Lin said. “I feel bad for someone who harbors hate for somebody else who they’ve never met just based on skin color or, I don’t even know. It makes me want to do something and it makes me want to educate people, or I don’t know, speak out and find ways to make a difference. Honestly it goes from anger to just heartbreak.”
Lin returned from a stint in China to join the Warriors’ G-League affiliate this year, part of his quest to make it back to the NBA.
While he works to make that happen, Lin isn’t resting elsewhere. He sounds more determined than ever to make meaningful change in the United States.
“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans,” he 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, 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.
“I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrifice so much to make a life for themselves here. I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids. I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes than to have to work so hard to just be “deceptively athletic.” … So here we are again, sharing how we feel. IS ANYONE LISTENING?”