Jeremy Lin: Asian Americans Tired of Being Told We Don't Experience Racism

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 26, 2021

Former Toronto Raptors' Jeremy Lin, currently a free agent, talks to young Taiwanese players during a basketball clinic in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Lin is in Taiwan to attend a charity event and basketball clinics for young athletes. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

The number of hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans continues to rise in the United States, leading many public figures and organizations to speak out against the violence, racism and hatred.

Jeremy Lin has added his voice to the movement and reminded followers of the impact that racism and stereotypes have on Asian Americans, posting the following message on Facebook and Instagram:

"Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans. 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, of 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 sacrificed 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.'

"Being an Asian American doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism.

"Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court.

"Being a man of faith doesn't mean I don't fight for justice, for myself and for others.

"So here we are again, sharing how we feel. Is anyone listening?"

Lin spoke directly on hate crimes against Asian Americans on NBC Sports Bay Area's Race in America: A Candid Conversation program Tuesday.

"I feel bad for somebody who harbors hate for somebody else, who they've never met, just based on skin color," Lin said. "That makes me want to do something. It makes me want to educate people or speak out and find ways to make a difference."

Lin has spoken out against racism and discussed his experiences many times in the past, once noting to ex-NBA teammate Randy Foye that he experienced repeated discrimination from fans and opposing players during his time at Harvard from 2006 to 2010.

Hadley Freeman of the Guardian also noted numerous stereotypes and racist remarks that Lin endured when he broke out in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks.

Violent hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans have surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Per CBS News, Asian hate crime victims increased by 867 percent in New York City alone in 2020.

Eric J. Chang of the Mercury News outlined some of the anti-Asian attacks that have occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area this year:

"Most recently, 84-year-old San Francisco resident Vicha Ratanapakdee, who immigrated from Thailand, was killed on Jan. 28 in San Francisco. On Jan. 31, a 91-year-old, 60-year-old and 55-year-old were attacked in Oakland's Chinatown district. On Feb. 3, a 70-year-old grandmother was pushed and robbed in Oakland. A day later, a 79-year-old Asian man was attacked and robbed in San Francisco's Lone Mountain neighborhood."

Per Vignesh Ramachandran of PBS, the Stop AAPI Hate project has fielded 2,808 reports of Asian Americans experiencing racism and discrimination from mid-March, when COVID-19 shutdowns began in the United States, to the end of 2020.

In the sports world, numerous leagues and teams have spoken out against the hate, including the NFL, the New York Liberty, the NBA and more.