Jeremy Lin spoke passionately when he joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America: A Candid Conversation" earlier this week to discuss the recent uptick in racially-motivated attacks on Asian Americans across the United States.
“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 told Monte Poole and Raj Mathai.
In a social media post on Thursday, Lin, a Palo Alto native currently playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League bubble in Orlando, Fla., opened up about his feelings regarding this anti-Asian American sentiment and his own experience with racism, including being called "coronavirus" while on the court.
Animosity toward Asian Americans has intensified since the coronavirus pandemic began, as many American leaders have directed blame solely at officials in China, where the first cases of the virus were reported, for the worldwide spread of the virus that has killed over 500,000 people in the United States alone.
We’ve seen numerous unprovoked attacks in the Bay Area and across the country aimed at Asian Americans, many of them elderly, for no reason other than the color of their skin.
Lin told Poole and Mathai that he hopes unity among races can help heal the underlying tensions as our country tries to move forward.
“I’ve always said that in the long run, it can’t only be Asians caring about Asian issues, or African Americans caring about African American issues,” Lin said. “If, as minorities, we want the majority to understand what it’s like to live a minority experience, and to sympathize and change, we as minorities also have to collaborate, unify and use our voices and stand up for each other. There has to be solidarity on that front.
“It would be hypocritical of me to say I’m anti-racism if I only stand up for people who look like me. There is definitely power in unification and solidarity. That must happen and needs to happen. If we can continue to do that – and that’s one great way, between the Asian and African American communities – if we can really combine and show for each other and support each other, that would give us more momentum in that direction.”
There is no room for violence against anyone on the basis of their skin color, and America has to do better to come together and get rid of the simmering hate manifesting across the globe.
Lin certainly is doing his part by using his platform as a worldwide basketball star, and we can all learn from his wise words.