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Jeremy Lin expresses ‘anger’ and ‘heartbreak’ amid recent attacks on Asian Americans

The videos are vile: Men running up behind usually elderly Asians, people just walking down the street, and knocking them to the ground violently. Like a blindside football tackle without pads.

It’s a form of violence against Asians on the rise around the Bay Area and seen in New York and other cities around the nation. It’s an action that is cowardly, disgusting and an outlet for anger fueled by the rhetoric of politicians who only know how to inspire fear and hatred. People feel the need to blame someone for the coronavirus and its impacts, and they turn that hatred on Asian Americans who had nothing to do with either the disease or our nation’s lackluster response to it.

Former Warrior and Knick Jeremy Lin speaks about these incidents on “Race in America: A Candid Conversation,” airing Tuesday night on NBC Sports Bay Area (after the Warriors postgame show).

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

“Honestly, it goes almost from anger to heartbreak. Almost like a sadness, but mixed with compassion. I almost feel for the people who are hurting the victims.”

Lin and the hosts also speak about the need for unification and understanding between cultures, such as between Asian and Black communities in America. Lin says that for him, basketball and his experiences in the NBA helped provide that bridge to understanding.

“It would be hypocritical of me to say I’m anti-racism if I only stand up for people who look like me,” Lin says. “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.”

Lin — currently in the G-League bubble in Orlando — is always thoughtful and worth listening to on these issues. Tune in to NBC Sports Bay Area to check it out.