Jeremy Lin Says He's Been Called 'Coronavirus' on the Court, Speaks Out About Anti-Asian Racism

“I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes,” the Santa Cruz Warriors player said

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

NBA veteran Jeremy Lin is speaking out about racism faced by Asian Americans amid the rise in hate crimes in the U.S.

In a statement shared on Facebook Friday, Lin, 32, also touched on his own experience with racism on the court, which has included being called "coronavirus" during games.

The athlete currently plays point guard for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G League. He's also played on the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and other teams since the start of his career in 2010.

"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," Lin wrote in his post Friday.

"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," he continued. "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."

Jeremy Lin
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

NBA veteran Lin said that he wants "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,'" he said of recruiting in the NBA.

Lin added that just because his status as a "9 year NBA veteran" doesn't mean he's exempt 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," he continued.

He ended the statement with an emotional plea: "So here we are again, sharing how we feel. Is anyone listening?"

A spokesperson for the NBA's G League later told the New York Times that an investigation had been opened.

There has been a surge of racism and racially motivated violence against the Asian American community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some have blamed, in part, former president Donald Trump — who referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" and "Kung Flu" — for fueling the racism.

The increased instances of violence have prompted actors such as Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim, Lana Condor, Daniel Wu and more to speak out.

In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order condemning the surge of racism aimed at the Asian American community.

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An August 2020 UN report stated that in an eight-week period from March to May 2020, there were more than 1,800 racist incidents against Asian Americans in the United States, New York magazine reported. The outlet also cited data from the New York Police Department that revealed there was a 1,900 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the past year.

An analysis by Stop AAPI Hate reported that one in ten tweets concerning Asian Americans in the months before the 2020 presidential election contained racist or disparaging language.

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