In a recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday, NBA Star Jeremy Lin has opened up about facing anti-Asian hate from a young age. The Santa Cruz Warriors point guard mentioned an incident that occurred when he was in sixth grade, and he was called racial slurs and hate by the members of the rival team.
Lin has been vocal about the ongoing anti-Asian violence, and again decided to share his personal experience with racism.
Jeremy Lin’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres
In an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host Ellen asked him if Lin remembered the first time that he experienced racism.
Lin replied by saying, “Yeah, when I was in sixth grade, we were playing in a basketball game, and we were playing against some people from Southern California. That’s when they were kind of like, ’Go back to China! You’re a Chinese import,’ and other stuff like that.”
“That’s when, for the first time, I was like ‘wow’, on the court. I always felt like on the court, it didn’t matter.”, the player, who’s family is from Taiwan, said. “Color didn’t matter, skin didn’t matter. It was just about who could play and who couldn’t.”
Lin said that he used to think that at least where he was from wouldn’t matter on the court, and that he was taken aback after realising that people still see him differently.
“That was kind of the first time I was taken a little bit aback, and just like, ‘oh wow, people do see me differently’, even in the middle of a basketball game.”
Lin has been raising his voice against the hate crimes and violence taking place against the Asian community, specially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, NBA officials announced they were launching an investigation into Lin’s complaint that another basketball player referred to him as “coronavirus” on the court.