“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism,” he wrote. “Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called “coronavirus” on the court.”
Lin didn’t detail where or when the incident occurred. But Steve Kerr, head coach of Santa Cruz’s NBA affiliate the Golden State Warriors, said he would like for Lin’s complaint to be thoroughly investigated.
“I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community,” Kerr said in regards to Lin’s Facebook post. “It’s just so ridiculous and obviously spawned by many people, including our former president, as it relates to the coronavirus originating in China. It’s just shocking.”
Basketball officials seemed to heed Kerr’s advice by launching an investigation into the incident. Yet rather than participate in the investigation, Lin thinks it’s more important to highlight Asian American racism as a whole than to potentially aid in the growing rift between Asian Americans and Black Americans.
“I know this will disappoint some of you but I’m not naming or shaming anyone,” Lin wrote in a statement via Twitter on Saturday. He then explained how his coach at Harvard, Kenny Blakeney, used his experience as a Black man to help Lin navigate racism at the Ivy League. Blakeney also gave Lin the confidence to be an NBA player.
Acts of violence and racism against Asian Americans have spiked since the pandemic brought the world to a standstill. During the eight-week period between March 2020 and May 2020, 1,800 acts of hate against Asian Americans were reported, per a United Nations investigation. These acts were only heightened by former President Donald Trump placing blame for the virus on China, inaccurately calling COVID-19 the “China virus” and the “Kong flu.”