Asian American and Jeremy Lin

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Bradford Fu
ASAM20
Mid-term Essay

“Linsanity”
Jeremy Lin. Some say he is a god-send, literally. Others say he’s just a one hit wonder who’s had his fifteen minutes in the spotlight. However, many argue especially from the Asian American community, that he’s not just a fad or trend but a full blown star athlete, pushing the envelope not just for Asian Americans, but athletes across all social classes, races, and creeds. So really, with all the media hype and hysteria, who is Jeremy Lin? Why is he the chosen one? More importantly, what has he been labeled and how has he faced this discrimination? What is the cause of this “Linsanity”?

Before the question, “Why Jeremy Lin?” can be answered, we have to start at his roots. Jeremy Lin was born August 23, 1988, to a Taiwanese emigrant couple. He grew up playing basketball in Palo Alto, Northern California. He excelled not only as an athlete in his young school years, but was also an exceptional student. He went onto Harvard, a fallback school, and continued his academics, majoring in economics. While at Harvard, Lin played for the Ivy Basketball League and quickly made a name for himself. This is where he first encounters racism and discrimination. In short interviews throughout his college days, Lin spoke of his opportunities and how his race had been a factor in his recruitment. "I'm not saying top-5 state automatically gets you offers, but I do think (my ethnicity) did affect the way coaches recruited me. I think if I were a different race, I would've been treated differently." He was never drafted after graduating college and continued to play basically for free as a D-League athlete with the Golden State Warriors. He never sees much action on the court in California and is quickly shuffled across the country during draft season. Rex Walters, an NBA veteran and Asian American says, “"People who don't think stereotypes exist are crazy. If he's white, he's either a good shooter or heady. If...
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