It’s almost become part of Jeremy Lin’s job description to address racism. As the most prominent active NBA player of Asian heritage, Lin is a test case of how far the league — and society — have come in valuing and practicing equal treatment. Though Lin prefers his role as basketball player to his role as explainer about Asian stereotypes in Western culture, Lin has never shirked the explainer role. He recognizes his position gives him a responsibility and an opportunity — and he always takes it.
Interviewed in Philly this week, Lin again discussed the prejudice he’s faced as an Asian-American — both in the past and present. He succinctly explained how even a little word like “deceptively” can undermine reality. Talking about the Washington Wizards John Wall, Lin explained:
“Me and John were the fastest people in the draft, but he was athletic and I was ‘deceptively’ athletic. I think I’ve been deceptively ‘whatever’ my whole life.’”
Lin even got into the dating scene, saying how Asian men weren’t exactly magnets — in his experience — for white women romantically. But Lin has a strategy, if not a solution, for racism. At least a temporary one: “I think we just need to keep being ourselves and I think that the world will come around,” he said. “Kill them with kindness for the time being.”