The NBA G League has launched an investigation into disturbing claims made by Jeremy Lin, who claimed that he’s been called “coronavirus” in the middle of a game.
The 32-year-old NBA and Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) veteran first mentioned the incident in a Facebook post where he outlined the racism that he and other Asian-American players have experienced when playing basketball.
“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism,” Lin wrote on Facebook on Thursday. “Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court.”
The league opened up an investigation into Lin’s statement the following day. The 32-year-old guard signed with the Golden State Warriors G League affiliate earlier this year, marking his return to the NBA. He spent the last portion of his career in the CBA, playing for the Beijing Ducks.
On Saturday, the Santa Cruz Warriors guard said he would not be “naming or shaming anyone”, implying that he would not directly point fingers at other players with the current situation. Instead, Lin turned the incident into a larger message, encouraging his followers to work on being anti-racist towards all people.
“I know this will disappoint some of you but I’m not naming or shaming anyone,” Lin tweeted Saturday, as a part of a longer statement. “What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down? It doesn’t make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism…”
“Listen to the voices that are teaching us how to be anti-racist towards ALL people. Hear other stories, expand your perspective. I believe this generation can be different. But we will need empathy and solidarity to get us there.”
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 27, 2021
Jeremy Lin became the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent when he made his debut during the 2010-11 season. He previously played his college ball at Harvard, where he explained what it was like to experience racism in basketball.
“When I experienced racism in the Ivy League, it was my assistant coach Kenny Blakeney that talked me through it,” Lin wrote on Saturday. “He shared with me his own experiences as a Black man — stories of racism I couldn’t begin to comprehend. Stories of being called the n-word and having things thrown at him from cars. He drew from his experiences with identity to teach me how to stay strong in mine. He was also the first person to tell me I was an NBA player as a sophomore at Harvard. I thought he was crazy.”
Lin’s actions over the last few days show a remarkable amount of courage and strength. Hopefully other G League teammates, players and coaches speak up on his behalf and denounce racism in basketball moving forward.
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