The saga regarding Jeremy Lin’s new hairdo continues; after he penned an op-ed for the Player’s Tribune about his dreadlocks, Lin was called out by former NBA player Kenyon Martin. Lin responded over social media, thanking Martin for his criticisms, to which Martin responded by deleting his Instagram posts and clarifying his remarks in an interview.
Lin made the rounds on social media again with his impromptu speech about Martin, fan responses, and building bridges between communities.
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) October 6, 2017
“First, I’d hope that a lot of Asian fans don’t go on his page and say racist things to him. I think that’s not the right way to go about it and I think in a lot of way to pit us against each other, like, ‘I won versus Kenyon Martin winning.’ I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it. It’s not really about winning or losing. The whole point is that we’re trying to be unified so I feel like even sometimes when people come to me and say, ‘Oh man you embarrassed him.’ It’s like ‘dude that’s not what this is about.’ Right, that’s not the whole point of this discussion is to pit it into two sides to see who wins.
“The whole point is that we all have to get on the same page. We need to have people stop going on his page and saying racist things. Like, that’s not OK. That’s what I would say, at the end of the day, kind of like what I said in my article. We just need to spend a little more time thinking about what we say, thinking about what it’s like to be somebody else. At the end of the day he said what he said, but I’m not really that offended. If that’s how he thinks, that how he thinks.
“My job is to be gracious and loving. I think if I can share a little bit of my side, then the next time he might have a different viewpoint. He might have a different viewpoint in a week, but not if my whole fan base comes behind and calling him – I didn’t see it – but I heard people were saying the ‘n’ word on his page. That’s not what I stand for and that’s not helping us move in the direction new want to move in. And I think both sides need to come together.
“Then I think like I said in my comment, as minorities if we are able to appreciate it – if Asians are able to be passionate about issues that aren’t just related to Asians. If African Americans are able to be passionate about issues that aren’t just related to African Americans, I think we’ll see something big start to happen. I think we’ll be able to influence mainstream society and that’s the ultimate goal. All this pitting me against him – or whatever that creates division I don’t stand for.”
Lin posted the transcription of his unplanned speech to his Twitter page…
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) October 6, 2017
…and netizens applauded his grace and tact:
You’ve handled this entire thing as a class act. The world needs more pro athletes and role models like you.
— Giancarlo⚔ (@GiancarloVDiLeo) October 6, 2017
Pure class pic.twitter.com/JY0dDHSXtg
— R.Gadooooosh!! (@rgreen89) October 6, 2017
Loved your perspective. Not everything is cultural appropriation. Cultural appreciation and diffusion are important.
— Danisha Carter (@DanishaCarter4) October 6, 2017
Your parents must be so proud having a son like you. Well-mannered. Credits also to them for raising you so well. You’re such an inspiration
— Ly (@1005lly) October 6, 2017
I don’t even like basketball but I like you. 🙂
— SelmaWelma (@evilcheebs) October 6, 2017
This will wind up as a classic case for handling such issues, to be studied for generations to come. Bravo!
— TheOneWhoEatsLemons (@hellrocker_KCX) October 6, 2017
Christ-like to the fullest. 💯
— Christopher Davis (@ChristopherDTV) October 6, 2017
Very big of you bro, not many people in your position would take the high road and look at it the way you do so I commend you
— Sean Kenney (@seankenneyTIME) October 6, 2017
Meanwhile, Martin has expressed his regret by posting an article with his comments on Twitter:
— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) October 7, 2017
Netizens reacted thusly:
Kenyon Martin: “This was never meant to be racial”. Also Kenyon Martin: pic.twitter.com/CWbFs5IoLx
— The CT (@The_CT) October 7, 2017
joke & locker room talk?..how bout people start saying black stereotypes racist comments & just say “it’s a joke”
— T (@tiff_uh_knee8) October 7, 2017
Brah you took and L and J-Lin cooked yo ahh. That’s all there is too it. You sound weak trying to act like you meant something else.
— Mason Davis (@_Maeday20) October 7, 2017
— KC (@KPChristiano) October 7, 2017
Asiatic. Learn about them black Chinese still in the mountains of China. Some dreaded up. Japanese too. You still good with me. BIG3
— Jamie Starr (@AlexanderNever7) October 7, 2017
— otisvu💦 (@otisvu) October 7, 2017
I loved KMart on the court–the heart, the passion, the compassion—but off the court–dude, very douchy comment
— T1 (@The_Technician1) October 7, 2017
😂😂😂 You regret it now cause Lin stole your soul with his comeback! pic.twitter.com/HlD9cc9oO4
— Keyboard Warrior (@CurseOfBambino) October 7, 2017
ESPN also recapped the entire Lin/Martin situation in a quick segment by Michael Smith:
— Cary Chow (@carychowESPN) October 8, 2017
Martin previously mentioned that he was attempting to connect with Lin about the entire episode; it remains to be seen they will ever speak on the matter.
Feature Image via Twitter / willviv59