Former Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin discussed the discrimination that many Asian Americans are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a virtual roundtable
with Caron Butler, Vanita Gupta and Andrew Yang on May 12, the 31-year-old Beijing Ducks player expressed that he felt the need to say something about the issue, according to Boston
“It hits home seeing just how many Asian Americans are affected by it,” Lin said. “For me, I felt like I had to come out and say something. To not feel welcome, or feel safe physically, is just a different level. That’s something that I really want to make sure I took a stance on.”
Lin also added that it’s important now for people to educate themselves frontline workers battling the pandemic and those being victimized by racial discrimination
By doing so, he added, this will help people understand the reality of such racist incidents.
“These are all things that don’t really become real until you either put yourself in that person’s shoes or you experience it,” he said. “One thing that I would really encourage people to do, too, is to find one small way to promote unity.”
In addition, Lin also wants to encourage the younger generation to steer away from spewing hate in the comments on social media.
“Take a second to really think about what you’re saying or doing, or even if you know somebody who is acting ignorant, it’s okay for you to call them out,” Lin said.
Lin also suggested taking care of mental health and to find ways to support themselves and others. In his case, he found solace in his faith.
“My faith has always been really helpful to me and that’s something that I always go to every single day in terms of reading my Bible and praying,” the professional athlete said.
However, social interaction with others — whether via text or calls — can also help people deal with the isolation.
“Sometimes spending time with other people or sending a quick message or calling someone else. It’s crazy because you’re calling someone to take care of them when actually you end up feeling refreshed and feel included,” Lin added.
Last month, Lin raised over $1 million
through his #BeTheLight campaign where proceeds went to the nonprofits Feeding America and Direct Relief.
Lin was the first Asian American
to ever win the NBA champion when he played with the Toronto Raptors last year.