Racism is worse in college than in real life, at least according to Jeremy Lin.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard, who happens to be the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, recalled unpleasant experiences while representing Harvard in “Outside Shot with Randy Foye.” He said the worst happened while he was at Cornell.
He told his teammate (via ESPN):
“The worst was at Cornell, when I was being called a c—k. That’s when it happened. I don’t know … that game, I ended up playing terrible and getting a couple of charges and doing real out-of-character stuff. My teammate told my coaches [that] they were calling Jeremy a c—k the whole first half.”
At the time, Lin thought it would be best to keep mum, as he usually does.
“I didn’t say anything, because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up — where I go into turtle mode and don’t say anything and just internalize everything,” he said.
There was also a time when Yale fans mocked Lin’s appearance. He remembered them as saying, “Hey! Can you even see the scoreboard with those eyes?”
A Vermont coach also called him “that Oriental” during a game.
In the midst of such encounters, Lin thought the NBA would be worse, but he proved himself quite otherwise. “It is way better. Everybody is way more under control,” he said.
The 28-year-old, who rose to fame in the well-documented hype that is “Linsanity,” still hears racist remarks in the professional world, but now has improved his perspective:
“And now when I say badge of honor, it’s like, this is cool, I rep for all the Asians, I rep for all the Harvard dudes, I rep for the Cali guys, I rep for the underdogs. I take pride in it. It is not a burden to me anymore. I am not scared anymore. I appreciate it and want to help and challenge the world, stereotypes and everything.”
“Back then, I didn’t understand it; and it came so fast, I didn’t really know what was going on,” he pointed.