Jeremy Lin has called for unity as the violence against Asian Americans continues to rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel bad for somebody who harbors hate for somebody else, who they’ve never met, just based on skin color,” Lin said. “That makes me want to do something. It makes me want to educate people or speak out and find ways to make a difference. Honestly, it goes almost from anger to heartbreak. Almost like a sadness, but mixed with compassion. I almost feel for the people who are hurting the victims.”
The 32-year-old Palo Alto native recently appeared as a guest on NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Race in America: A Candid Conversation
,” where he expressed he was heartbroken by all the reports of the attacks against Asian Americans.
The Bay Area community is joining hands to tackle the recent violence against many Asian Americans. Last month, Oakland-based rapper Mistah F.A.B. teamed up with China Mac to help bring the two communities together
“I’ve always said that in the long run, it can’t only be Asians caring about Asian issues, or African Americans caring about African American issues,” Lin said. “If, as minorities, we want the majority to understand what it’s like to live a minority experience, and to sympathize and change, we as minorities also have to collaborate, unify and use our voices and stand up for each other. There has to be solidarity on that front.”
Lin said he finds it hypocritical to be anti-racist if he is only fighting and standing up for people who look just like him and not for other minorities.
“There is definitely power in unification and solidarity. That must happen and needs to happen,” he added. “If we can continue to do that – and that’s one great way, between the Asian and African American communities – if we can really combine and show for each other and support each other, that would give us more momentum in that direction.”
Lin’s sport also helped him broaden his perspective on other cultures and let other people experience his own culture.
“I have spent more Thanksgivings at teammates’ houses than in my own house since 2006. That’s what I love about basketball, is that it has totally broadened my perspective and my understanding, while at the same time I can invite people into what we’re doing. Even last week, with Chinese New Year and things like that,” he said. “It’s fun when you actually to meet somebody who you really cares about, who you really respect, and you learn about their culture and that allows you to have a wider lens or perspective. And that’s what the world needs right now.”
It is not the first time Lin has called for unity to address the violence against Asian Americans amid the pandemic. Last year, he joined an NBA roundtable
to discuss the issue along with former NBA player Caron Butler, Indian American civil rights attorney Vanita Gupta and then-presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Feature Image via Getty