Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin has long been an object of interest as a ‘lone ranger’ in a sport where you don’t really see Asians at the professional level. Lin’s dominating presence in the NBA fights the stigma that Asian men aren’t ‘manly,’ an all-too-familiar stereotype perpetrated by Hollywood and other forms of mainstream media – where Asian men don’t get to be the lead.
Just last week, Asian American fitness activist Kevin Kreider released a YouTube video in which he asks Lin about the emasculation of Asian men during a Q&A session at a gathering of Asian American men and women, reports NetsDaily.
“Did you ever come across the stereotype of Asian guys not being attractive and if you have, how do you think we can break that in the American culture especially?” Kreider asks Lin.
“Me and John were the fastest people in the draft but he was athletic and I was deceptively athletic, you know, and I think, like, I’ve been deceptively whatever my whole life,” Lin responds, referring to the 2010 Draft in which Lin went undrafted while John Wall was taken No. 1, despite the two having similar scores in athleticism pre-draft.
Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey has acknowledged that racial bias played a role in Morey’s decision not to take Lin during the 2010 Draft. “But the reality is that every [explicit] person, including me, thought he was unathletic. And I can’t think of any reason for it other than he was Asian,” Morey has stated.
Lin goes on to further elaborate on the idea of emasculation by providing an interesting observation. “I feel like a lot of times we had a lot of Asian girls going for like non-Asian guys,” Lin continues. “You don’t see a lot of non-Asian girls going for Asian guys.”
Lin closes with some words of advice, encouraging Asian Americans to persist and show that these stereotypes are really nothing more than just stereotypes. “I think Asian American males are viewed differently, but I think we just need to keep being ourselves and I think that the world will come around and appreciate us Asians,” says Lin.
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