NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom is receiving backlash for comments he made about former NBA star Jeremy Lin.
In a tweet, Freedom appeared to criticize Lin’s choice to return to the Chinese Basketball Association.
“Shame on you @JLin7,” Freedom wrote in his tweet. “Haven’t you had enough of that Dirty Chinese Communist Party money feeding you to stay silent?”
Freedom added that it was “disgusting” that Lin had turned his “back against [his] country & [his] people.”
“Stand with Taiwan!” Kanter wrote. “Stop bowing to money & the Dictatorship. Morals over Money brother.”
Lin’s parents are Taiwanese American immigrants. Lin himself holds a Taiwanese passport, which enables him to play in the CBA.
Freedom’s tweet appears to suggest that Lin is betraying Taiwan by playing basketball in China. Taiwan is officially a part of the Republic of China, but it has been fighting for independence from China for years.
While Lin’s parents are Taiwanese immigrants, Kanter’s tweet ignores the fact that Lin is an American who was born in Palo Alto, California.
Asian Americans often face the perpetual foreigner stereotype, a racist stereotype that suggests Asian Americans aren’t really American and are still foreigners.
Many people pointed out that by referring to Taiwanese people as Lin’s “people,” Freedom ignored Lin’s American identity.
Joon Lee, a reporter for ESPN, pointed out that Lin has faced “a lifetime of prejudice in the American basketball community.” He said Kanter’s tweet “does nothing but fuel resentment towards Asians in the United States.”
Lee’s tweet hints at the resentment Asian Americans face from fellow citizens who believe they care more about Asian countries than they do America.
Some suggested that Kanter was simply googling names of Chinese players to harass them.
Others pointed out that Freedom was a hypocrite for wearing a Nike uniform, as Nike has several factories in China. He also plays for the NBA, which has lucrative television deals with China.
So far, Lin has not responded to Freedom.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story, or making a contribution.