February 12, 2011; Source: Sporting News | New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has proven once and for all that, despite his Harvard degree, he is a baller to be reckoned with. Sadly, his rise has also put the spotlight on racism suffered by Asian Americans and Asians in general.
On Sunday, Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock apologized for an offensive tweet he posted after Lin’s impressive performance Friday against the Lakers.
“Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight,” Whitlock wrote, which he later admitted was “immature” and “sophomoric.”
This admission came after Asian American Journalists called him out.
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“Let’s start by saying that your tweet in the midst of the Jeremy Lin hoopla was inappropriate on so many levels,” the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) wrote on its Facebook page. “It doesn’t hold up to the conduct of responsible journalists, those in sports or otherwise, who adhere to standards of fairness, civility and good taste.”
Whitlock, however, was not the only one to spew racist tweets during Lin’s sudden ascent. Complex.com highlighted what it called “The 20 Most Ridiculous Jeremy Lin Nicknames on Twitter” days before the Whitlock debacle. Epithets include “the great fried rice hype,” “air dumpling,” “fortune rookie,” and “Linja.”
“Isn’t Jeremy Lin’s real name Yao Ming?” @theblowout tweeted. Because all Asians look alike, right?
The AAJA told Whitlock that “outrage doesn’t begin to describe” what they and the Asian American community feel. After having been in this country since the 1700s, we remain perpetual foreigners; and yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I am Asian and proud of it.–Erwin de Leon