In New York and its environs, everyone and their mother know the name Jeremy Lin. All of New York is crazed with “Linsanity” as a result of the Knicks’ winning streak last February, led by one of the few Asian-American players in NBA history. A player of Lin’s caliber and background — he’s also the first Harvard grad to play in the league since the 1950s — rarely appears in such a competitive league like the NBA. For this reason, his story is all the more remarkable. However, much of the attention Lin is receiving about his race, positve and negetive, is unneeded and unjustified. The most insulting thing about “Linsanity” are the racist views found in reports about Lin and his success. Although I am Jewish and a member of the track team, I would not want people to be surprised that I was a good runner because of my religion. Like Jeremy Lin, I am proud of my background, but I would much rather be recognized for my athletic prowess, not my race or religion. Yet, the way the media protrays Lin — as an Asian first and basketball player second — is unnecessary and insulting. The offensive ways that some media have treated Lin is often astounding. On Feb. 13, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweeted, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players to what he does every night and don’t get the same praise. ” Although that may be partially true, no other player in the history of the NBA put together the kind of statistics Lin achieved in his first five games (it doesn’t help Mayweather that he has a history of racist comments about Asians). ESPN.com included a racial slur in a stpry about Lin on February 17. Although the staff member responsible was fired, you wonder how professionals could have been so insensitive in the first place. Regardless of his race, Lin has fully earned the attention he has received. He is a source of pride, not only to Asian-Americans and Knicks fans, but to anyone who enjoys quality basketball. Hopefully, the fans and the media will soon learn to look past his background and focus on the fame.
Zac Brower, 18, attends Livingston High School and is a member of Nu’s teen board.