"I rep for all the Asians"

NBA star Jeremy Lin has said racism was worse during his time in college than.

As reported by The Washington Post, the Brooklyn Nets point guard has revealed that he suffered the most racism during his time in college.

Speaking on Nets teammate Randy Foye’s podcast, Lin said, “The worst was at Cornell, when I was being called a chink. That’s when it happened. I don’t know … that game, I ended up playing terrible and getting a couple of charges and doing real out-of-character stuff.”

Lin had played at Harvard from 2006 to 2010 and earned all-Ivy League first team honours twice before entering the NBA as an undrafted free agent. During the Cornell game, a Crimson teammate told coaches “they were calling Jeremy a chink the whole first half.”

“I didn’t say anything, because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up — where I go into turtle mode and don’t say anything and just internalize everything,” Lin added. “I remember, because I had my hands up while the Vermont player was shooting free throws — their coach was like, ‘Hey ref! You can’t let that Oriental do that!’ I was like, what is going on here?” 

Lin was born in Southern California to Taiwanese immigrants. The NBA star cited other racist incidents, such as a game at the University of Vermont.

“I have been called a chink by players in front of the refs; the refs heard it, because they were yelling it [like,] ‘Yeah, get that out, chink!’ And the ref heard it, looked at both of us and didn’t do anything.”

“It’s crazy,” Lin continued. “My teammate started yelling at the ref, ‘You just heard it, it was impossible for you not to hear that. How could you not do something?’ And the ref just pretended like nothing happened. That was when I was like, yo, this [kind of racism and prejudice] is a beast.”

At a game in Georgetown, a fan heckled him with phrases such as  “chicken fried rice,” “beef lo mein” and “beef and broccoli.” He said a fan at Yale told him, “Hey! Can you even see the scoreboard with those eyes?”

Lin said he feared racism would be “way worse” in the NBA but was pleasantly surprised, saying it has been “way better”. He said on the podcast, “Everybody is way more under control.”

“I rep for all the Asians, I rep for all the Harvard dudes, I rep for the Cali guys, I rep for the underdogs. I take pride in it. It is not a burden to me anymore.”

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