"I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos"
Jeremy Lin has responded to Kenyon Martin’s comments about his hair.
Martin had posted a now-deleted video on his Instagram account saying that Lin’s hair was effectively cultural appropriation.
“Do I need to remind this damn boy that his last name Lin?” Martin said in the video. “Like, come on man. Let’s stop this, man, with these people, man.”
“There is no way possible that he would have made it on one of our teams with that bulls— goin’ on on his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like, ‘All right bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’ Like, we get it. But the last name is Lin.”
Lin had recently written a 1,500 word essay about his decision to grow dreadlocks, reassuring fans that he “know what it feels like when people get [his] culture wrong”.
In response to Martin’s comments, Lin kept is cool and wrote kindly, “Hey man. Its all good you don’t have to like my hair and definitely entitled to your opinion. Actually i legit grateful you sharin it tbh. At the end of the day i appreciate that i have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos bc i think its a sign of respect.”
“And i think as minorities, the more we appreciate each others cultures, the more we influence mainstream society. Thanks for everything you did for the nets and hoops … had your poster up on my wall growin up.”
Martin then posted a second video on Instagram, in replace of his original video, claiming his initial comments were a joke not about race.
“That man grown, that man can rock whatever hairstyle he want to rock,” said Martin, “that don’t mean I have to like it or agree with it.”