"It makes me want to educate people or speak out and find ways to make a difference"
Jeremy Lin has called out the recent surge in violence towards Asian Americans.
The NBA Champion made the comments as a guest on Race in America: A Candid Conversation on NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I feel bad for somebody who harbors hate for somebody else, who they’ve never met, just based on skin color,” he said.
“That makes me want to do something. It makes me want to educate people or speak out and find ways to make a difference.”
A series of recent attacks on elderly Asian individuals have recently been reported, including an Asian woman who had her car stolen after being attacked on Chinese New Year in Oakland.
In another attack, a 70-year-old grandmother who was knocked to the ground and robbed on her way home from the bank.
Prior to that attack, a 91-year-old man in the city was pushed to the ground by an attacker who was already out on bail.
Most recently, two elderly Asian women were attacked on the New York Subway in two separate events.
The Taiwan born American said that whilst he is angry about the violence, he also feels for the perpetrators.
“Honestly, it goes almost from anger to heartbreak. Almost like a sadness, but mixed with compassion. I almost feel for the people who are hurting the victims.”
“I’ve always said that in the long run, it can’t only be Asians caring about Asian issues, or African Americans caring about African American issues,” Lin says.
“If, as minorities, we want the majority to understand what it’s like to live a minority experience, and to sympathize and change, we as minorities also have to collaborate, unify and use our voices and stand up for each other. There has to be solidarity on that front.”
Lin continued to say that the Asian American community must fight against racism as a whole.
“It would be hypocritical of me to say I’m anti-racism if I only stand up for people who look like me,” he said.
“There is definitely power in unification and solidarity. That must happen and needs to happen. If we can continue to do that – and that’s one great way, between the Asian and African American communities – if we can really combine and show for each other and support each other, that would give us more momentum in that direction.”
In other news, Lin recently became the first Asian American to release a signature basketball shoe.