Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Media Moment, "Tweeting about Jeremy Lin"

Jeremy Lin of the NY Knicks

“ Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”
It’s crazy how a single tweet can transform into a racial issue. This is what Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated U.S. boxer tweeted not even 24 hours ago and he’s getting serious backlash for it.
       Of course it will be news for Jeremy Lin, an American with Taiwanese roots, to be the talk of the town right now because that in and of it is different but it’s also about his skills on the court. Shucks, if I dropped 20 or so points every game, especially with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire- Knicks star-players being out due to injuries, outscoring great players like Kobe Bryant and doing all this while coming from a low ranked college league (Harvard), my name would be all over the internet and sports shows too! Does LeBron not get praise for his swift moves and “money” shots? Or is Jordan not deemed as one of the greatest ball players of all time? Am I mistaken because I thought these players were African American as well?
How about Jason Whitlock’s (Fox Sports writer) tweet, “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight,” clearly referring to J-Lin’s anatomy. Whitlock was eventually fired for his tweet but the fact still remains that stereotyping and relying on schema is still strong today as it’s ever been.
       We all know the schema about Asian males: extremely smart, nerdy, computer geniuses, short in height, into Pokemon and anime, small penis, strict family, owns a Chinese Restaurant and the list goes on. Its sad that J-Lin can’t quite get the respect he deserves because of his race.

My question to you guys is: Do you think, based off your own knowledge about race in the media and our readings, Jeremy Lin always have his race card played before his skills on the court? Why or why not? 


  1. Joanna you bring up an excellent point regarding race in the media. I think that Jeremy Lin will, at least for the foreseeable future have his ethnicity brought up again and again. I personally think it goes beyond him playing in a sport predominantly dominated by African Americans players.

    Jeremy Lin's story is pretty Cinderella, at least for now. Statistically players of Asian decent are not really represented in the NBA, so when one breaks out to be the current savior of one of the largest francises in sports, people are going to take notice. Not to mention he's a Harvard grad, who rode the bench for a season in the NBA before be traded and sent to a development league before making it back to the big show to dominate. He was sleeping on his brothers futon while starting on the Knicks because his contract still wasn't solidified. His story is great and him being of Asian decent plays a big part because race is still a big issue in our society.

    A bigger issue is what if Jeremy Lin flames out. Will all the talk be about how him being of Asian decent meant he wasn't cut out for professional basketball?

  2. So true Matt! I definitely think if Lin loses his winning streak, just for a moment, they'll automatically refer to his race... I just hope he has the heart to dust those negative comments off. It's just like the saying, "White man can't jump" referring to White guys not having enough skill to play ball. What's crazy though is that the White racial comments don't quite come up anymore- Nash's assists far outshine his race and Love's points aren't dependent on him being White.
    I don't know... I guess White men figured out how to "jump" and Asian's need to follow suit.

  3. This story presents yet another example of cultural stratification created by the media. I agree with Matt on the stance that J. Lin's race will continue to grow as a focal point of the viewers' gravitation to the subject of his success. As we discussed throughout the course, the media segregate social and cultural spheres and categorize accordingly to race, class, gender, etc. The sports industry is only one of the many examples of such a phenomenon. Even before his involvement with NBA, Lin's interest in basketball was seen as ironic, considering the cultural stereotypes that Joanna mentioned of Asian-Americans being put on a pedestal of modest, "keep to themselves" academic overachievers. In the end, the fact that Lin is breaking the stereotype induced by the media on Asian-Americans, gains him flourishing publicity coverage.