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Jeremy Lin recalls painful brush with anti-Asian hate in 6th grade

Jeremy Lin continued this week to speak out against the continued surge in anti-Asian violence, recalling the memory of first contact with racist rhetoric.

Appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday, the Santa Cruz Warriors point guard pointed to an incident that occurred while he was in college. At the time, he said members of a rival basketball team taunted him with racial epithets on the court.

“When I was in the sixth grade, we played a basketball game,” said Lin, whose family is from Taiwan. “We were playing against people from Southern California. That’s when they said to themselves, “Go back to China! You’re a Chinese import, “and stuff like that.”

The incident, he said, was particularly hurtful because it took place on the basketball court, which he viewed as a safe space where he could have confidence in himself and his skills. athletic.

“I always had the impression that on the pitch it didn’t matter,” he explained. “The color didn’t matter, the skin didn’t matter. It was just a matter of who could play and who couldn’t.

Lin, 32, has spoken increasingly of his legacy in recent weeks as the Asian-American community grapples with a disturbing increase in hate crimes and deadly violence that are said to be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. . In February, NBA officials announced they were opening an investigation into Lin’s complaint that another basketball player called him a “coronavirus” on the court.

Elsewhere in his “Ellen” interview, Lin expressed gratitude to his mother, Shirley, after recently learning of a personal sacrifice she made in helping him pursue his career as a professional basketball player.

“She said, ‘I’m going to give you two years to pursue your basketball dream. Don’t worry about the money, ”he recalls. “She only told me a few years ago that this money was coming from her 401 (k). … It was just a glimpse of the sacrifice it took for my parents to be able to give me and my brothers a chance.

Watch Jeremy Lin’s presentation on “Ellen DeGeneres Show” below:

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