Monday, February 06, 2012

How Jeremy Lin Is Shattering Stereotypes

Photo Credit: Kimberly*
Timothy Dalrymple has written a great article about New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin, a talented guard out of Harvard who is busting up stereotypes about Asian American men.

A highlight:
"But stereotypes are stereotypes because they’re intellectually lazy generalizations that only tell a part of the story.  They feed more off our ignorance and our fears than our knowledge and understanding.  The stereotypes I listed above do not describe the Asian-American men I know, or only offer a profoundly caricatured description of one part of their character.
Jeremy, like many Asian-American male athletes, is consistently underestimated.  Great basketball players don’t come from Harvard for a very simple reason: because great basketball players don’t go to Harvard in the first place.  They’re recruited by Duke or Kansas or UCLA or UNC.  A high school basketball player with Jeremy Lin’s statistics should have been recruited heavily by the nation’s top programs.  But Jeremy Lin was unrecruited and had to send video tapes and pitch himself.  He performed brilliantly in college, and many college coaches kicked themselves for overlooking him.   
Then he was undrafted for the NBA — but performed well in the Summer League and was picked up by the Warriors. Arguably, there are reasons he was overlooked other than race.  Jeremy isn’t the flashiest player; never the tallest or strongest guy on the court (he entered high school 5’3″ and 125 lbs), he has had to add layer after layer of skills and strategies and basketball intelligence.  But still, someone with his track record, someone with his statistics and all around game, would have gotten more notice if he weren’t a relatively small, baby-faced Asian-American in a league that has hardly ever seen an Asian-American succeed."
To read the rest of the article please click here.

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