Lin-sanity and then some

24 Feb

Have you heard of Jeremy Lin? Now playing for the NY Knicks, he is a phenom, noted as much for his story as for his playing. The first Asian-American of Chinese or Taiwanese heritage to play in the NBA, Lin is also the first Harvard grad to play in the league since 1954.

“Linsanity” is the enthusiastic fervor that has sprung up this unexpected idol. But, of course, the insanity in Linsanity was due to emerge any time. Here’s a story forwarded to me through an educator’s listserv I subscribe to:

I had a feeling it might come to this.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/18/espn-racist-jeremy-lin-headline-mobile-apology_n_1286277.html?1329579958&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D136731

I was drawn to the Jeremy Lin story when I heard about how he had been “overlooked” by coaches and scouts but kept on working hard to become a better basketball player.  Now he’s a sensation and a magnet for bad puns.  Are your students talking about Lin as a role model? Have you had discussions about where to draw the line between humor and racism?

This “mistake,” as ESPN describes it (click on the above link to read about ESPN’s “Chink in the Armor” headline and retraction), reminds me too much of the “individual” incidents of racism that I blogged about last week (see 2/16/12’s post). I agree with sports writer Cyd Ziegler, who commented, 

“We want to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt here, but it’s impossible to believe the person who wrote that headline didn’t know exactly what they were writing. Especially since ESPN previously came under fire for using the same headline…to describe a USA basketball game in China” http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/02/18/espn-uses-racial-epithet-chink-in-headline-of-jeremy-lin-story/.

** Thanks to LH for the article.

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