Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin discussed racism in basketball with teammate Randy Foye on the latter’s podcast. Lin discussed the racism he faced in college and how it compares to the NBA. ESPN reports Lin said the following about the touchy subject.
“In Vermont — I remember, because I had my hands up while the Vermont player was shooting free throws — their coach was like, ‘Hey ref! You can’t let that Oriental do that!’ I was like, what is going on here? I have been called a c—k by players in front of the refs; the refs heard it, because they were yelling it [like,] ‘Yeah, get that out, c—k!’ And the ref heard it, looked at both of us and didn’t do anything.
It’s crazy. My teammate started yelling at the ref, ‘You just heard it, it was impossible for you not to hear that. How could you not do something?’ And the ref just pretended like nothing happened. That was when I was like, yo, this [kind of racism and prejudice] is a beast. So, when I got to the NBA, I thought this is going to be way worse. But it is way better. Everybody is way more under control.
To this day in the NBA, there are still some times where there are still some fans that will say smaller stuff, and that is not a big deal. But that motivates me in a different way.”
We can only hope race is less of an issue in the professional environment of the NBA. College basketball needs to clean up their issues.