NBA G League investigating Jeremy Lin’s claim he was called ‘coronavirus’

The NBA’s G League is investigating a claim by Jeremy Lin, one of the best-known Asian American basketball players, that he was called “coronavirus” during a game.

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Lin, 32, who played nine seasons in the NBA from 2011 to 2019, revealed the slur in a Facebook post on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism,” wrote Lin, who plays for the Golden State Warriors’ affiliate, Santa Cruz, in the G League, the NBA’s developmental league. “Being a nine-year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court. Being a man of faith doesn’t mean I don’t fight for justice, for myself and for others.”

Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans. We are tired of being told that we don't experience racism,...

Posted by Jeremy Lin 林書豪 on Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lin, a Taiwanese American, did not say when he was called that name, ESPN reported. It was unclear if the slur was uttered during the G League bubble in Orlando, Florida, where Lin and the Santa Cruz are currently playing.

A league spokesman confirmed that an investigation had been launched but declined to comment further, the Times reported. The investigation was first reported by The Athletic.

Lin, who played college basketball at Harvard University, was a sensation in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks. Lin, who had been sitting on the bench, took over as a guard for the Knicks and averaged 14.6 points per game. His play prompted a phenomenon known as “Linsanity.”

Lin scored more points in his first five starts than any other player in nearly 40 years, the Times reported. He had a season-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his Facebook post, Lin said there was a generational shift among Asian Americans.

“We are tired of being told that we don’t experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble,” he wrote. “We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re really from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we’re inherently unattractive.

“I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here,” he added. “I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids.”

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