This post was edited by lihanwen at 2012-2-21 16:09|
The front cover of the Asian edition of Time Magazine saidit all. While the US,European and South Pacific edition cover stories were dominated to the ascentof Kim Jong-un. The entire front page in Asia was all about meteoric rise of NBA's latest basketball star Jeremy Lin.
Lin-sanity, Lin-mania, Lin-derella, Lin-credible, SuperLin-tendo, Linner, Linning Streak. Call it what you like, but please, enoughalready.
I can see how the fairy-tale of the Harvard-educated Chinese-American'sphenomenal rise in basketball has left some US headline writers andsportscasters punch-drunk on the endless sludge of neologisms, but please stop.
However, what is more odious is how a sensational rise tostardom that could challenge stereotypes and prejudice has already turned afeel-good story into a racial issue.
Within days of the New York Knicks sixth victory in a row,Sports Network ESPN was forced to apologize, fired one employee and suspendedanother after an ethnic slur directed at Lin was broadcast on air.
Another Sports columnist Jason Whitlock from FOX alsoapologized for an inappropriate tweet following the Lakers and Knicks game.
While some have realized the error of their prejudicialways, others have been less apologetic.
American boxer Floyd Mayweather posted on Twitter:"Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Blackplayers do what he does every night and don't get the same praise."
Lin's sensational success has reawakened the American dreamfor many Chinese-Americans, but it also, once again, unearthed thepervasiveness of race in the US.
The famous Saturday Night Live comedy show opened theirlatest show with a skit on New York Knicks breakout star. The actors made Asianstereotypes, came up with puns using the star guard's last name and talkedabout the recent mishaps in the media. Let's hope the US media getsthe joke is on them.
And the 1.91m tall economics graduate could also learn alesson from the Ming Dynasty: Yao Ming.
When the retired eight-time NBA all-star first arrived inthe USin 2002 he faced taunts and ethnic slurs.
Ben Wallace a former Detroit Piston player said of the then21-year-old Yao that he would receive a rudewelcome the first time China'snational team played the United States in August 2002.
"We are going to beat him up. We are going to beat himup pretty bad," Wallace said. "Welcome to the league, welcome to ourcountry. This is our playground."
Former Los Angeles Laker Shaquille O'Neal once mockinglytold a television reporter, "Tell YaoMing, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh'."
But it didn't stop his rise to fame and rightfully earnedhim a place in the hearts of Chinese fans everywhere.
And the recent uproar does not seem to have fazed23-year-old Lin who accepted the network's apology and had no hard feelings.
"I think there are definitely [Asian] stereotypes,"he said. There are a lot of them. The more we can do to break those down everyday the better we will become.
"Hopefully in the near future we will see a lot moreAsians and Asian-Americans playing in the NBA."
His words offer hope to many as a sign he is intelligent andtough enough to deal with life in the media spotlight.
But it is also been a warning to lazy sports pundits andthose creating the media frenzy around the latest star of the game to back offand think twice.
Lin maybe enjoying his new limelight, but for some membersof his family back in Taiwan,his new-found attention has become something of a burden.
"The special request I have is for the media back in Taiwan to givemy family space, because they can't even go to work without being bombarded,without people following them," Lin said, adding "I want people torespect their privacy."
The cost of his own privacy will need to be measured againsthis desire to succeed in a world where sporting success is idolized intenselyand rarely without controversy.http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2012-02/21/content_14659686.htm