Here’s The Jeremy Lin Interview On 60 Minutes

“There aren’t many basketball stars who step off the bench and directly into the dictionary,” begins 60 Minutes’s Jeremy Lin story — only slightly belated.

The part that’s probably most interesting is when Lin talks, frankly, about race and stereotyping. This from the show’s transcript:

He was named California Player of the Year. And he could pass and shoot, plus was incredibly fast. But when it came time to look at colleges, not a single Division One program came calling with a scholarship.

Charlie Rose: Not one PAC-10 team?

Jeremy Lin: No.

Charlie Rose: Not UCLA. Not Stanford, your hometown?

Jeremy Lin: No.

Charlie Rose: What do you think they didn’t see

Jeremy Lin: Well, I think the obvious thing is– in my mind is that I was Asian American which, you know, is a whole different issue but that’s– I think that was a barrier.

Charlie Rose: When you say because you’re an Asian American, what is that? But there’s nothing about being Asian American that doesn’t give you the ability to play basketball.

Jeremy Lin: Yeah. I mean, it is just– I mean, it’s just– it’s a stereotype.

Stereotypes are nothing new for Lin. Growing up, he was often the only Asian player on his teams, and frequently heard racial slurs from opponents on the court.

Charlie Rose: What would they say? What kind of things would–

Jeremy Lin: Pretty much anything you could think of from stereotypical, you know, Asian food, you know making fun of my complexion, my skin color, or, you know, the way Asians look, pretty much everything.

Lin believes that if he were black or white he would have had multiple scholarship offers, including one from his hometown’s Stanford University. But Stanford’s offer was for a walk-on opportunity — while Harvard, like all Ivy League schools, could not offer a sports scholarship. It did offer a place on the team.

Give it a watch or read.

    One Response to “Here’s The Jeremy Lin Interview On 60 Minutes”

    1. Ick

      Antony, is race really such a big part of basketball, and if so why? One assumes that it is the marketing side of things that causes the influence, it’s presumably easier to make money of a more established concept (big black basketball player) than a relatively novel one (slighter oriental player).

      Anecdotally a similar problem exists to an extent in (association) football and certainly in rugby football where professional Asian players are still seen as something of a novelty. Historically having been more interested in Cricket.

      I recall an interview with Rehman, a Chelsea player of Pakistani decent where he said ‘Coaches, scouts and managers need to be more open-minded, Racism is not the obstacle for Asians in the game, it is more the stereotypes.’ He went on to clarify that it was often felt the families of aspiring Asian football players where (perhaps correctly) not seen as supportive which made it very difficult for the young men to succeed. (Even things like the types of food cooked at home can have a very large impact). Though that was changing rapidly.


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