Jeremy Lin has no doubt experienced his fair share of racism during his time in the NBA. There haven’t been many Asian players to break into the NBA, so unfortunately, it comes with the territory. But during an appearance on his Nets teammate Randy Foye’s podcast this week, Lin explained that the racism he faced while playing for Harvard from 2006 through 2010 was much worse than anything he has faced in the NBA.
Lin spoke candidly about how he was often subjected to racial slurs while playing for the Crimson. And he walked Foye through a bunch of really specific examples to illustrate his point. Here are just a few of the fan bases that made life hell for Lin when he was in college:
- Cornell: "The worst was at Cornell, when I was being called a c—k. That’s when it happened. I don’t know…that game, I ended up playing terrible and getting a couple of charges and doing real out-of-character stuff. My teammate told my coaches [that] they were calling Jeremy c—k the whole first half. I didn’t say anything, because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up—where I go into turtle mode and don’t say anything and just internalize everything."
- Georgetown: Lin claims one fan in particular shouted things like "chicken fried rice," "beef lo mein," and "beef and broccoli" at him throughout a game.
- Yale: "They were like, 'Hey! Can you even see the scoreboard with those eyes?'"
- 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 player do that!' I was like, what is going on here? I have been called a c—k by players in front of 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."
Lin went on to say that he was expecting things to get even worse for him once he entered the NBA. But to his surprise, most NBA fans reacted differently to him. "It is way better," he said. "Everybody is way more under control."
Elsewhere in his discussion with Foye, Lin also talked about the "Linsanity" craze that took over New York City when he first started playing with the Knicks. And he said that he regrets not enjoying it more.
"My biggest regret is I never really soaked it in or appreciated it," he said. "I was so scared, and then I was so focused on—all right, they think this, so I got to be that, and the next year I got to play even better; and then it was onto the next goal, and I was never really able to slow down and appreciate it."
You can go here to check out what else Lin had to say about the racism he faced in college and catching his big break in the NBA: