The NBA’s G League is investigating after Jeremy Lin, one of the best known Asian American basketball players, said that he had been called “coronavirus” on the court.
Lin opened up about the racist act in a social media post Thursday, a few days after doing a candid interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Race In America” to discuss a recent uptick in racially-motivated attacks against Asian Americans nationwide.
“Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,” Lin wrote on Facebook, without going into specific details about when or where this happened. However, many Asian Americans say they have endured similar situations since last year, when former President Donald Trump began describing the coronavirus as the “China virus.”
The NBA’s G League investigation was first reported by The Athletic on Friday. A league spokesperson later confirmed to the New York Times that an investigation had been opened.
“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism,” the Taiwanese-American player, who is part of the Golden State Warriors’ G League affiliate, Santa Cruz Warriors, said.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expressed his support.
“I just saw the post,” Kerr told reporters. “Really powerful. I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community.”
Lin, who last year pledged up to $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts, said Asian Americans “are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble.”
“We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked…We are tired of being invisible…or told our struggles aren’t as real,” Lin said in his social media post.
Lin began his NBA career with the Warriors in 2010 before moving to the Knicks, where he sparked what became known as “Linsanity” in the 2011-12 season.
He also played with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks. In 2019, Lin became the first Asian American to win an NBA Championship, doing so with the Toronto Raptors.