NBA News: Jeremy Lin Fights Bullying, Joins #ActToChange Movement
Jeremy Lin, Charlotte Hornets point guard, is more than just a sporting icon to his scores of fans across the world.Advertisement
Ever since Linsanity captured the imagination of basketball fans back in 2012, the 27-year-old baller has earned laurels for speaking about racial issues and social evils that still plague immigrants who earn a living in the U.S.
Lin has made no bones about it; he was bullied a lot as a child because of his Chinese-Taiwanese heritage. Now, Lin is trying to help others by opening up about his past struggles.
The White House recently announced a campaign named “Act To Change,” which focuses on the bullying experienced by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As the national movement gathers momentum, Lin, born and bred in California, is doing his part to help change his country of birth.
“For me, growing up Asian American and trying to play basketball was a bit tough at times,” Lin was quoted as saying by Christian Post. “Sometimes people would make fun of me and just say, ‘Oh, you’re Yao Ming.’” Remember, Yao Ming was the first Chinese player to star in the NBA.
Lin continued, “That’s not that bad, but sometimes it would get worse and people would say, ‘You’re a Chinese import’ or ‘go back to China’ or ‘can you see the scoreboard with your eyes?’ And then sometimes it got really ridiculous.”
The NBA has wholeheartedly embraced Lin. On Wednesday, the NBA announced that over 100 international players are participating in the league this season. But Lin didn’t feel welcomed as a child.
Despite the flurry of racial slurs directed at him as a kid, Lin lashed out only once. “I remember one time I got really upset, kind of lost control and just responded really negatively. My coach told me after the game, ‘Jeremy, when people say that to you they’re trying to get in your head,” said the inspirational basketball player.
“Honestly the best thing to do is take that negative energy and turn it into positive energy. Fuel yourself, motivate yourself with that. Don’t react in anger.”
Lin, a devout Christian, encouraged others to embrace the things that make them different. “My lesson that I learned, and if there is anything I can pass on to you guys, is a lot of times bullies bully other people because of insecurities they have in themselves. Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are or what you can or can’t do,” he advised fellow victims of bullying.
Lin, named in 2012 to Time Magazine’s list of “Top Most 100 Influential People in the World,” wants victims of bullying to embrace their real self. “Definitely look inside yourself, have confidence in yourself, believe in yourself and understand what makes you such a unique and special person. Everybody has different and really cool characteristics and talents.”
Lin’s inspirational words are sure to help all those suffering from this national predicament. A recent survey indicated that that an average of 7.2% of students across 39 American states are scared to go to school due to personal safety concerns.
According to Lin, people can become stronger after surviving bullying. “Always stay positive and hopefully one day you’ll take a look back at these experiences and realize, ‘Hey, me getting bullied or me having to go through these experiences only made me stronger,” he said. “So hopefully, if I just pass anything on, it’s that it’s ok to be weird, it’s not ok to be bullied. Together we can stop bullying. Join the movement, let’s Act To Change.”
Along with Lin, ’30 Rock’ actor Maulik Navin Pancholy has also joined the #ActToChange movement.