Friday, February 17, 2012

Linsanity and its Effects on Lintellectual Stereotypes

I am really enjoying the Linsanity (all Jeremy Lin all the time), but am also deeply troubled by the way he is portrayed in most media articles: as a nerd, and as the smartest player on the court at all times.

Not only do I believe that perception to be a classic example of the continued use and abuse of asian stereotypes, but I also think it unwittingly belittles the other 9 players on the court, many of them from Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Georgetown and other very fine institutions of higher education, and yes, many of them, African Americans and non-americans …

Is Jeremy Lin smarter than Dikembe Mutombo (African)? Dikembe has two degrees from Georgetown, one in linguistics and the other in diplomacy, speaks 9 languages, and has multiple honorary doctorates … and yet, he was never called the smartest player on the court.

Pau Gasol (Spanish) went to medical school in Barcelona before joining the NBA; the Collins (african americans) and the Lopez (hispanic descent) twins graduated from Stanford; Shane Battier (half african american) had a 3.8 GPA at Duke and was an Academic All-American twice.

I am not trying to stir up anything; I am simply stating the obvious. American media, and especially sports media, has a long way to go regarding stereotypes in sports. At the risk of sounding like I agree with Floyd Mayweather’s take, the fact remains that race plays a large part in Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise. Not in regards to his physical abilities, like Floyd thought, but rather his intellectual ones …

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