A lesson learned in Martin’s racism

flickr.com/Washington Wizards v/s Denver Nuggets January 25, 2011

There are countless stereotypes in sports that people try to sweep under the rug. One can unknowingly assume things about athletes. For example, female athletes are lesbians, the NBA is fill with thugs or only rednecks watch NASCAR. Stereotypes are not always true; imagine if you had these thoughts all the time.

Former NBA player, Kenyon Martin, made a video stating that Jeremey Lin’s dreadlocks pointed to the fact he wanted to be black. “Do I need to remind this (expletive) boy that his last name Lin?” Martin said in the video. “Let’s stop this, man, with these people, man. There is no way possible that he would have made it on one of our teams with that (expletive) goin’ on on his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like, ‘All right bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’ Like, we get it. But the last name is Lin.”

Jeremy Lin is an Asian NBA player, and this comment made Martin look very ignorant. What if the shoe was on the other foot and Martin was being stereotyped as a black male?

Lin replied, “At the end of the day I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos because I think as minorities, the more we appreciate each other cultures, the more we influence mainstream society. Thanks for everything you did for the Nets and basketball. I had your poster up on my wall growing up.”

Lin’s response was nothing short of amazing. As people, we should appreciate what makes us different and understand it does not make us lesser than. We are still people at the end of the day. Martin’s assumption about Lin, due to his hair being a certain way, made him look foolish. It doesn’t matter if it is in sports or in everyday life. If one judges a person before he or she gets to know that person, it makes him or her look like Kenyon Martin.