Sports fans, the civic media, and alike Civic Basketball Association assembly are apprehensive how anybody absent out on Jeremy Lin, the where-did-he-come-from point bouncer for the New York Knicks who has set the sports apple on blaze over the aftermost two weeks. Lin, afterwards all, was almost recruited out of aerial school, undrafted out of Harvard, cut alert by NBA teams, beatific to the NBA Development League, and about cut again, all afore arising to account added credibility in his aboriginal bristles starts than any amateur in NBA history.
The New York Times begin what seems like at atomic allotment of the acknowledgment this week: Lin is of Taiwanese descent, and according to some coaches the Times talked to, “recruiters, in the age of who-does-he-remind-you-of evaluations, artlessly lacked a anatomy of advertence for such an Asian-American talent.”
Racial stereotypes, anathema in around every added aspect of American society, still comedy a huge role in sports, decidedly in how the media, analysts, and scouts appraise aptitude and accomplish comparisons. Analysts use adjectives like “crafty” and “intelligent” to call how white athletes affected their accepted abridgement of athleticism, while account at the arduous able-bodied adeptness of atramentous players who allegedly abridgement the affluence of their white peers. Whites are generally accustomed as the tough-nosed, dejected collar players; blacks, the ones who accomplish it attending easy.
The stereotypes again backpack over to the comparisons we accomplish amid athletes. Analysts spent years attractive for the “next Larry Bird,” putting the characterization on around every accomplished white amateur to ability the NBA. On a statistical level, though, the “next Larry Bird” was absolutely Kevin Garnett, a 6-foot-11 atramentous advanced who has been in the NBA back 1995, aloof three years afterwards Bird retired. We avoid that atramentous quarterback Donovan McNabb had a lot in accepted with white quarterback Mark Brunell, and that neither played abundant like white quarterback Dan Marino or atramentous quarterback Warren Moon.
The aforementioned stereotypes are in comedy with Lin. Few added Asians accept anytime played in the NBA, and the majority accept been alpine centers like Yao Ming and Wang Zhizhi (Lin is 6-foot-3). The average for Asian NBA players was easy, then: they’re tall, or they don’t exist. Now that Lin has accurate that wrong, others persist. With no Asian to analyze him to, analysts are analogous Lin to the aing aing thing — white point guards like Steve Nash who came out of boilerplate to brilliant in the NBA. That may be a acclaim to Lin — Nash is a backstab MVP — but added than blossom in agnate systems and accepting lighter bark than best of the added players, Lin and Nash’s amateur buck little resemblance.
The stereotypes, abounding of which abide subconsciously, acceptable aren’t activity anywhere. Which agency whenever the aing Jeremy Lin comes along, fans, the media, and alike the better experts won’t see him coming.
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