Tuesday, March 31, 2020
NBA

Slurs and stereotypes: why US pro sports leagues lack Asian American stars

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I‘ll try to remember 14 February 2012, partly as it was my birthday but also because America was in the grip of Linsanity, a blinding two-week period in which Jeremy Lin was among the many world’s best basketball players. That day, Lin hoisted up a three-pointer eventually winding down contrary to the Toronto Raptors.

Yes, that game. 

The shot went in and, as Lin celebrated wildly with his teammates, I’m enthralled. Players who looked like me weren’t meant to be on NBA courts, much less dominate them. For tens of thousands of kids as i am around America, Lin’s emergence meant something.

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Looking at the raw data, especially among the list of Big Four sports on the collegiate level, Asian Americans are vastly underrepresented. And also since, in football and basketball a minimum of, college could be the gateway to professional sports you can realize why we’re still waiting for the subsequent Lin.

A volume of factors really need to be deemed as to why Asian Americans aren’t playing over these popular sports. A few will specify the cultural differences they generally address – especially thinking about education as well as a propensity for working hard. Being a second-generation Asian American, education was of the utmost importance both at home and that is pounded into me. Sports took a backseat more often than not.

Stereotyping is indeed a problem too; it jogs my memory of while i played pick-up hoops at twelfth grade. Teenagers are ruthless and I’d hear way too some of the dismal “small eyes” and “chopstick” jokes – which, inside a basketball setting, make no sense anyway. It hardly encourages a athlete to remain playing – particularly when some honestly believe Asian Americans just aren’t as athletic as other groups.

Of course, from the big pro sports leagues Asian Americans have had success. Chloe Kim was among the many stars on the 2018 Winter Olympics. This wounderful woman has charisma as well as skill and yes it was little surprise doing gracing the duvet of Sports Illustrated. The revolutionary US Open champion, Naomi Osaka, may be a more fluid case. Her moms and dads are Japanese and Haitian respectively but she was raised in the usa. Using the 2020 Tokyo Olympics closer than you think, the spotlight will quickly fall on her, and she get significantly more attention than she did after her US Open win, which has been sadly overshadowed by controversy around Serena Williams’s clash having an umpire.

And maybe there examples of Kim, Osaka and male athletes much like the uber-talented Nathan Chen reveal that success within the NFL or NBA isn’t everything. “Asian American” is definitely an all-encompassing term and really should be treated so. An Asian American athlete doesn’t invariably really need to be a clone of Lin – East Asian, male and playing to get a huge pro sports team –  as a star.

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