Jeremy Lin is a brand-new, bona fide superstar in the NBA. He's had to deal with a lot of issues in his life and has had more than his fair share of struggles in his career as a professional basketball player, in order to make it to the top of the mountain as the personal savior of the New York Knicks and their fans. And yet, on the biggest night of his professional career, mere moments after setting a career-high in points while defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, a national sportswriter couldn't take to Twitter fast enough to make a racist joke at his expense, apropos of precisely nothing.
Just a few minutes after the game ended and Lin was basking in the adulation of the home crowd and his teammates, FOX Sports writer Jason Whitlock posted the following tweet:
It's kind of amazing how much offense can be packed into such a small sentence. There is a lot of assumption, stereotyping, overt racism and misogyny crammed into those 14 words. There is a lot of very deeply-ingrained and loaded language in that tweet, precisely none of which is okay, particularly from a national sports analyst.
There are still a lot of people who believe it's okay to think these things. They think it's okay to say them. They think it's okay to bring a sign to the Knicks game in support of Lin that read "The Yellow Mamba." The reason they continue to think these things is because there are people with large platforms and large audiences who can freely and toss out flippant remarks like these and be unapologetic about it.
But it's not okay. Whitlock should be ashamed of himself and sports fans should not be cool with this. A teacher once asked me what the difference is between stupidity and ignorance. The difference, she said, is that ignorance can be fixed. We will have to see which camp Whitlock eventually falls into. I have a distinct hunch as to which one it is.
Our esteemed colleague Bay Area Sports Guy also offers his take on the situation.
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