As a Cleveland sports fan, I follow many different Cleveland bloggers to keep up to date with current events within the teams. While on Cavaliers Nation I noticed a blog written about one of my favorite Cavs players, J.R. Smith, tweeting in response to alleged racism towards past teammate Jeremy Lin. Although Lin denies that Smith was ever racist towards him and Smith tweets denial to the accusations, I found what Lin had to say very interesting. He says, “Linsanity wouldn’t have happened if I was white, or black, or whatever. Part of the reason why it was so crazy is because I’m Asian”. This is interesting to me because I always assumed as a basketball fan he felt admired for his sense of being an underdog and succeeded past belief for many once given a chance by a losing team.
This is significant to what we have learned in class because it relates to orientalism brought up in one of our readings by Erica Lee. This idea stems from stereotypes that come with nationalities such as Asians are inferior at basketball in the US. As brought up Lin, he believes that his claim to fame had just as much to do with his race as his actual talent for the sport of basketball. He believes that it was more of a shock that he is a good Asian-American basketball player rather than that he was an underrated player that outperformed his teammates.