Despite the level of success he has attained, Christian basketball player Jeremy Lin of the Charlotte Hornets still faces a lot of racial discrimination in his career.
Lin is the only player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the NBA, so he alone usually carries the brunt of discrimination against Asian players. Lin says he simply shrugs off these injustices, although there are times when he can't simply ignore them.
His fan named Hsiu-Chen Kuei recently questioned why NBA referees have never called a flagrant or technical foul on players who were rather violent on the point guard, and even created a video as proof. "Lin's health and safety are at risk, as Lin gets hit unnecessarily and excessively in the face, head, and neck areas by other players frequently," the fan said.
Lin is touched by the concern and support shown by his fans, but he told the Charlotte Observer that he has changed the way he thinks about racial discrimination.
"I used to see it more as a burden – like, sometimes I wished people would think of me as just a basketball player," Lin explains. "But as I get older, I see it more and more as an opportunity, and I see how broken the whole view on Asians and Asian-Americans really is in America.
"And it's not just that. It's not just the Asians. It is racism as a whole, and I feel like me being where I'm at – being the only Asian – gives me a different experience where I'm able to relate to minorities or people who are in certain situations," he continues. "So definitely I want to embrace it; I feel like I have a unique platform and a chance to be able to say stuff, whether it's the Oscars or whatever it might be."
What is most important to Lin is not how he feels when people discriminate against him; but rather, what matters to him is how he exhibits God's love during these difficult situations.
"I think the one thing that I can hold onto is I feel like I did things the way God would want me to do things. I try to hold myself and live with high character in a way that God would be proud of," he says. "I'm not perfect. I've made many mistakes. But that's what I try to put my effort towards: playing and living in a way where if God looked at me, he'd say, 'Wow, I'm proud of you.' So that's the ultimate approval I could get is God's, versus a reporter's or a coach's."