Fans cheered while Jeremy Lin led the New York Knicks to a 100-85 win against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, but as MSG Network’s cameras panned the stadium, one fan’s sign stood out from the crowd.
The network aired a spectator-made poster depicting Jeremy Lin’s face above a fortune cookie with the slogan “The Knicks Good Fortune,” the Associated Press reports. MSG Network declined to comment as to why it showed a sign many deem offensive.
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The first American-born player of Taiwanese descent in the NBA, Lin’s race has caused just as much chatter as his game-winning three pointers. And this is not a new thing for him. According to TIME’s cover story this week, the 23-year-old has had to overcome ethnic slur throughout his career. When Lin entered a gym for summer-league in high school someone dismissed him, saying he was in the wrong place for volleyball. While he played at Harvard, rival teams were the quickest to pass harsh slurs his way. During a game against Georgetown in Washington, a spectator yelled “Sweet-and-sour pork!” from the stands.
But the star’s success has helped him challenge racial stereotypes. Many Asian Americans are passionate about basketball, including Lin’s father, Gie-Ming Lin. When Lin’s father emigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan in 1977, he fell in love with basketball From an early age, Lin’s father has encouraged his son to make time for the game, taking him to the local YMCA to drill and watch recorded NBA games.
With Linspiration sweeping the globe, who knows what the future holds for basketball players of Asian descent? NewsFeed hopes the Linsanity will at least curb offensive signs like this.