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Ramie Makhlouf

Jer-ackie Robins-lin

I know what you're thinking.  You're angry, and I'm sorry. I know it's a terrible pun, but aren't I entitled to one bad Jeremy Lin pun.  Oh, it's not the pun you're angry about? You're upset because I'm about to compare Knicks' point guard sensation, Jeremy Lin, to Jackie Robinson, the legendary Dodger who broke the color barrier in baseball.  You're saying that comparison is crazy and an insult to Robinson.  Well, it's not crazy and it's actually a compliment to Robinson's legacy. 

Floyd Mayweather Jr., while maybe by accident, was partly correct when he tweeted that Lin was only getting so much attention because he was Asian.  It's not the only reason, but race is a factor and that's a good thing.  Lin is the first ever American-born Asian NBA player.  He is the one and only; the very definition of unique, and unique is a story.  Also a story, is that he's doing some pretty damn impressive things, just like Robinson did when broke on the scene.  As long as people handle it respectfully, or at least try to, it's a celebration that the game is more diverse today than it was yesterday.  The fact that professional sports, and all avenues of success, continue to open up to more and more people of every race, creed, and color, is a very testament to the struggle of people like Jackie Robinson.

Also a testament to Robinson is the fact that Lin didn't have to go through the same struggles Robinson did to break the 'color barrier' in the NBA.  Open racism is frowned upon now, and instituional racism is outright illegal, because of the progress we've made as a country thanks to Jackie Robinson and other civil rights leaders.   But that doesn't mean that race and racism isn't, and hasn't been, something that Lin has had to overcome.  Everyday we see another comment, headline, etc. that comes off as (at the very least, possibly) racist, sometimes seemingly by accident.  You don't think he sees that?  You don't think it affects him? 

And if the kid is for real, what reason is there, other than race, that he was overlooked coming out of High School and college?  Scouts, coaches, and even fans had never seen a great, or even good, Asian-American basketball player, so they just assumed there weren't any and immediately discounted him.  Lin fell victim to the same type of thinking that said black people can't play quarterback in the NFL, and a long list of stereotypes that continue to be proven untrue.

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Topics : Social Issues
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People : Jackie RobinsonJeremy Lin

02/18/2012 1:24PM
Jer-ackie Robins-lin
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02/20/2012 11:31AM
Turnover machine
Perhaps everyone overlooked him since he turns the ball over 6 to 9 times a game. That doesn't cut it in the NBA or any level of basketball.
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