There has undoubtedly been huge media buzz surrounding Lin's underdog story with fans' delight in the basketball star even being dubbed "Linsanity." However, despite Lin's apparent positive outlook, his stardom doesn't come without setbacks.
This article from the Washington Post presents an interesting viewpoint that, since a large amount of basketball players are Black Americans, their history is more well known and they are more widely accepted than Asians in basketball. And I think they make a good point.
The article quotes Guy Aoki, head and co-founder of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, saying "Because reporters 'don’t want anyone to think they condone the word’s use, they came up with the ‘N-word,’ ” Aoki said by telephone from Los Angeles. “There’s no such thing as the C-word . . . is there'
When the Madison Square Garden Network flashed a graphic of Lin sticking his tongue out, superimposed in the middle of a fortune cookie, Aoki wondered aloud: “Imagine if 80 percent of the league were Asian American. And a black player’s face was put in the middle of fried chicken and watermelon. How would that go over?"
The point that sticks out to me in all this is that stereotyping can present itself in all sorts of light. In this instance, black Americans are more prevalent in American basketball, and thus, are more better understood in this context. We stereotype Black Americans as being good at basketball the same way we stereotype Asians as being good with technology and the same way me stereotype homosexuals as being fashionable. And while these stereotypes include positive qualities, they are still something America must combat. This seems to happen most frequently through the four steps discussed in the class article.
I think Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of editorial, print and digital media sums it up well when he says, “The minute everybody starts patting ourselves on the back over reaching some kind of conclusion on the issue of race, something like this happens and makes us realize how far we have to go."