It’s not a Black and White Issue: Racial stereotyping in sport
Posted by Cags R on 14 February 2012 at 3:22 PM
In the past week Jeremy Lin has bounced onto the international stage and looks set to stay there; the Havard grad is causing shockwaves for having been an overlooked talent for so long. He wasn’t offered scholarships to colleges and was an undrafted player who’s been a solid bench-warmer for the Knicks until recent injuries in the usual starting line-up has opened an opportunity for him to start. Lin’s high school coach was quoted by the LA Times saying “If [Lin] was African American or Caucasian, it might have been a different deal.” His recent rise to stardom has drawn attention to the startling dominance of white and black Americans in the NBA and also highlighted the blinkered vision of talent scouts when it comes to ethnicity in sport.
Floyd Mayweather (outspoken welterweight boxer) has sent Twitter wild with his accusation that Lin is only getting press coverage because he is Asian; 'Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise'. Lin's story is not solely race based but the debate remains as to whether a black or caucasion player would have been overlooked in the same manner that Lin has been.
It’s not only basketball that is affected by racial stereotyping – we’re probably all guilty of it on some levels, subconsciously we have developed a culture which (as hard as it may pretend) is not colour blind. We are formed as athletes by the role models around us and let’s be honest – when you think Asian American athlete you probably imagined the table tennis team. Athletes like Jeremy Lin have to work that extra bit harder to get noticed for their talent rather than their ethnicity but thank god they keep working to change the face of sporting role models within their sport.
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