It turns out not everyone has jumped on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. Outspoken and undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweeted on Monday that he doesn't believe Lin is doing anything particularly noteworthy, claiming that race -- not performance -- is the source of the hype around the New York Knicks' Asian-American breakout star.
Mayweather, who will begin a 90-day jail sentence on June 1 for a domestic violence case, has drawn criticism for injecting race into conflicts previously. Back in 2010, he went on a racist and homophobic rant about boxer Manny Pacquiao on USTREAM.
Mayweather isn't alone in igniting controversies involving Jeremy Lin on Twitter. Following Lin's phenomenal performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, in which he out-scored Kobe Bryant with 38 points, Jason Whitlock of FOX Sports drew widespread criticism for a tweet alluding to a racist stereotype about Asian men.
I get Linsanity. I've cried watching Tiger Woods win a major golf championship. Jeremy Lin, for now, is the Tiger Woods of the NBA. I suspect Lin makes Asian Americans feel the way I feel when I watch Tiger play golf.
I should've realized that Friday night when I watched Lin torch the Lakers. For Asian Americans and a lot of sports fans, his nationally televised 38-point outburst was the equivalent of Tiger's first victory in The Masters. I got caught up in the excitement. I tweeted about what a great story Lin is and how he could rival Tim Tebow.
I then gave in to another part of my personality -- my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It's been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother's Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.
The couple-inches-of-pain tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin's performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too. As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I'm truly sorry.
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