Linsanity has reached a new milestone. After only two-and-a-half weeks of stellar play, the basketball world is in agreement that Jeremy Lin has eclipsed Detlef Schrempf as the greatest African-American basketball player ever. So what? In this day and age is it truly necessary to categorize athletes on the basis of race alone? I thought the days of racial discrimination in sports ended when white kids started playing lacrosse. Sadly, I was wrong; discrimination in sports is still an ugly reality. For example, an ESPN reporter used the headline “Chink in the Armor” when referring to Lin’s first loss. It is sad to see that racism against Medieval-Americans is alive and well.
African-American or not, Jeremy Lin still isn’t the greatest player in the NBA. Kobe Bryant is far better than him and he just happens to be Japanese. Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have combined to win a championship and create a perennial powerhouse in the Eastern Conference, but their shared Martian heritage has been justifiably absent from the media’s narrative. I would caution the media to follow this example and keep race out of the conversation.
The best way to eradicate prejudice from sports is to ignore race completely. If not, we run the risk of overlooking certain groups and denying a chance for great athletes to be noticed in their respective sports. For example, there have been so many successful Jewish athletes in sports history, but does that mean that a young Jewish athlete in college or the minor leagues should have a better chance at making the pros? I don’t think so.
Many of my readers may be asking, who is Jeremy Lin? Because of the fact that women’s basketball is immensely more popular than the men’s sport, male athletes often don’t get the attention that they deserve. This is yet another example of societal prejudice based on arbitrary characteristics such as gender. The NBA cannot match the raw talent and athleticism of players like Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, but what they lack in athleticism, they more than make up for with tough defense and a high basketball IQ. If you are true basketball fan and ignore the men’s sport simply because the women can run faster and jump higher, you need to take a good long look in the mirror.
In sum, I believe that Jeremy Lin should be applauded for his spectacular basketball achievements, but he should not be categorized based on his African-American heritage. Paying attention to race has no place in the world of sports.
Daily Nexus satire columnist Matt Renner may only be three-fourths Japanese, two-sevenths Medieval-American and nine-eighths African-American, but he feels it is his duty to represent his people.
Editor’s Note: All Morning Stack articles are fictional and purely for the sake of humor. They are not intended to offend or deceive any Daily Nexus readers. We hope you enjoyed today’s stack of satire!