In the Ivies, too

For the first time in 64 years, Harvard’s hoops team is in the NCAA tournament. Not only that, but their star player is an Asian-American named Justin Lin, and that’s not a fact that’s escaping notice:

Some people still can’t look past his ethnicity. Everywhere he plays, [Jeremy] Lin is the target of cruel taunts. “It’s everything you can imagine,” he says. “Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian.” Even at the Ivy League gyms? “I’ve heard it at most of the Ivies, if not all of them,” he says. Lin is reluctant to mention the specific nature of such insults, but according to Harvard teammate Oliver McNally, another Ivy League player called him a c-word that rhymes with “ink” during a game last season. Just last week, during Harvard’s 86-70 loss to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., McNally says one spectator yelled “sweet and sour pork” from the stands.

I’ve reminded of the Yao Ming-Shaquille O’Neal incident, which to my mind was never really resolved. Of course, when someone stands out so much there’s a pretty intense urge for that person to try to minimize the issue, and maybe that’s the best strategy in the long run, who’s to say?

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