Jeremy Lin, point guard for the Brooklyn Nets has a penchant for changing up his hairstyle and on Wednesday he revealed his latest look: dreadlocks.
He wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune titled “So…About My Hair,” in which he shared his own feelings on the issue. He views it as honoring black culture.
“I’ll be honest: At first I didn’t see the connection between my own hair and cultural appropriation. Growing up, I’d only ever picked from one or two hairstyles that were popular among my friends and family at the time. But as an Asian-American, I do know something about cultural appropriation,” he said.
“I know what it feels like when people get my culture wrong. I know how much it bothers me when Hollywood relegates Asian people to token sidekicks, or worse, when it takes Asian stories and tells them without Asian people,” Lin went on.
Jeremy Lin with the kindest comeback of all-time. pic.twitter.com/oRx6BLrpHw
— PinPoint Sports (@SportsPinPoint) October 6, 2017
“I know how it feels when people don’t take the time to understand the people and history behind my culture. I’ve felt how hurtful it is when people reduce us to stereotypes of Bruce Lee or “shrimp fried rice.” It’s easy to brush some of these things off as ‘jokes,’ but eventually they add up. And the full effect of them can make you feel like you’re worth less than others and that your voice matters less than others.
“So of course, I never want to do that to another culture.”
Former Nets player Kenyon Martin doesn’t like it and called Lin out for the hairstyle, saying he just wants to be black.
He posted, then later deleted a photo of Lin’s dreads, saying, “I’m confused, puzzled, in shock, disappointed in his teammates and the Nets as an organization for allowing this foolishness!!!”
Then Martin made a couple of videos, that he also deleted, in which he continues to slam Lin for his new hair.
“Do I need to remind this damn boy his last name Lin?” Martin said. “Like, come on, man. Let’s stop it with these people. There is no way possible he would’ve made it on one of our teams with that bulls–t on his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like, ‘all right bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’ Like, we get it. But your last name is Lin.’
“I see I done ruffled a few of y’all feathers, so… good. Take y’all comments to the bank and see what they give y’all for them. That’s what I think about them, first and foremost. But that man (Lin is) grown. He can rock whatever hairstyle he wanna rock. It don’t mean I have to like it or agree with it. Second of all, I’m grown. I can say whatever I wanna say about whatever I wanna say about. It ain’t about race, it ain’t about none of that. Grow up people, it was a joke. But I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, so it is what it is. I love it. I’m having a fabulous Wednesday, man. Y’all do the same… Go Cowboys.”
Lin clapped back at Martin, pointing out that Martin has Chinese tattoos on his body.
“Hey man. It’s all good you don’t have to like my hair and definitely entitled to your opinion. Actually i legit grateful you sharing it [to be honest]. At the end of the day I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos [because] I think it’s a sign of respect. And I think as minorities, the more we appreciate each other’s cultures, the more we influence mainstream society. Thanks for everything you did for the Nets and hoops…had your poster on my wall growin up.”