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May 29, 2017

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Jeremy Lin addresses stereotypes for Asian American men

The subject of Asian masculinity needed more public discussion, according to Taiwanese-American Brooklyn Nets player Jeremy Lin (林書豪).

In a recently uploaded YouTube video, Lin was asked by fitness activist Kevin Kreider at a Q&A event in Philidelphia this week whether Asian men were stereotypically viewed as being unattractive.

In response, the National Basketball Association (NBA) star noted the prejudice he faced both on and off the court as an Asian-American male.

Reflecting on the 2010 NBA draft, Lin described how he scored similarly with rising star John Wall in terms of athleticism, but that it was Wall who was later taken as the number one pick.

"Me and John were the fastest people in the draft, but he was athletic and I was 'deceptively' athletic. I think I've been deceptively 'whatever' my whole life," Lin said.

Regarding stereotypes off the court, Lin responded to Kreider's question by addressing the perceived social discrepancy of interracial dating.

"I feel like a lot of times we had a lot of Asian girls going for non-Asian guys. You don't see a lot of non-Asian girls going for Asian guys."

"That's just like when they say 'yellow fever' growing up, it wasn't like all these white girls are going for Asian guys. It was the Asian girls going for white guys," Lin said to a laughing crowd.

Lin concluded: "I think we just need to keep being ourselves and I think that the world will come around and appreciate us Asians."

"Kill them with kindness for the time being."

In his video, Kreider argues that media portrayals of Asian and Asian-American men and women vary, where women become victims of "oversexualization," while men are portrayed as "not sexy, not good-looking."

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