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Linsanity: Chink In the Armor Fallout

LinSanity ice cream, Linsanity, Jeremy Lin, race and LinsanityYes, there is a new flavor of ice cream named Taste the Lin-Sanity. Does Jeremy Lin get a cut? He should!

The frenzy that is Linsanity has yet to peak and it seems to disregard game by game results by Mr. Lin. Indeed, it’s moved into a new level such that Linsanity has a life of its own. Paramount to this is the question of race, image of Asian Americans of themselves as much as how the rest of the world perceives us, and the bastion of what was always Ebony and Ivory, the NBA. Is it weird to be in year 2012 and have a new hero much like Jackie Robinson was to the sport of baseball or Tiger Woods to golf?

Jeremy Lin is more like Jackie Robinson to me, and the hopes and dreams of Asian Americans seemed pinned to his success. What are our dreams exactly? It can be simply for a young Asian American hapa to make the NBA like my young friend Tom in 4th grade. Finally, he has a role model that he can relate to. It’s also a coolness factor. That Asian American men actually are sexy, strong, and confident despite Madison Avenue messaging that only Asian women are sex symbols.

And what do you think of Chink in the Armor? My friends, the musical group The Slants, are probably chuckling. Our world is now so PC that they — The Slants — an Asian American dance band (and very good, check them out) are denied trademark rights because they dare to denigrate themselves with racial slurs. To be honest, Chink in the Armor is a clever play on words. Very headline worthy. Catchy too. Is it too honest? That people view Lin as a Chink? Do they view him that way or was this just a headline grabber for readership? I would like to think the writer who was fired is not even racist. That’s entirely possible.

There is a whole new huge world out there that is now suddenly interested in basketball who never paused the channel before and it extends beyond the U.S.A. That Lin can engage the Asian community both here and in China is a marketer’s dream. With his squeaky clean image juxtaposed with his on court swagger, this is a new world of media images we’ve never seen before. I think it will start to extend beyond basketball. Maybe there will finally be an Asian Old Spice guy. Maybe Asian actors will be cast beyond doctors and techno geniuses.

What do you think? Did Chink in the Armor bother you or did it just bounce off your armor? Does it bother you that Linsanity is not just about his basketball ability but his race or do you accept that it’s a package deal? Do you think the hype IS caused by race? I’d love to get your opinion!

 

ESPN has swiftly fired the writer responsible for publishing a post about the Knicks Friday loss with title, “Chink In the Armor.” The headline went up at 2:30 am and ran for exactly 35 minutes before it was taken down.

ESPN released the following statement apologizing for the lapse in judgement:

Last night, ESPN.com’s mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.

ESPN anchor Max Bretos has also been suspended for 30 days for asking, “If there is a chink in the armor, where can Lin improve his game?” while on the air. Whoops, shoulda just gone with a simple, “You Lin Some, You Lose Some.”

from Gawker

Some more interesting articles sent by friends. Thanks Tai, Nathalie and Tim!

Linsanity: A Marketer’s Dream from CNN

“From a marketing perspective for the Knicks, Lin’s popularity is proving a boon — last week his No.17 jersey was outselling those of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.”

Is Linsanity Hype Caused by Race? from CNN

“Floyd Mayweather Jr., the famed boxer, caused controversy when he said the other day, ‘Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.'” Lin is the first Chinese-American to not just get on the court but make a major impact in the NBA. That is huge. 

Asian Harvard Grad Somehow Succeeding In New York; Or, Why I Love Jeremy Lin from DeadSpin

“Jeremy Lin, a charming 23-year-old with an economics degree from Harvard College, has somehow become the city’s ultimate underdog and talisman.”

Just Lin, Baby! 10 Lessons Jeremy Lin Can Teach Us Before We Go To Work Monday Morning from Forbes

“The Jeremy Lin story is incredibly popular because we can all see a little bit of ourselves in this man’s struggles and now successes.”

1. Believe in yourself when no one else does.

2. Seize the opportunity when it comes up.

3. Your family will always be there for you, so be there for them. 

4. Find the system that works for your style.

5. Don’t overlook talent that might exist around you today on your team.

6. People will love you for being an original, not trying to be someone else.

7. Stay humble. 

8. When you make others around you look good, they will love you forever.

9. Never forget about the importance of luck or fate in life.

10. Work your butt off.

May we all learn from Jeremy Lin and be better for it.

 

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Jeremy Lin: A New Asian American Role Model is Born Yet Stereotyping Remains!

“Lin breaks down, or at least penetrates, the walls that have excluded Asian Americans from popular culture.” from SLAM

Jeremy Lin Asian American stereotypes JadeLuckClub.com

image from Privy 5

Jeremy Lin is making headlines and history and the Asian American community could not be happier both for him and for presenting a different side of the stereotypical Asian American. Yet, his success is yet another example of the Asian American work ethic that is drummed into us all from birth. The fact that he’s made People Magazine as one to watch pretty much signifies that he’s reached our nation’s consciousness. Who is Jeremy Lin? Let’s see what the media says:

Jeremy Lin Harvard Graduate JadeLuckClubImage from ESPN

First Harvard Graduate to Play in the NBA Since Ed Smith in the 1950’s

Lin, whose parents emigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. in the ’70s, is the first American player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the NBA. Also notable: He’s the first Harvard alum to play in the league since Ed Smith’s 11-game season for the Knicks in 1953 to 1954, reports Sports Illustrated.  from People

Author Wendy Shang of award winning middle grade chapter book The Great Wall of Lucy Wu sent me this article from a friend of hers who writes for SLAM Online, Your Source for the Best in Basketball.

Pride and Prejudice

Jeremy Lin and the persistence of racial stereotypes.

by David J. Leonard

What emerges is another side of Jeremy Lin. Revered and lauded by his Asian American community, he’s a lone example of an Asian American male who commands respect for his athletic prowess but remains humble and hardworking.

“Timothy Dalrymple highlights the appeal of Lin to Asian-American males:

He particularly has a following amongst Asian-Americans. And some Asian-American young men, long stereotyped as timid and unathletic, nerdy or effeminate or socially immature—have fought back tears (which may not help with the stereotype, but is understandable under the circumstances) as they watched Jeremy Lin score 25 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds for the New York Knicks.”

I like this quote a lot:

“He’s a triumph of will over genetic endowment, a fact that makes him inspiring to an entire generation of Californian kids restless with their model minority shackles,” he notes. from Andrew Leonard 

Jeremy Lin Kobe Bryant jadeluckclubimage from Just Jared

And the Asian American “invisibility” both on the small and big screen in terms of actors is only worse on the sports fields.

“Asians are nearly invisible on television/movies/music, so any time I see an Asian on TV or in the movies, I feel like I’ve just spotted a unicorn, even though usually, I see them being portrayed as kung-fu masters/socially awkward mathematical geniuses/broken-English-speaking-fresh-off-the-boat owner of Chinese restaurant/nail salon/dry cleaners,” writes one blogger. “Anyway, this phenomenon is 10 times worse in sports. While there has been some notable progress with Asians in professional baseball, Asians are all but non-existent in the big three sports in the US (football, basketball, baseball).”

Another quote from this article hits home and I had blogged earlier on the seeming impossibility of an Old Spice Man being played by an Asian American model.

“Amid the invisibility is a history of feminization of Asian American males. When present within media and popular culture, Asian-American men have been represented as asexual, weak, physically challenged, and otherwise unmasculine. Sanctioning exclusion and denied citizenship, the White supremacist imagination has consistently depicted Asian male bodies as effeminate. The entry of Lin into the dominant imagination reflects a challenge to this historic practice given the power of sports as a space of masculine prowess.”

In a sport long dominated by African American males, Lin’s game is based on the same swagger and skills rather than on freakish proportions. It’s like he can play that game too!

“While surely offering fans the often-denied sporting masculinity within the Asian body, the power of Jeremy Lin rests with his ability to mimic a basketball style, swagger and skill associated with Black ballers. Pride emanates from the sense of masculinity afforded by Lin, a fact that emanates from stereotypical constructions of Black masculinity.”

And yet, can just one person break down the Asian American stereotyping? Perhaps not according to Leonard.

“Lin is therefore not breaking down stereotypes (maybe denting them), but in many ways reinscribing them. Celebrated as “intelligent” and as “a hustler,” his success has been attributed his intelligence, his basketball IQ, and even his religious faith. His athleticism and the hours spent on the court are erased from the discussion. And, in positioning him as the aberration, as someone worthy of celebration, the dominant media frame reinforces the longstanding stereotypes of Asians as unathletic nerds.”

David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is the author of Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema and the forthcoming After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press). Leonard is a regular contributor to NewBlackMan and blogs at No Tsuris. Follow him on Twitter @DR_DJL.

Jeremy Lin versus Kobe Bryant JadeLuckClubimage from StreetBall.com

And yet, there s something inspiring about Jeremy Lin, if only to speak to our generation of Asian American children with real confidence and say, “Yes, you can be anything you want to be.” This is the lesson that Forbes seems to get from Jeremy’s upbringing (Tiger Mom style, of course!).

First of all, he IS 6′ 3″ after all. Having a highly-motivated (read: Tiger Dad) parent, I guess, helps. Luckily, they taught him to overcome setbacks through persistence and hard work.

“Have that golden combination of pushy parent and motivated child. Gie-Ming Lin, Jeremy’s father, himself is a basketball junkie. According to the ESPN.com storied I linked above, he was discouraged from playing as a youth in Taiwan, but taught himself the game with obsessive fervor after arriving in the United States to get his PhD at Purdue University. (How appropriate Gie-Ming Lin studied in the land of Hoosier Hysteria.) Gie-Ming Lin was no Marv Marinovich, but he started teaching Jeremy the game and putting him through drills when he (Jeremy, not Gie-Ming) was not long out of diapers. As it turned out, Jeremy was as motivated a student and Gie-Ming was a teacher. Point being, on top of having the physical talent, you need a child motivated to put in the work, and a parent motivated to support him or her putting in the work, in order to be for your child to be good enough that in case of the injustice of being benched, he or she can later show the coaches what idiots they were.

Have a child who doesn’t get too discouraged by setbacks.

After high school, Lin got no scholarship offers, so he went to Harvard, which is Division I, but as an Ivy League school offers no athletic free rides. Lin was projected as a second-round NBA draft pick by many, but ended up undrafted. Lin caught on with Golden State, but the Warriors let him go. The Knicks took him on, but had him player in the D-League and often didn’t seem to give him a passing thought. And yet, Lin played on.

Now, with a brand that is estimated to be worth $150 million, Jeremy Lin is a success story that every Asian American can get excited about.

What is your reaction to Jeremy Lin? Please share!

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The Best Asian American Athletes Ever … Where Are They Now? (#4-6 of 26)

Vicki Manolo Draves Olympic Diver Best Asian American Athletes JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

I’ve never heard of Gold Medal Olympian Diver Vicki Manolo Draves, so it’s been an education for me to post on the Best Asian American Athletes Ever and to see what happens to them when they retire. I find their stories unique and fascinating starting from whence they came, to the barriers they broke down to achieve in their sport. Eugene Chung was the first Asian American to be drafted first round into the NFL, and Ron Darling uses his fame for both acting and doing good with his non-profit, Pitchin for A Good Cause. I hope you find these stories as inspiring as I do. Here are the next three; I am going alphabetically by last name.

p.s. The first 3 Asian American Athletes are here (Benny Agbayani/baseball, Michael Chang/tennis, and Amy Chow/gymnastics).

  • Eugene Chung, football

Eugene Yon Chung (born June 14, 1969 in Prince George’s County, Maryland) was a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League from 1992 to 1997. He is currently the Assistant to the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

When the New England Patriots drafted him 13th overall out of Virginia Tech in the 1992 NFL Draft, Chung became the first Korean American player to be drafted in the first round of an NFL draft. He went on to play three seasons with New England. Chung was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft. He played one season with the Jaguars and one with the Indianapolis Colts before retiring. Wikipedia

 

Eugene had a strong work ethic early in his career.  “That was a big thing that Bob Herb instilled in all of us,” said Brent Newell, a 1988 Oakton graduate and fellow lineman alongside of Chung. “[Herb] was probably one of the first guys that stressed weight-training and offseason conditioning. [Eugene] was one of the disciples of that and that made him a Div. 1A player.”

Chung was selected for the Football Writers Association All-America team after his senior season at Virginia Tech. He was the first offensive lineman to win first-team All-America honors. He started every game at tackle for the Hokies in 1991 allowing just one sack in 730 plays. He was honored as the National Lineman of the Year by the Washington Gridiron Club. He played with the New England Patriots in the NFL from 1992-1994 before playing brief stints with Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Kansas City.

“Chung, whose mother died when he was young and whose father passed away days before the New England Patriots made him the 13th overall pick in the 1992 NFL draft (first Asian player to be selected in the first round), championed a defense that helped Oakton fight back from a winless streak that spanned over both the 1985 and in 1986 seasons.” Great Falls Connection

Eugene Chung Best Asian American Athlete JadeLuckClub

  • Ron Darling, baseball

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Hawaiian-Chinese mother and French-Canadian father, Darling speaks fluent Chinese and French. After growing up in Millbury, Massachusetts, he attended St John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and later Yale University, managing a dual major in French and Southeast Asian history. He was set to graduate in December 1982, but was drafted in June 1981. He  was a  former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York MetsOakland Athletics and Montreal Expos.

Since 2000, Darling has been active in television. He worked as a broadcaster for the A’s, had a FOX show called Baseball Today, and appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. He also provided baseball analysis for the YES NetworkFox Sports Net and, in 2004, CSTV. (WikipediaDarling had small roles in the films Shallow Hal and The Day After Tomorrow. He also played himself in Mr. 3000. In 2007, Darling was a color analyst for TBS‘ coverage of the 2007 MLB playoffs. He was paired with play-by-play man Dick Stockton. As of 2008, he provides commentary for the network’s regular-season coverage, paired with Chip Caray. During the playoffs, he joined Caray’s other regular partner, Buck Martinez.

Because of their popularity as professional athletes, Darling along with Cohen and Hernandez created a website (www.pitchinforagoodcause.org), where the net profit from the merchandise sold by the website goes to charity; specifically, the Cobble Hill Health Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Center, and The Danbury Women’s Center. His versatility as athlete, actor, sports newscaster, and philanthropist make Ron Darling a “Renaissance Man” role model.

Ron Darling Baseball Best Asian American Athlete JadeLuckClub Where are they now?

  • Vicki Manolo Draves, diving

Vicki Manolo Draves was an Olympic diver who won gold medals for the United States in both platform and springboard diving during the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. Victoria Manalo was born to a Filipino father and an English mother. Her parents met and married in San Francisco.

She couldn’t afford to take swimming lessons until she was 10 years old where it cost five cents admission to a pool in the Mission district. It was there that Manalo met diving coach Phil Patterson, who convinced Draves to try her luck as a diver and discovered that she was a natural. She graduated from high school in 1942 and took a temporary civil service job in the port surgeon’s office to add to her family’s meager income. With Patterson in the military during World War II, Victoria looked for a diving coach and met her future husband, Lyle Draves, whom she married in 1946.

Prior to competing in the 1948 Olympics, Draves won five United States diving championships. Draves turned professional after the Olympics, joining Larry Crosby’s “Rhapsody in Swimtime” aquatic show at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1948. She went on to appear in other shows and toured the U.S. and Europe with Buster Crabbe’s “Aqua Parade.” She was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1969.

In October 2006, a two-acre park in San Francisco was named Victoria Manalo Draves Park in her honor. Draves and her husband lived in Palm Springs, California until her death on April 11, 2010, aged 85, from pancreatic cancer aggravated by pneumonia.  Wikipedia

Vicki Manolo Draves Olympic Diver Best Asian American Athletes JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

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Best Asian American Athletes Ever … Where Are They Now? (first 3 of 26)

Best Asian American Athletes Michael Chang Tennisl Player JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club http://JadeLuckClub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Success DiversityMy husband sent me this great list of Asian American athletes but it was just a list without much information so I am going to work my way through the list 3 athletes at a time and alphabetically. Because most of these athletes have retired, I thought I would research and find out what they are currently up to. And you know what? They are all doing interesting things…

“Now that he’s retired from baseball and enjoying life in his native Hawaii, Benny Agbayani sometimes gets “heat,” as he put it, from folks on Oahu. They kid him about forgetting how many outs there were in an inning in the 2000 game when he famously gave a kid a souvenir ball and had to quickly take it back as Giants raced around the bases because there were only two outs.

When Bobby Valentine, perhaps Agbayani’s biggest supporter in the game who managed him with the Mets and with Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines, appears on ESPN, friends say to Agbayani, “Hey, it’s your dad on TV.” Giants’ fans – Agbayani says there are plenty in Hawaii – get on him about his clutch home run against San Francisco in the 2000 playoffs.

Through all the good-natured teasing, Agbayani laughs. And why not? He had, he says, “a great life” in baseball. He doesn’t even have any regrets about retiring after last season, the last of his six seasons in Japan. “I did enough in the game to be satisfied,” he says.” [Daily News Sports]

Best Asian American Athletes Benny Agbayani Baseball Player JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club http://JadeLuckClub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Success Diversity

Michael Chang was an inspiration as the scrappy underdog who could overcome larger and stronger opponents, but it seems that his ability to inspire has turned spiritual.

“He attended Biola University in La Mirada, California for 1.5 years for a Masters in Ministry to increase his personal Bible knowledge. He serves on the Biola University Board of Trustees.

Chang currently lives in Orange County, California. He is an avid fisherman, who often takes fishing trips while traveling. He also has a passion for breeding African cichlids in several large freshwater aquariums at his home. On October 18, 2008, Chang married Amber Liu, another professional tennis player who is 12 years younger than Chang.]They have one daughter, Lani, born December 9, 2010.”[Wikipedia]

Best Asian American Athletes Michael Chang Tennisl Player JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club http://JadeLuckClub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Success Diversity

Is she not the epitome of the perfect Asian child? Scholar, Olympic Medal Athlete, and Stanford Doctor? She is the dream come true for all Asian parents. She seems really nice too!

A retired American gymnast and a member of the famous Magnificent 7, the first American team to win Olympic gymnastics gold, Chow was coached by Mark Young and was the first Asian American woman to take an Olympic medal in her sport. As of August 2008, she was a pediatrics resident at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford after attending Stanford Medical School. She is licensed as a physician and surgeon.She married Jason Ho, an orthopedic surgeon, on July 10, 2010 in Saratoga, California. Upon completion of her residency at Lucile Packard in June 2010, she set up private practice as a general pediatrician in northern California, where she lives with her husband. [Wikipedia]

Best Asian American Athletes Amy Chow Olympic Athlete Gymnastics Gymnast Olympic Medalist Winner JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club http://JadeLuckClub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Success Diversity

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