Lin recalls some of the taunts he received while playing for Harvard.
Jeremy Lin recently spoke with his Brooklyn Nets teammate Randy Foye on the Outside Shot podcast about racism in sports, and how he experienced more vicious taunting while playing at Harvard than he has during his seven year NBA career.
"The NBA crowd is a lot better than the college crowd," Lin said. "The college crowd goes crazy. Some of the stuff they say, it's crazy. It's all students and they're all drunk. They were saying all kinds of stuff. I was at Georgetown and there was one dude courtside and he kept looking at me the whole game, saying 'chicken fried rice' and 'beef lo-mein' and 'beef and broccoli' ... the whole game.
"Then we went to Yale and they were like 'Hey, can you even see the scoreboard with those eyes?' Or, in Vermont, I remember at one point, I had my hands up with the Vermont player was shooting free throws and the coach was like, 'Hey ref you can't let that Oriental do that.'
"When I got to the NBA, I thought, 'This is going to be way worse', but it's it's way better. Everybody is more under control."
Lin added another story about playing at Cornell when he said he was called a derogatory name the entire game, which he said affected him in the first half and that he had one of his worst games because of it.
One of Lin's teammates told his coaches what was going on and Lin had a meeting with assistant coach Kenny Blakeney, who shared a story of his own battle with racism while playing at Duke.
Of that meeting with Blakeney, Lin said,
"That was a turning point for me in dealing with racism," Lin said. "When you go through that, you have to internalize it and motivate yourself to play better. Whatever you do, you can't play out of character. You can't get your charges and make turnovers and foul out of the game."
"You have to find a way to turn that negative energy into something positive that motivates you. So that was the last time that I ever let racism affect me in a game. Even in the NBA, there are fans who will say small stuff and it's not a big deal. But that motivates me in a different way."