“…Sports is the last place where we would expect an Asian man to rise to enormous success and recognition. It just does not fit the feminized and weak image of Asian men…Clearly, if Jeremy Lin’s achievements announce the arrival of a real Asian man in American consciousness and in mass media, he did not do it alone but as a team player together with other Asian men, such as Michael Chang, who became the youngest tennis player to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17. What helps to make Lin’s story so unforgettable—at least for the time being—is that he plays an “all-American” sport at a time when such sports have become an enormously important part of American life. It is also a time when being Asian or Chinese is no longer associated with backwardness, weakness, and inferiority.”
–YONG CHEN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES AT UC IRVINE.
For full text of Chen’s short essay on the history of Asian-American masculine identity on The China Beat, click here.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks’ head coach Mike D’Antoni has just resigned from his post after the Knicks went on a six-game losing streak. Just prior to D’Antoni’s departure, Grantland’s Brian Koppelman defended Jeremy Lin and fingered the losing blame at “Joy Wrecker” Carmelo Anthony, while Kevin Lincoln of Buzzfeed reacts to news of D’Antoni’s departure in the voice of Ernest Hemingway. The Knicks responded to D’Antoni’s resignation in their very next game with a 121-79 utter shellacking of the Portland Trail Blazers.