The Fraying of the Fringes: Black NBA Players Violence Against Chinese-American Jeremy Lin
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Open Season on Jeremy Lin? In Video, Fan Highlights Hard Fouls By ANDREW KEH APRIL 14, 2016

Hsiu-Chen Kuei waited until her husband and three sons had gone to bed one night recently before surreptitiously beginning work on an ambitious personal project.

As they slept, Kuei, 48, a stay-at-home mother from San Jose, Calif., hunkered down at her computer and began poring over highlight videos featuring Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin, her favorite N.B.A. player. She fumbled around on Final Cut Pro, a video-editing program, splicing together the specific clips she had sought. She did this for six straight nights, three hours each night.

On April 5, Kuei uploaded her finished product, a six-and-a-half-minute video, to YouTube. She called it “Jeremy Lin: Too Flagrant Not to Call.” Piecing together clips of Lin over the years getting whacked in the face, clotheslined, bleeding, tumbling to the floor — all without ever drawing a flagrant foul — Kuei tried to convey that Lin, an American-born son of immigrants from Taiwan, was the victim of excessive physicality from opponents and insufficient protection from the league and its referees.



To Kuei’s surprise, the video soon attracted close to a million views, capturing the attention of basketball fans around the world and the eye of the league — even if no one quite knew who was behind it. With its bruising simplicity, it revived questions about the fairness and consistency of officiating in the N.B.A. and sparked conversations about the possible effects of latent racial biases.

Kuei’s original clip had been viewed more than 980,000 times and had more than 1,000 comments through Thursday morning. A version of the video with Chinese subtitles had more than 750,000 views on YouTube. Threads on online messages boards, like Reddit, engendered fevered discussion and debate.

The video kept spreading. Media outlets in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where Lin counts many fans, ran stories on it this week. Though it seems not yet to have attracted the attention of the news media on the Chinese mainland, fans on social media there have taken notice: A copy of the video posted to Weibo, a popular microblogging service in mainland China, was spreading.

To accompany the video, Kuei recruited two online acquaintances from Lin-centric message boards to help draft a formal letter to send to the N.B.A. She then encouraged fans — some of whom she understood might not be comfortable writing in English — to copy the letter and send it to the league, too. …

The three fans involved in the project — Kuei, Wei and Koon-Ping Chan, a third fan from Bayside, Queens, who was born in Hong Kong and helped edit Wei’s draft — have never met in person, but they interact almost daily in online chat groups. They all began following Lin after his breakout season with the Knicks in 2012 and now belong to the fervent community of Lin supporters that spreads over multiple continents.

They did not attempt to establish a case through statistics because data cannot capture what was at the heart of their complaint. It was the brutality of the individual fouls, not the overall tally, that angered them. “Did you see those fouls, how his neck snapped back?” Wei said.

Critics of the video have suggested similar ones could be made about other players. Kuei, who was born in Taiwan, does not disagree with that notion and does not feel that it contradicts her view that Lin gets shortchanged. She said fans of other players should make their own videos.

Would the reaction from the media be as sympathetic if white fans made up a similar tape of a white basketball player being fouled hard and implied that anti-white racism played a role?

There’s a curious pattern in recent decades in which the best white NBA players, such as John Stockton (Spokane) and Steve Nash (Victoria, British Columbia), developed in nearly all white places, suggesting that in more integrated setting white talent tends to get discouraged early. Perhaps tall white adolescents tend to get mugged on the basketball court? But nobody seems very interested in looking into the reasons behind this pattern …

There is an interesting potential interaction effect. For generations, the conventional wisdom in big league baseball was that there was a crippling shortage of good pitching. But over the last decade, there has been an impressive growth in the number of MLB caliber pitchers, most of them tall white guys. Fastball velocities have gone up. Now some reason for the expansion in the quantity and quality of pitchers involves are obvious: more delicate handling (fewer innings pitched) and more frequent Tommy John surgeries.

But a possibility that hasn’t been looked into much is that tall white boys and their sideline dads are deciding early on to forget basketball and concentrate on baseball.

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