When Jeremy Lin wrote his piece in the Players Tribune about his new dreads, he touched on the topic of cultural appropriation, and why his different hairstyles might lead him into “uncharted territories,” as he said on ESPN.
Lin wasn’t wrong in suggesting that some people might take it the wrong way. Ex-Net Kenyon Martin certainly did.
First, Martin posted this picture of Lin on his Instagram:
Then, Martin posted a video on his Instagram talking out against Lin and his hairstyle, while bringing the Nets organization into it. He captioned the post, “I’m confused, puzzled, in shock, disappointed in his teammates and the Nets as an organization for allowing this foolishness!!!
“Do I need to remind this damn boy his last name Lin?” Martin said with a sarcastic face and tone. “Like, come on, man. Let’s stop it with these people. There is no way possible he would’ve made it on one of our teams with that bullshit on his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like, ‘alright bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’ Like, we get it. But your last name is Lin.’”
He followed up with another video... and didn’t make things much better.
As Lin wrote in his Players Tribune piece, there was a reason why he was hesitant to do this. He was afraid, as an Asian-American, to get backlash like this from African-Americans. He responded to Kenyon Martin accordingly on Instagram.
Yes, that’s right. Kenyon Martin has tattoos of Chinese characters on his arm. Is that cultural appropriation?
Martin played a major role on the New Jersey Nets teams that made it to the Finals two consecutive years. Kenyon has always spoken his mind, but he took it to a different place with these comments.
As they said in your high school exams: Discuss.
- Jeremy Lin takes Kenyon Martin jabs on hair, race in stride - Ian Begley - ESPN
- Former Nets star blasts Jeremy Lin’s new look - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jeremy Lin’s dreadlocks spark social media exchange with ex-Net Kenyon Martin - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Kenyon Martin Says Jeremy Lin's Dreadlocks Show He Wants to Be Black - Tyler Conway - Bleacher Report
- Jeremy Lin explains why he’s ‘grateful’ Kenyon Martin criticized his dreadlocks and said Nets guard wants to be black - Amara Grautski - New York Daily News
- Jeremy Lin’s Great IG Response to Kenyon Martin Saying Lin Wants to Be Black - Jeandra LeBeauf - Black Sports Online