Linsanity has calmed down and everyone should be finished reading through their bookmarked articles on Jeremy Lin. The one article that stands out and pretty much summarizes what Chinese people think of Jeremy Lin, is Adam Minter‘s Bloomberg piece. Adam gives us a view from Weibo, then contexualizes it within Chinese politics and media, and then ends addresses race discussions without putting the reader to sleep.
“The Yao comparisons have a particular resonance for state media, in no small part because Yao -– and not Lin -– came out of China’s massive state-run sports system.
As Chinese state media goes, none is more influential than People’s Daily, the official voice of the Communist Party, and its take on “Linsanity” is both interesting and important.
The People’s Daily isn’t going to debate whether or not Chinese are capable of playing point guard; nor can it blame China’s state-sponsored athletic training establishment for the failure of Chinese nationals to ascend to the NBA. Instead, in “Will Jeremy Lin Replace Yao Ming,” published Feb. 12, it cleverly shifted the blame for the lack of Chinese NBA players onto the NBA and its racial biases. Leading U.S. sports media, like ESPN, have also explored racism in the NBA, but the People’s Daily took it further:
[Lin’s] success not only proves that “the yellow race can be outstanding defenders on the basketball court,” but also poses questions to American basketball: Why is the appearance of America’s first “Jeremy Lin” so overdue? Why is it that black figures dominate the NBA?
Few Chinese microbloggers or newspaper columnists are going to bother answering that question. As Linsanity has spread in China, others are asking another question: Why do we care?
“Jeremy Lin is just an American,” complained Lu Yang Bin, a Sina Weibo microblogger inGuangdong Province . “He doesn’t even mention China, yet China’s editors have blown him up into a god, this native-born American …””