Jeremy Lin Opens Up on College Basketball Racism

Jeremy Lin, now of the New York Knicks, in Los Angeles California, February 19 2015.
Jeremy Lin, now of the Brooklyn Nets, in Los Angeles California, February 19, 2015. Lin says he suffered racist abuse while playing college basketball at Harvard. Rachel Murray/Getty

Jeremy Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, has opened up on racist abuse he suffered in college basketball.

Lin, the 28-year-old point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, said on teammate Randy Foye's podcast that he had been called a "chink" in his days playing for Harvard.

"The worst was at Cornell, when I was being called a chink," Lin told "Outside Shot with Randy Foye." "That's when it happened. That game, I ended up playing terrible and getting a couple of charges and doing real out-of-character stuff. My teammate told my coaches they were calling Jeremy a chink the whole first half. I didn't say anything, because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up, where I go into turtle mode and don't say anything and just internalize everything."

Lin, whose 2012 breakthrough with the New York Knicks led to the "Linsanity" craze, also told Foye that a Georgetown fan had once shouted names of Asian foods like "chicken fried rice," "beef lo mein" and "beef and broccoli" at him throughout a game.

But he said the situation had improved since he got to the NBA, originally with Golden State Warriors in 2010.

"When I got to the NBA, I thought this is going to be way worse. But it is way better. Everybody is way more under control," Lin said.

Lin started 33 games this season for the Nets, who finished rock bottom of the NBA's Eastern Conference. He posted his best statistical season, in terms of points per game, since his breakout with the Knicks with 14.5 ppg for the 20-win Nets.