“Growing up it was always something that might be a little more subtle or verbal, but I think what we’re seeing right now is a lot of physical, actual violence, lives being taken,” Lin said.
“A lot of Asian Americans who are looking over their shoulders when they go outside, when they go to the grocery store, and we’re starting to slowly see more and more reporting of what is going on.
“But this is something that is definitely hitting different.”
According to Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds, preliminary information indicates that the killings may not have been racially motivated, but instead could relate to the suspect’s claim of a potential sex addiction.
“It feels like it’s happening more, and it feels like it’s getting worse and even for me, I’m starting to question: ‘Oh, if I speak out more, am I encouraging more people to have even more hate, by other people seeing these headlines?'” Lin said when asked about the Atlanta shootings.
Lin, who became the first Asian American to win an NBA title in 2019 while with the Toronto Raptors, says he was targeted multiple times with racist slurs during his college basketball career and that Covid-19 has intensified a pre-existing problem.
“We’re seeing all these micro-aggressions through history,” Lin said.
“Asians have always been projected as being others or outsiders and you can hear and see these micro-aggressions, like: ‘Where are you really from?’ or talking about the way that we look or our complexion or things like that.”
“There are so many micro-aggressions that contribute to that and again, calling it the China virus, Kung Flu virus, that is adding to it and fueling the fire,” he said.
“Now we’re starting to see a lot of those micro-aggressions turn into actual acts of violence. It is really hard to watch. I encourage people to watch these videos to see this is actually happening. These are real stories, real lives.”