In order to fully understand New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin’s popularity two standalone facts must be accepted: 1.) part of his appeal stems from him being Asian and 2.) a lot of his appeal stems from him playing in New York.
When you understand the racial and media market-based ingredients that have helped shine a light on just how ridiculously talented Lin is, it becomes easier to swallow inevitable controversies like the one that Madison Square Garden (MSG) Network currently faces.
During Wednesday night’s Knicks game, MSG Network showed viewers a broken fortune cookie with Lin’s head in between and the quote, “The Knicks Good Fortune” on the paper below. Understandably, folks found it offensive.
Here is a screengrab of it, via Darren Rovell:
Whether you find that sort of imagery racist or not probably depends on your general PC-level, but it does speak to a broader point. When you have a guy whose race is an integral part of the reason his popularity is what it is (not the only reason, but an important one), these sort of situations are bound to come up. Race, religion and gender continue to be too divisive of topics for us to discuss on a daily basis without folks getting offended sooner or later.
Expect more Lin-related controversies just like this one in the foreseeable future.
(Kudos to Yahoo! Sports for the photo)