Overheard on CNN.com: Fans say 'Linsanity' more than skin deep
Jeremy Lin holds the ball as the New York Knicks play the Los Angeles Lakers in New York last week.
February 15th, 2012
07:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Fans say 'Linsanity' more than skin deep

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Sports anchor Rick Quan wrote a commentary on CNN.com saying he believes the so-called "Linsanity" over New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin isn't just about race, but isn't completely devoid of it either. Our readers had a bit to say about the way race is discussed.

With Jeremy Lin, of course race matters

This was the most-liked comment:

cesarchavez: "Saying race plays a factor doesn't make one racist. It is simply stating facts. The same publicity Lin is getting because he's succeeding in a sport in which members of his race don't typically succeed is what Tiger Woods experienced with golf. If you have a black hockey player or a white basketball player having Lin-type success he would probably get more publicity than if you had a white hockey player or black basketball player doing the same thing. Race can matter without it being racist. People say all the time that we have our first black president. In that instance, bringing up President Obama's race matters, but one isn't necessarily racist for bringing it up."

That comment received several replies. Quan and readers were referencing a remark by famed boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Mayweather said, "Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise."

rapidron: "Mayweather said it poorly because he didn't say 'race is a factor' he said 'race is the factor,' implying black players do 'exactly the same thing.' They do not, and race is not the main factor. To argue this is to be inherently racist by taking away something special that Jeremy Lin is doing - trying to DETRACT from him and what he has done, the work he has put in, and the heart he plays with by stating that race is the factor. Seriously people, get real."

alanjay: "I agree with cesarchavez and rapidiron. Race is a factor of Linsanity, but where Mayweather is wrong is in assuming that it's negativity at the root. There's nothing wrong with celebrating a person's accomplishments in the face of society's expectations. This is a good thing, because Jeremy Lin is proving a stereotype to be wrong and forcing people to confront their assumptions. With all due respect to his boxing skills, perhaps Mayweather should look in the mirror and ask whether he's doing the same with his actions outside the ring."

Some said Lin's education should be celebrated, as well as his faith.

Henry Christian: "How about the fact that he graduated from Harvard and that if he didn't become a pro player, he was going to be a pastor. How many NBA players have THAT story huh?!"

DeeNYC: "Most players don't even have degrees, they just attend long enough to make the draft."

ssn32780: "Agreed. Mayweather is incorrect. Lin DOES have something many of the other players don't: character. What Mayweather (and the entire National Basketball Association, for that matter) don't seem to understand is that most sports fans value character as much as they value talent. You would think Mayweather would have learned this after he sucker punched an opponent to win a fight and nobody asked for his autograph after the bell rang."

This reader says Lin is a great role model.

Tessa Jackson: "People like Lin because he's smart, talented and has a solid spiritual center that he's not ashamed to acknowledge. Frankly, I think he's a great role model for kids and am happy to see him held up as an athletic success story. The fact that he has defied stereotypes is even more appealing to me, because it reminds kids of ALL races to not let anyone else define them or limit their ambition."

Hey, maybe he's got a great story, too.

Pack15forever: "Jeremy Lin is getting attention because he deserves it. He is playing lights out and is a Cinderella story. In my opinion the fact that he is playing in New York for the Knicks in the largest media market is a bigger factor than that he is Asian. If a black player were to come out of nowhere and do the same thing in New York he would be receiving the same kudos. If Lin was playing in Oklahoma City he would not be getting the same level of attention. Mayweather is a racist and nothing he says can be taken seriously."

This reader said the stats should do the talking.

Useyerhead: "This is the NBA. You have to put up numbers before anything else. Race may be an additional novelty after the fact but you don't get noticed if you can't play in the first place. I hope things continue to go well for this kid, it's a tough league and they will be gunning for him now. He and Rose are likeable guys, they just shut up and play, really the type of stars this league needs."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Overheard on CNN.com • Sports
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. King Jcat

    First !

    February 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Welcome.

      February 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jcat16 rules

    Reminds me of how Tom Brady got started

    February 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Or the Iowa boy kirt Warner. Now thats a story of someone coming from nowhere

      February 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jj

    Ive been you tubing this guy all day at work. Finally a reason to watch basketball again.

    February 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    There's a lot of finger pointing going around club management in the NBA because no one was able to spot the potential of Lin's playing ability. Anyway It has turned out well for everybody. Lin's gonna make big bucks, the Knicks have gotten a franchise player and the NBA gets good publicity during a down year!

    February 16, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. NYYFan1

    Haven't really followed basketball in quite a few years. I am mainly into MLB and NFL sporting events. Anyhow, Jeremy Lin is impressive, and probably the most impressive I've seen since following the NY Knicks back in the late 1960's / early 1970's (the good ol' glory years of Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, etc.).

    February 16, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Black Rat

    Mayweather is right, and so what if he is a racists we need more vocal blackmen like him in this country, in other words if you dont like what he said then fight him

    February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. espn

    mayweather gets punched in the face for money. people should stop listening to him already.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Portable Offices

    We're a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with useful info to work on. You have performed an impressive task and our whole neighborhood will likely be grateful to you.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |