Jeremy Lin is an NBA basketball star and a sports beacon, especially for Asians and Asian-Americans. But Lin wears these responsibilities lightly — or at least he’s relaxed enough about them to have fun with his hair. Lin has experimented with a variety of attention grabbing do’s over the years — from trim-shaved to sharp-spiked (adding a Fletch-like 5 inches some nights). Recently Lin, now in Brooklyn representing one of the most multicultural cities on earth, has been sporting dreadlocks. Dreads are mostly know as a style favored in the US by African Americans — Jamaican music great Bob Marley remains the most famous dreadlocks wearer.
NBA veteran Kenyon Martin took offense at Lin’s hairstyle choice, saying “All right, bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’Like, we get it. But the last name is Lin,” on an Instagram video. Martin was called out for racism as quickly as he called Lin out for cultural appropriation. (It’s hard to keep up, right?) Anyway Lin and Martin had a chat and all is good. Martin will continue to think Lin’s dreadlocks are “hilarious” in a non-racist way. Lin will move on, saying he had “a great conversation” and that he was “impressed with how [Martin] handled everything.] Very little was made of the part where Martin called Lin “this damn boy” — though one shudders to think of the overblown reaction if Lin had used the same words to describe an African American player.