Jeremy Lin is facing a lot of backlash for rocking dreadlocks on the basketball court. Some are saying that the Asian-American wants to be black while others are accusing him of culture appropriations.
The NBA superstar wants the world to know he is not rocking dreadlocks to belittle Black culture but rather to emulate his heroes Peter Tosh, Sizzla, Dennis Brown and Bob Marley.
Lin says he grew up on reggae music, admire the Rastafarian culture and always wanted to be a Rasta even though he does not smoke marijuana.
“As a kid, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley was always playing in my house. People have their stereotypes about Asians but I am not a Bruce and shrimp fried rice kind of guy. I am a curry goat. oxtail, jerk chicken and Boom Viniyard kind of guy,” Jeremy Lin told 18 Karat Reggae.
For New Jersey Nets player, Kenyon Martin, has some harsh criticisms for Lin, despite Lin’s explanation of why he is rocking dreads.
“Do I need to remind this boy that his last name is Lin? Like, come on, let’s stop this. These people. There is no way possible he would’ve made it on one of our teams with that shit going on on his head,” Martin said in an Instagram video. “Come on. Somebody really needs to tell him, like alright, we get it. We get it, you want to be black. We get it, but the last name is Lin.”
Maybe someone told Martin he was wrong for going at Lin like that, because he followed up with a second video that almost sounds like an apology.
“That man is grown. That man can rock whatever hairstyle he want to rock. That don’t mean I have to like it or agree with it,” he said. “Second of all, I’m grown. I can say whatever I want to say about it. It ain’t about race. It ain’t about none of that. Grow up, people, it was a joke, but I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it, so it is what it is.”
Lin responded to Martin in his calm and humble Rasta tone.
“Hey man, it’s all good. You definitely don’t have to like my hair and you are are definitely entitled to your opinion,” he wrote. “Actually I am legit grateful for you sharing it to be honest. At the end of the day, I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos because I think its a sign of respect. And I think as minorities, the more that we appreciate each other’s cultures, the more we influence mainstream society. Thanks for everything you did for the Nets and hoops … had your poster up on my wall growing up.”
That’s the way it should be, love and respect for each other. Big up Jeremy Lin, you love reggae and Jamaican culture and we are in your supermarkets everyday. Just no more plastic rice, please. Also, don’t start bleaching your skin like Vybz Kartel, that probably wont fit you.