Calling accused Georgia massage parlor shooter Robert Aaron Long a ‘coward a** young man,’ LeBron James offered support to America’s Asian community on Wednesday following the tragic killing of eight people, including six Asian women, in the Atlanta area on Tuesday night.
‘My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa,’ James wrote in a social media post, adding, ‘Just senseless and tragic!!.’
Long, a 21-year-old Georgia man, has been arrested following three separate shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors. Police do not currently believe the attacks were racially motivated, although six of the victims were Asian and there has been a reported increase in anti-Asian violence and harassment during the pandemic.
Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese-American former NBA star and an outspoken advocate for the Asian community, also reacted on social media.
LeBron James (pictured during the March 7 All-Star Game in Atlanta) reacted to the Georgia shooting by calling accused killer Robert Aaron Long a ‘coward a** young man’
James reacted to Tuesday’s shooting by calling the accused gunman a ‘coward a** young man’
Former NBA star Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese-American and an outspoken advocate for the Asian community, has noticed a rise in anti-Asian crimes and said he was called ‘coronavirus’ during a G League game in February. The league, which serves as the NBA’s developmental circuit, has identified the player internally but will not be revealing any punishments publicly
Lin reacted to the shooting on Twitter, while addressing the rise in anti-Asian crimes in the US
‘This is sooo heartbreaking… praying for our world,’ wrote Lin, who recently finished a season playing for the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. ‘To my Asian American family, please take time to grieve but know youre (sic) loved, seen and IMPORTANT. We have to keep standing up, speaking out, rallying together and fighting for change. We cannot lose hope!!’
Crimes against Asian Americans are reportedly on the rise since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which many, including former President Donald Trump, have blamed on China.
Stop AAPI Hate, a group that tracks hate crimes against Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders, has recorded 3,800 alleged instances of violence and harassment against Asians since the pandemic began; and the group believes the real figure is actually much higher.
‘We’re in a place where we’ve seen an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the pandemic started,’ Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen said following the shootings. ‘It’s hard to think it is not targeted specifically toward our community.’
Long, 21, has been arrested following three separate shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors. Police do not currently believe the attacks were racially motivated, although six of the victims were Asian and there has been a reported increase in anti-Asian violence and harassment during the pandemic
Lin, himself, recently revealed that he was called ‘coronavirus’ by another G League player, who he declined to identify.
‘Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,’ Lin wrote on Facebook in February.
The G League, the NBA’s developmental circuit, has identified the player, but with Lin’s support, will not be publicizing any discipline in the matter or the individual’s name.
‘We’re handling this matter internally, a decision supported by Jeremy Lin,’ a league spokesman told NBC on Tuesday. ‘Lin has met with the player to discuss the escalating racism and violence toward Asian Americans, and the player understands the impact that hearing his comment had on Lin.’
After revealing the incident online, Lin explained why he did not want the individual identified.
‘I know this will disappoint some of you but I’m not naming or shaming anyone,’ Lin wrote in a social media statement. ‘What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down?
‘It doesn’t make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism.
‘Fighting ignorance with ignorance will get us nowhere. Sharing our own pain by painting another group of people with stereotypes is not the way,’ he said.
‘Listen to the voices that are teaching us how to be anti-racist towards ALL people. Hear others’ stories, expand your perspective, stop comparing experiences. I believe this generation can be different.’
Lin is currently reviving his basketball career following a string of knee injuries.
He briefly became a national celebrity as a member of the New York Knicks in 2012, earning the nickname ‘Linsanity’ while helping guide the team to a playoff berth by averaging 14.6 points per game two years after going undrafted out of Harvard.
Injuries derailed his breakout season in New York, and he went on to play for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and the Toronto Raptors, with varying degrees of success.
He played in China last season before averaging 19.8 points a game over nine G League games this year.