The Asian American Journalists Association asks, and Whitlock delivers...something. In his short, yet somehow rambling "apology" Whitlock tells readers he fell victim to the perils of racial stereotyping due to a genetic trait passed on by his mother. Richard Pryor gets thrown under the bus, too. Most bizarrely, Whitlock equates rooting for Jeremy Lin to rooting for Tiger Woods. I'm sure he means Tiger Woods of 2012, who—one could at least argue without looking silly—is almost an underdog these days.
Comparing the more human Tiger (rather than the golf course assassin who was named both Sportsman and Rookie of the Year by SI and the PGA before winning a major) with the, by now, well documented rags-to-riches story of Jeremy Lin makes sense. That's obviously what he meant.
I get Linsanity. I've cried watching Tiger Woods win a major golf championship. Jeremy Lin, for now, is the Tiger Woods of the NBA. I suspect Lin makes Asian Americans feel the way I feel when I watch Tiger play golf.
I should've realized that Friday night when I watched Lin torch the Lakers. For Asian Americans and a lot of sports fans, his nationally televised 38-point outburst was the equivalent of Tiger's first victory in The Masters. I got caught up in the excitement. I tweeted about what a great story Lin is and how he could rival Tim Tebow.
I then gave in to another part of my personality - my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It's been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother's Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.
The couple-inches-of-pain tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin's performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too. As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I'm truly sorry.
OK, so he's clearly not comparing an underdog to a no-name, almost-out-of-the-sport-before-he-got-a-chance Cinderella story. And it's not an Ivy league thing—Stanford's a good school and all, but it can't be that.
Seems an odd comparison to make, really. I just can't think of any other similarities between Tiger Woods and Jeremy Lin that would make sense in this half-baked apology for racial insensitivity.
Whitlock sorry for Lin tweet [Foxsports]