Jeremy Lin has dreadlocks. It’s a perplexing situation, but not all that surprising considering what Lin’s hair has looked like over the last few seasons. Earlier this week he explained the motive for and the thinking process behind the new hairstyle in an essay on The Players Tribune. In the piece he reveals that he and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson decided to get dreads together.
I suggest you read the entire thing because for once we can be certain that the player is the actual author of the piece. Here’s a snippet:
This process started out about hair, but it’s turned into something more for me. I’m really grateful to my teammates and friends for being willing to help me talk through such a difficult subject, one that I’m still learning about and working my way through. Over the course of the last few years and all these hairstyles, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “not caring what other people think” and actually trying to walk around for a while in another person’s shoes. The conversations I had weren’t always very comfortable, and at times I know I didn’t say the right things. But I’m glad I had them — because I know as an Asian-American how rare it is for people to ask me about my heritage beyond a surface level.
Lin was worried about appropriating black culture, which seems to be one of the things that really bothered former NBA player Kenyon Martin. Martin posted a picture of Lin’s hair on Instagram and then posted two videos talking about the hair. Martin received some feedback on his opinion and shot a follow-up. In this one he says it was a joke, but also that he didn’t like Lin’s hair, but begrudgingly admitted Lin could do what he wanted.
Lin left a comment on one of Martin’s posts which was very complimentary but also made sure to mention that Martin has a tattoo featuring Chinese characters.
All three of Martin’s posts about Lin were deleted on Friday morning.
On Thursday Lin went on SportsCenter to discuss the reaction to his hair.
He then talked about it after Brooklyn’s game on Thursday night.
Back to The Players Tribune:
Again, I may not have gotten it right with my idea to get dreads. But I hope that this is a start, not an end, to more dialogue about our differences. We need more empathy, more compassion and less judgment. That takes actual work and communication. So let’s start now — please join me.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this … now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment or question on any of my social media platforms.
In summation, Lin thought long and hard about this decision and is willing to have a conversation with anyone about it no matter how uncomfortable it makes him.