Washington: Former NBA guard Jeremy Lin, the first Asian-American to win an NBA title, has rebuked US President Donald Trump for "empowering" racism by calling coronavirus a Chinese virus.
The 31-year-old backcourt standout, whose 2012 heroics for the New York Knicks were dubbed "Linsanity", ripped Trump in comments on Twitter.
Trump has repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus", with the White House defending his use of the term by comparing it to other diseases which bear a geographical reference in their title.
"Wish you would powerfully support the vulnerable people that will suffer due to our mismanagement of this virus, including those that will be affected by the racism you're empowering," Lin said.
"And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu bc everyday Asian-Americans inc ppl I know are threatened and physically attacked. I dont give a crap about the history of names rn.
"What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards asians.
When Trump defenders took him to task in Twitter replies, Lin responded.
"Can you honestly tell me there is ZERO anti-Chinese sentiment in all his characterizations of the virus?" Lin wrote. "Can you honestly tell me Asians aren't being unfairly physically attacked today in the US? Is it that hard to use coronavirus or COVID-19? We playin the blame game in a crisis."
Lin, the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, followed his star turn with the Knicks with NBA stops at Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Toronto, where he was part of last year's NBA championship squad.