Jeremy Lin says Kenyon Martin 'extremely apologetic' for dreadlocks comments

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Monday, October 9, 2017

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin said Kenyon Martin reached out to him and "was extremely apologetic" after Martin suggested last week that Lin shouldn't wear dreadlocks because he is Asian American.

"It was a great conversation. I think things were blown out of proportion, taken a little out of context as well. But me and him had a discussion where he was extremely courteous," Lin told reporters after the Nets' 117-83 preseason win over theNew York Knicks. "Like, I'm actually impressed with how he handled everything. I'm thankful for the conversation we had, and I'm also sorry for some of the things he and his son kind of had to deal with in the aftermath [with fans writing insensitive comments on their social media page]."

In comments he later apologized for, Martin posted a video on his Instagram account last week, saying that Lin's decision to wear dreadlocks is an indication that he wants to "be black."

"Do I need to remind this damn boy that his last name Lin?" Martin said in the video. "Like, come on, man. Let's stop this, man, with these people, man. There is no way possible that he would have made it on one of our teams with that bulls--- goin' on on his head. Come on, man. Somebody need to tell him, like, 'All right, bro, we get it. You wanna be black.' Like, we get it. But the last name is Lin."

Martin admitted late last week that he used a poor choice of words in a video posted on TMZ's website.

"Wasn't really saying it to him. I just made a blanket statement, which I probably should've reached out to him," Martin said. "But the man has dreadlocks, and I thought it was hilarious. Nothing more, nothing less than I thought it was hilarious. I made a statement ... wording probably was bad that I used, saying that he was trying to be black. Wasn't my intention to be racist or anything like that.

"It was meant to be a joke that got out of control. That's all," Martin added. "If I ruffled Jeremy Lin's feathers or if I made him feel [that] way, I apologize, brother ... I'm a grown man, and I can admit when I'm wrong. When things get out of control, I can admit when I was wrong, and my wording was bad."

Martin added that some on social media used racial epithets in response to him, which Lin denounced.

"I'm just processing everything that's happened and kind of felt he was dehumanized to some degree," Lin said. "I wish it didn't happen like that, but we're beyond that, and hopefully I don't have to speak about this incident or my hair anymore."