Filmmaker and passionate New York Knicks fan Spike Lee has come out swinging against boxer Floyd Mayweather who earlier charged that Jeremy Lin is attracting a lot of attention because of his race, not necessarily his basketball skills.
Lin, the son of Taiwanese immigrants and graduate of Harvard University, has become the talk of the sports world and the toast of Broadway through his brilliant play over the last two weeks, after riding the bench most of his brief career in the NBA. He is one of the first American-born Asian to play in the league.
On Monday, Mayweather posted the following comment on his Twitter account: Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise.”
Mayweather claimed he was only standing up for black NBA players.
In response, Lee tweeted: Floyd Mayweather I Hope You Watched Jeremy Hit The Gamewinning 3 Pointer With .005 Seconds Left. Our Guy Can BALL PLAIN AND SIMPLE. RECOGNIZE.”
The 54-year old director, perhaps best known for his films “Malcolm X” and “Do the right thing,” also added: Floyd Mayweather Sounds Like Rush Limbaugh When He Talks About Jeremy Lin Saying He's Only Getting Attention Because He's Asian. WAKE UP YO.
Interestingly, Mayweather’s chief boxing rival and nemesis Manny Pacquiao, who is Filipino, wrote on his Twitter account: “God Bless Jeremy Lin.”
Lee also spoke to MSNBC-TV about the ‘Linsanity’ phenomenon.
Don't try to explain it, dissect it, Lee said. We're just in the middle of it and enjoy it. Especially if you are a Knick fan It's a great American story. A great American story.
Lee, who will wear a replica of Lin’s high school basketball jersey for Friday’s game at Madison Square Garden, continued to praise the 23-year-old wunderkind.
The [Knicks] has been put in the hands of this guy who really has only played seven really meaningful games in his basketball career, Lee said.
The guy they overlooked all this time, he became the guy that's now the international hero. It's amazing. Everywhere in the world, they are talking about Lin. Something has happened that there's no explanation for.