Asian Male Athlete

The identity of Asian male Athlete is often misrepresented in modern society. We are often looked down upon. Not being able to compete with any other ethnicities around the world. Society view Asian male athletes as one who should be at home doing math or cooking. They do not believe Asians have the capability of being talented in the sports world. How do I know all of this? It is because I am an Asian Male Athlete myself. I have been placed in this situation. For many people this comes off not only a misunderstanding but as racism as well. Throughout history, we have not had much Asian athletes here in the United States but overseas, Asian males dominate at the percentage of 98% according to Asian-Nation. You might say “Oh only America does not believe. You can not say the whole world does not either.” Well, also according to Asian-Nation, U.S. media has so much power that it dominates overseas. This is crucial because although Asian male athletes are 98% overseas, they do not think they are good enough do to the media in the U.S. who portrays Asians as nothing but a bunch of nerds. Through these two sources, you will see how Asians are portrayed in today’s society.

In the film “Linsanity” directed by Evan Leong, you walk along side the NBA player Jeremy Lin and learn his struggles of becoming a basketball player. It is not just any ordinary struggle. It is the struggle of racism. Throughout this film, you see how Asians are portrayed to be untalented in the sports world as Jeremy Lin was cut from his middle school team and told by his coach to go home and do homework instead. Another scene in this film shows that Stanford rejected Jeremy Lin to play on the basketball team because they believed Asians would not be the ideal player for their school. The scene that really pushed the buttons was when Jeremy Lin led his team to state finals in high school but no one believed their team could win because it was an Asian led team. These scenes clearly shows the struggles of being misrepresented in the sports world. In this film, society did not accept Jeremy Lin as a basketball player because of he has an Asian background. He went and proved all of these people wrong. He became so good that it was hard not to notice him. When his home team Golden State Warriors gave him a chance in the league, he became a global icon. He was the inspiration for all the Asian Male athletes around the world. He changed how society started to view Asians in the sports world.

“Shaolin Soccer” directed by Stephen Chow, is another film that misrepresents Asian athletes as well. Just read the title and tell me if you still need explain why the identity of Asian male athletes are misrepresented in modern society. Well, for those who still are clueless this is offensive. Why? It does not just represent Asian male athletes wrong, it comes off a little racist as well. This film is about a group of Asian males that are recruited to play soccer because of their martial arts skills. In no country is this acceptable. Why are Asians assumed to know martial arts? Why can we not be an average soccer player with soccer talents and not martial arts expert? Why is it that, other ethnicities are portrayed as mighty at soccer, and Asian males are portrayed to be pipsqueaks unless they know martial arts? Films like these are the reason society misrepresent Asian male athletes. Media has such a major influence in today’s society that makes it very difficult to change.

Like many of the Asian males around the world, I am misrepresented as well. This really impacts our lives because society makes us feel like we are destined to fail in the sports world and that it is impossible for us to ever succeed. Growing up, I love sports whether it is football or basketball and even tennis. During basketball tryouts freshman year, I was so confident I outplayed everyone there. I scored the most points and racked up the most assist yet I was cut from the team. The coach told me, that I was not athletic enough and it is not my fault but is my genes. In other words he said I was Asian and that Asians can not play basketball. That year, our team consisted of only African Americans and yet there are so many other players that worked harder and much more talented. Those kids were not given the chance because our skin color.

My senior year, I decided to go out and play football. The coach sat me down and told me I am not allowed to use karate on the field. He believes Asians are too small and should not participate and risk an injury. Thus, I was cut from the football team. You know what makes it worst? It was a not cut team. How can Asian male athletes be misrepresented that bad. All I wanted was a chance and I never got that because of how society views Asian male athletes.

Is there a solution to this identity being misrepresented? Well, logically there is. If people open their minds up to get to know someone before they judge. Do I ever think it will happen? No, I do not because as humans, we are too selfish and tend to think highly of ourselves. Americans male athlete will always dominate over Asian male athletes because of how media portrays them. Media has such a huge impact on society that it can manipulate anyone. Asians male athletes are a hard working group of people. Though throughout our lives we have been told no, we use that as motivation to work hard hoping one day we can prove the whole world wrong. One day, maybe we can stop determining who is an athlete based off the color of their skin. Asian male athletes will only be represented correctly is society chooses to .


Work Cited

“Stereotypes of Race and Nationality: Sport Magazine Coverage of MLB Players from 2000 to 2007.” Stereotypes of Race and Nationality: Sport Magazine Coverage of MLB Players from 2000 to 2007. Web. 18 May 2015.


“Caught Between White and Black.” Asian American Sports Stars & Athletes : Asian-Nation. Web. 18 May 2015.


“The Portrayal of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Televised International Athletic Events – LA84 Foundation.” LA84 Foundation. Web. 18 May 2015.


Sports, Sam. “Jeremy Lin Movie ‘Linsanity’ Delves into Racism, Hype.” USA Today. Gannett, 4 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 May 2015.



This entry was posted in Spring 2015 by Matthew Nguyen. Bookmark the permalink.

About Matthew Nguyen

I am very passionate about sports and music. I love to meet new people. My goal in life is to do financing at a sports corporations. I love working in teams but does not mean that I can not be independent. Hope to make new friends!

4 thoughts on “Asian Male Athlete

  1. Hi Matthew,
    I agree with you. Many time media likes to portrayal Asian in a negative way which made audience to think that Asians are weak and short so they are not fit for those sports that needs a muscular body. But the truth is that actually Asian are good a many different kinds of sports. In every Olympic game we can always see Asian athletic wining the gold medal. The old impression of Asian should be changed by now. People should not judge one person’s ability by their race. Also the media should present the truth message to the world. So audience don’t misguided by those ideas. Overall, I think you did a great job. It will be great if you can add some pictures or videos in your post.

    Keep on the good work,

    • Matthew

      In your introduction you do a great job of explaining how Asian male athletes are misrepresented. You show that as you yourself are affected by this and a a lot of this is form experience, experience brought your essay to life. In your second to last paragraph in the intro you should change “do” to “due” before turning in the final essay. I found it clever that in your first source you didn’t just state how Asians are represented bad and how Jeremy was cut from the team. Despite the racism Jeremy continued and proved everyone wrong that Asians don’t just do math they can play sports. Media definitely effects the representation of Asian males and I believe one solution is to change how Asians are portrayed in media. Is this possible is another question but I believe the change in media content will change the image of Asian male athletes. You did a good job on the paper, it was very interesting.


  2. Hey Matthew

    I really enjoyed reading your post because I am always interested in reading about sports and how people are portrayed by the media. I never really thought much about how Asians in sports are portrayed before reading your post but after reading it I realized that I notice all the things you talk about and it’s too bad. Frankly Asians are some of the most talented athletes in the world. Asian countries do well in almost all sports so it’s too bad that Asians are portrayed like they are in the media. Again really good post!

  3. Matthew,
    Really great piece. I love the movie Linsanity and prior to watching that film, I never really thought twice about the struggles Asian Americans may face when wanting to play a sport. It is horrible that the stereotype of Asians in America is so strongly tied to academics and karate and cooking that a lot of great athletes could be disregarded when it comes to sports teams. I think it is great that you picked an identity that often isn’t recognized, and for that I think you paper is going to change a lot of peoples views and opinions as well as speak to other people who may be facing similar struggles to you. I really enjoyed your conclusion because you tie in your own personal experience and it is very similar to those of the artifacts you picked. It makes you paper real and relatable. Great job!!

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