Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rise above hate: John Cena, Jeremy Lin and President Obama + Lebron James

The hottest sporting sensation in America received the highest honor today by being mentioned by US President Barack Obama:
President Obama watching Jeremy Lin
Meanwhile, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told ESPN.com that President Barack Obama has been following Lin this past week and watched Lin hit the game-winning 3-point shot that beat the Raptors Tuesday night in Toronto. "That's great. That's a great story," said Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni. "(Obama's) a basketball fan. He might even think he can take (Lin), I don't know."

The president discussed the shot with aides on Marine One earlier Wednesday on the way to Andrews Air Force Base, before flying to Milwaukee. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Lin's success is "just a great story, and the president was saying as much this morning."

It's a story that "transcends the sport itself," Carney added.

Lin said he is, "very honored, very humbled" over the attention from President Obama. "I mean, wow, the president. Nothing better than that," he said after scoring 10 points and handing out 13 assists in the Knicks' 100-85 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Lin like Obama is superficially a story of race and overachievement. As Obama has found out approaching the end of his first term, with the Tea Party movement and his approval rate declining. The same light that shines is the same light that burns. Eventually performance does trump novelty but this is nothing new for Lin as he has had to defy "haters" doubting him from the beginning:
Harvard's Hoops Star Is Asian. Why's That a Problem?

Some people still can't look past his ethnicity. Everywhere he plays, Lin is the target of cruel taunts. "It's everything you can imagine," he says. "Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian." Even at the Ivy League gyms? "I've heard it at most of the Ivies if not all of them"...

In the face of such foolishness, Lin doesn't seem to lose it on the court. "Honestly, now, I don't react to it," he says. "I expect it, I'm used to it, it is what it is." Postgame, Lin will release some frustration...
Ultimately its what the "haters" want - for their targets to get caught up in the emotion. Its up to the heroes of the story to 'Rise Above Hate' and leave it all on the floor. At least that's what would happen in wrestling.

VIDEO: John Cena Vs Kane Royal Rumble Promo

- Barack Obama and Sarah Palin: Basketball and Politics
- Lebron James follows Rush Limbaugh to Florida. 'Sports Guy' Bill Simmons likens Lebron to a wrestling heel
- The rise and fall of Sarah Palin (Part 1 of 2)

Update: Lebron James replaces Jeremy Lin
After deliberating about it, I realised Jeremy Lin doesn't fit in 'Rise Above Hate' trio. If he were to have his own tagline it would more likely read 'Rise Above Doubt'. Lin unlike Obama, James and Cena has been doubted from the very beginning and has only recently had weight put behind and on him. The trio all got rockets strapped to their backs, getting monster pushes only to receive a backlash when people grew weary. Their performance not living up to their lofty title.

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