“On draft night, I got abused. That was dealt with very quickly. That was good by the club,” Lin said on Monday.
“In the comments, this lady was just saying that I shouldn’t be playing because I would give the club the virus. I just laughed at it all. Because it was just not true at all. I’m not Chinese, and I definitely won’t give you the virus either.”
“This lady was just saying that I shouldn’t be playing because I would give the club the virus. I just laughed at it all. Because it was just not true at all. I’m not Chinese, and I definitely won’t give you the virus either.”
The club confirmed they had suspended the fan’s membership and organised an education process, as per protocols for this sort of incident. It is unclear whether the incident formed part of the independent review into the club’s history with racism.
Lin is proud of her heritage, which plays a sizeable part in her life.
The Doncaster Secondary College graduate’s parents, Wen Ju and Yu Sung, both immigrated from Taiwan and were concerned at first about their daughter’s hobby, especially as she stands at just 162 centimetres.
“They had absolutely no idea what footy was until I started playing it,” Lin said.
“They knew the gist of it. At the start they weren’t overly happy about me playing it, but definitely, they have warmed up to it now. They tried to [stop me playing] because they were just worried that I would get injured, especially me being very small, but I was like, ‘Nah, I’ll be fine.’”
She has brought her culture to Collingwood too. Last week, Lin brought snacks for her teammates to celebrate Chinese New Year.
“The culture is very giving. It’s definitely nice to share it with the girls,” Lin said.
“They loved it. Sharns [Sharni Norder] the other day was just like ‘keep ’em coming.’”
And she is glad to be a trailblazer, given only a handful of players of Asian descent have played the game at the top level.
“At first I didn’t really think much of it, but recently I’ve got a couple of tags from people saying how good it is. I’m starting to realise it more, now,” she said.
Lin has become close with fellow first-year Magpie Tarni Brown. They both kicked their first goal against the Tigers. That the Collingwood side features someone whose dad and two brothers have also played for the club, alongside the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, speaks to football’s capacity as a melting pot.
Lin, who works at Donut King and is planning to study a sports course at Deakin University, became a Pies fan through her brother William and her heroes growing up were Alan Didak and Dane Swan. She even got co-captain Steph Chiocci to sign a footy card which now hangs in Lin’s locker.
“She was like, ‘I don’t want to devalue it’ and I was like, ‘I would love you to devalue it.’”
Now Lin has the chance to emulate her hero’s feats. On Sunday she re-lived that moment when she tidied up an overheated handball from Aisling Sheridan to kick truly.
“I just went for it, hoped for the best and it almost missed … it went through and I was in shock,” she said.
“It’s been awesome [to play]. It’s been unreal really. Especially with the first game, that was definitely unexpected.
“I had it in my mind that not a lot of draftees play in their first year but I definitely pushed myself to be able to be selected early on.”
She wants to work on her aerial game, but is ultimately happy just contributing to a team that is now 3-0 and a genuine premiership contender.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter