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The New York Times Questioned For Saying Asians ‘Vividly Overrepresented’ In Figure Skating

(Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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The New York Times faced criticism Friday after claiming that Asians are “overrepresented” in American figure skating.

“Asians make up around 7% of the U.S. population but have become vividly overrepresented in ice rinks and competitions at every level, from coast to coast,” The NY Times tweeted an excerpt from an article detailing the Asian domination on American ice rinks. “Gradually, they have transformed a sport that, until the 1990s, was almost uniformly white.”


“In the United States, a country where Asians and sports are not often intertwined in the popular imagination, figure skating is now plainly an Asian American sport,” The NY Times report also said.

The NY Times’ choice to use “overrepresented” to describe the number of Asians in ice sports set off an avalanche of criticism from the left and right.

“‘Vividly overrepresented’? Way to be racist, @nytimes,” tweeted actress Patricia Heaton.

CBS senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang asked the NY Times to explain “who says” Asians are “vividly overrepresented?”

“Who’s making that claim?” Jiang tweeted.


Comedian Jenny Yang responded by asking whether it was “appropriate” to use the term “overrepresentation” since Asians are still a minority in the U.S. (RELATED: Parents Group Claims Documents Show Anti-Asian Bias By Virginia School Board)

“Um just because ‘overrepresentation’ is a statistical term doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for social media headlines,” Yang tweeted. “You must’ve known that ‘overrepresented’ is ALSO a very loaded term when used to describe a ‘minority’ population right @nytimes?”


Lindsey Boylan, one of the first women to accuse former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, called the NY Times’ wording “gross,” adding that it “should be corrected.”
“A rise in anti-Asian violence in the last year should remind everyone that language like this emboldens those with racist views,” wrote Boylan.


Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also spoke out against the NY Times’ phrasing.

“Liberals embrace racism, especially against Asian-Americans,” Cruz tweeted. “NYT complains that Asians are “vividly overrepresented” in ice skating.”

Parents Defending Education (PDE) Vice President for Strategy & Investigations, Asra Q. Nomani, criticized the NY Times for claiming Asians were “overrepresented.”

“For two years, we’ve been feeling explicit racism against Asians. We’re ‘overrepresented’ at Stuyvesant HS. Thomas Jefferson HS for Science & Technology. Lowell HS. Now we’re ‘vividly overrepresented’ in ice-skating?!” wrote Nomani. “…the anti-Asian bigotry at the NYT must stop.”

Omani and other parents filed a lawsuit claiming Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), one of the top U.S. high schools, allegedly created an anti-Asian bias for admissions when it changed the school’s acceptance process, according to Parents Defending Education.

TJHSST is accused of participating in an enrollment scheme aimed at increasing the number of black and Hispanic students, according to PDE. Asian students’ acceptance rate dropped by doing away with the race-blind evaluation instead of a “subjective race-based evaluation,” PDE claimed.

Stop AAPI Hate collected “about 10,370 reports of hate incidents [against Asians] from March 2020 to September 2021,” NBC reported.