Sigh. I knew it couldn’t last. Not only did the Knicks finally lose one, but ESPN managed to end its love affair with Lin with a helluva Dear Jeremy kissoff. ESPN last night posted a game story on some mobile editions with the headline “Chink In The Armor” (really) at 2:30 am ET, which was changed after 3 am to “All Good Things…”
ESPN posted an apology this morning, by Kevin Ota, Director of Communications, Digital Media ESPN Communications, who ironically is Asian American and having a crappy weekend:
Last night, ESPN.comâ€™s mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.
The network’s Rob King also tweeted a response that linked to the apology:
There’s no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate.
I don’t think this is over yet. There’s no way any producer — even the most inexperienced, underpaid, ignorant, young overnight employee — could not know about the racist meaning of the word “chink.” The headline, placed beneath an image of Lin, was a deliberate use of a racial — and racist — epithet. I hope some serious actions are taken by the network to both punish the person who used the word in this context, and to prevent it from happening again.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time the word “chink” was used on ESPN … to describe Jeremy Lin. Here’s an ESPN anchor (no, it’s not Walt Frazier; ignore the title beneath him) saying “chink in the armor” in a reference to how Lin can improve his game:
(ESPN posted this 11-second video apology today, three days after the incident and only after the use of the word in the headline provoked outrage across the Internet.)