April 21, 2014

ESPN Uses Racial Slur To Describe Jeremy Lin’s First Loss

ESPN’s mobile site used the headline “Chink In The Armor” last night in recap of Jeremy Lin’s first ever NBA loss. On Sportscenter, ESPN employees also used the same phrase on the show. Awful Announcing has that screen grab and video, and below are some of their thoughts on it.

Awful Announcing: “But my thought here, and I understand it’s just my opinion, is that this is pretty inexcusable given that ESPN.com is a huge platform with a lot of built in processes, people involved, and higher standards.

The usage of this very common saying is not racist itself if you just go with its surface meaning.

However, the worst racial slur you could call someone of Chinese or Asian descent would be “chink” and while it has dual definitions unlike most other slurs, it’s just all too convenient that it shows up here. At face value, the headline certainly makes sense.  But the dual definition of that word essentially ensures that if published, their would be a s— storm. Now there is.”

Then this from ESPN’s editors:

“Ed Note: ESPN did indeed release a statement early Saturday morning profusely apologizing for the headline.  The statement reads in full:

“Last night, ESPN.com’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.”

ESPN.com Editor in Chief Rob King also took to Twitter to apologize, saying this with a link to the statement:

“There’s no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate.”

ESPN certainly recognizes the gravity of the mistake and took the necessary steps to show contrition, but the question still needs to be answered how in the world THAT headline was published.”

**UPDATE**

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