One ESPN Employee Canned, Another Suspended For Racial Slur

Use of a clumsy-at-best, racist-at-worst reference to New York Knicks hoopster Jeremy Lin by ESPN journalists have resulted in the firing of a headline writer and the suspension of an anchor. The journalists both used the same racially insensitive cliche to describe poor play by Lin, who is of Taiwanese descent.

CNN reports ESPN fired an employee who wrote a headline using the slur on a story highlighting Lin’s contributions to a Knicks loss. An ESPN anchor asked a question with the same words, and someone on one of the company’s radio shows — who is not a company employee — also went there. ESPN says it reviewed the incidents before meting out its decisions.

Here’s an excerpt from its apology:

“We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.”

Although it’s inexcusable that the cliche was used in the first place, hopefully ESPN’s reaction will help eliminate it from the sports journalism lexicon.

ESPN fires writer of offensive headline about Jeremy Lin [CNN]

Comments

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  1. StarKillerX says:

    Funny how everyone is worked up over this except the person who was being written about.

    • silenuswise says:

      Exactly, because the question of racism and racial insensitivity revolves around whether a single person has felt insulted.

      • StarKillerX says:

        So, are you claiming that all something needs in order to be defined as racist or racially insensitive is for someone to be upset?

        If we are going to use such a broad brush to paint racism then we are doomed since there are so many people out there looking to be upset that a significant percentage of printed stories and/or articles could be considered racist.

        • MMD says:

          No, that’s just you oversimplifying the argument.

          Guess what? There are multiple perspectives on this issue – many of which are different from yours!

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        and @MMD

        Perfectly said. It boggles the mind that this completely flies over the head of a lot of people

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Because Lin is a gentleman and would rather move on from this despicable incident. You should do the same.

  2. clippy2.0 says:

    Really? Chink in the armor is racist? Ohhh, only when talking about Asians. I see, that makes perfect sense…

    If you’re a retard

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      Better be careful telling a group of people “See you later”

      You could offend the blind

      • silenuswise says:

        Are you actually so obtuse that you’re equating these two examples?

        • Axon2 says:

          apparently

        • Reading Rainbow says:

          Isn’t the point of PC trying to be respectful to all sensitivities? So if there’s a person who could be offended by the phrasing (and not the topic) you should avoid using it?

          Yes espn’s usage is more extreme (and is a more accurate example of this issue) but just because you or me may not think “see you later” is offensive doesn’t mean someone else would.

          Or what if there’s some group of people who have a reverence for alligators? “Later gator” could be offensive.

          See it’s easy to make this up. I’m not saying the espn example isn’t offensive, I’m saying the phrase makes sense in context as not offensive. It doesn’t mean it isn’t offensive – I just didn’t think it was in this case.

          • silenuswise says:

            You’re comparing apples and oranges–or, more accurately, falling prey to a slippery slope logical fallacy. If you can’t understand the difference between the “chink” example (a word which doubles as a racial slur and a relatively infrequent verb) and your “see” example (a word which has no offensive connotation) then you are either intellectually dishonest or intellectually limited.

        • BryDawg says:

          Obtuse? I’m offended you’re calling him fat!

    • iamlost26 says:

      I’m pretty sure if there was a second meaning behind the n word, and it was used in a headline about an african american person, that people would be up in arms too.

      • SerenityDan says:

        Yeah except a second meaning of the N word is not very common. Chink in the armor is a VERY common phrase.

      • Kaleey says:

        So I guess when my fiancee and I build our log cabin (next summer), we shouldn’t discuss it in front of anyone who is of Asian descent.

        Because, y’know, “Chinking” the walls is racist, too. I’m pretty sure that this is going a little too far on the hypersensitivity train.

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          Since you clearly don’t understand how language works, no, when you building your log cabin, it is fine to refer to it by the proper name of chinking, because of context. Referring to the Chinks that live downtown is racist because of context. Now using the word Chink as a double entendre in a situation similar to the article is racist because you are actually using the slur to refer to the person’s racial descent, even though the second meaning can be an innocent use of the word.

          Language is not just a bunch of words. It is communication of a message. You cannot separate language from context, because then the message is lost.

        • MMD says:

          And there’s no other phrase that could have been used in this context, right?

          • BD2008 says:

            I wouldn’t think twice about using the work “chink” in the context that it was used here. I don’t use racial slurs ever and think maybe people are overreacting and attributing racism where there is none.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Ah I see your problem. You’re one of those guys who thinks that context has no relevance to meaning, and gives justification for being subtly racist. So, according to you it would be okay when someone refers to all the Coons that live in Detroit, especially when, due to context, it is clear that person is referring to black people?

      Regardless of how offensive the slur actually was, only a retard wouldn’t be able to see why it was offensive.

      • clippy2.0 says:

        last week, he was their knight is shining armor, this week, the armor has a crack in it (after a poor game). I think the context is pretty clear, no one would be that openly racist. The expression is common phrase. To the person above with the “spic and span” comment, this would be equivalent to talking about a Latino player helping their team “clean house” or “have a clean sweep” and getting worked up about it. PC is stupid, and so is this

        • silenuswise says:

          No, what’s stupid is being stupid–i.e., not using common sense. If you’re that intellectually obtuse where you both a) fail to think through multiple interpretations of phrases; and b) lack the skills to use a thesaurus, then you’re clearly a failure as a writer and editor. And there are thousands of competent editors who will happily take your job (as this knucklehead from ESPN just learned).

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          Just because you or I aren’t offended by it, doesn’t mean that it won’t offend anyone. Would it have changed the meaning to say ‘Break in the Armor’ or something similar? No. These people are presenting material for mass broadcast, which means they must be sensitive to as much of the market as possible, or risk hurting their brand. To think these guys were unaware of the double meaning is ridiculous, which is why one of them was fired and the other was suspended.

          I dislike political correctness as much as anyone, because I believe in speaking my mind, but there is a difference between being sensitive to a people’s identity and just being racist and ignorant.

          • clippy2.0 says:

            I don’t mind copy and pasting my own comment, so I will!

            I have to ask, is the context here only incorrect because he is Asian? Maybe I misread it, but I believe they were talking about Lin’s poor performance; ie his weakness. Maybe I’m confused, but that seems to be the correct usage of the phrase; the only reason anyone seems to care is they see the word “chink” and see an Asian.

            • MMD says:

              Our perception of words changes depending on context. This was a dumb context to use that phrase, and anyone who spent 10 seconds thinking about it could have come up with another way to express the point.

              • clippy2.0 says:

                pretty much my point from the beginning. No one here is being racist, cept for those who are making calls of racism. Common phrase that includes a word that some people deemed to be racist, throwing a huge fit over nothing. It’s not like they struggled to find some sneaky way to slip in some racism like “Lin needs to open his eyes more!” or “Lin’s fortune cookie had a change of heart”. I’m sure at some point one of the commentators thought “hey, could anyone see this as racist? No, nobody would be that brain dead, it’s pretty clear what we mean here.”

                Course, I could be completely wrong, and maybe this is like that skit from “How I met your Mother” where they see what they can get away with saying on live TV. Who knows?

                • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                  Those actually are interesting examples. When I was a kid, we heard much worse, overtly racist comments on a regular basis. Maybe the fact that people are getting bent out of shape over the use of a common metaphor is a sign that we’ve progressed as a nation.

                • MMD says:

                  You completely missed my point, but since you’ve proven yourself to be a troll elsewhere, I won’t waste my time with you.

                  • clippy2.0 says:

                    Sorry I didn’t dedicate time and effort to my dismissal over your care of the word “retard”. I guess some folks find it offensive, but I won’t apologize for using it. And no, your point didn’t go over my head, but I believe mine went over yours; the only way this phrase is racist is for people who see the word “chink” and think of something offensive. There are ways to make racist headlines, this is certainly not one of them (For example, using the same headline, but putting “chink” in quotes)

            • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

              Here is the definition for Double Entendre.

              To answer your question, the problem is the combined usage of the word ‘chink’ in that it refers both to the colloquial break in the armor, and that it is in reference to an Asian American. If the phrase had been used to refer to any other nationality it would likely not have been an issue (some people would get offended anyway but these are the types of people who will get offended at anything). Like it or not, that is an association MANY people are going to make, and the writer was rightly fired for his inability to understand why this was an insensitive issue

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          “To the person above with the “spic and span” comment, this would be equivalent to talking about a Latino player helping their team “clean house” or “have a clean sweep” and getting worked up about it. “

          My high school baseball coach used to yell just that, “Spic and Span, son!” in exactly that context. It never occurred to me that anyone would think that was racist.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        What if the article was actually about raccoons?

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          I would say you should save yourself the headache of getting punched by just spelling the whole words of ‘Raccoons’

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Punching someone for using a common vernacular name for animal seems a bit over the top.

            • longfeltwant says:

              Intentionally pretending to not understand the contextual nature of language is a bit… beneath the bottom.

    • TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

      Breaking news: People who write public facing articles need to avoid using racial slurs in their articles even when the term isn’t meant as a racial slur.

      OH WAIT – it’s not breaking news it’s common fucking sense and decency!

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Or words that sound like racist words but have a completely different meaning, like “niggardly”. Many careers have been destroyed over that word.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          I remember a big controversy in the UK over that word a few years ago. I don’t recall the exact details but it was ridiculous and overblown.

        • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

          Name one.

        • bender123 says:

          Or the Southwest Airlines thing from a few years back, where some flight attendants did “Einie, meinie mienie mo (spelling?)” to split tasks on a flight and an employee complained about racism, because alternate words (not used in this instance, by her admission) were “catch a n*****r by the toe”, making the whole thing racial.

        • SDJASON says:

          I tend to disagree.

          By tiptoe-ing through the tulips, we just make the words more powerful, which ensures they (and the thoughts they represent) will NEVER go away.

          to paraphrase George Carlin,

          There’s nothing racist about a word in and of itself, it’s the racist asshole using the word you ought to be worried about.

          Intent is more important than context. But the more we get all huffawed over every slight, every pseudo-sorta-could-have-maybe-been a racist slur when painted in this specific light…. the more powerful the words become.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            The word “niggardly” isn’t racist at all.

          • MMD says:

            I can see all of that – but isn’t that also just a way of excusing people for being careless about their choice of words? Surely there was another choice for this headline.

            • Jawaka says:

              People are careless every day. Since you read this blog you should know this.

              I don’t think that it was necessary for one person to lose his job and another to be suspended and publicly shamed for an an accident like this.

              People tend to find racism where they look for it.

              • MMD says:

                If your job involves communicating on a mass level with words, than your job is to think about what you’re saying.

                Do people find racism where they look for it? Sure. It’s called being a thinking person and looking at words *and* the built-in subtext and assumptions that surround those words.

                What would you call people who gloss over racist comments?

            • Nunov Yerbizness says:

              Speech is “careless” by nature, thank the deity of your choice, because people are different and they do not all think like you. I know you probably disagree, but I happen to enjoy living in a country where passive-aggressive control freaks can’t yet control how people think and express themselves.

              I like to excuse people for speaking because free speech is the law here, and if I don’t like what someone’s saying, no one is twisting my arm and forcing me to read their articles or watch their TV shows.

              Occasionally, I say racist things and have racist thoughts. And that doesn’t bother me one bit. Thought and speech are not crimes. ESPN did what they had to do to please the passive-aggressive control freaks whose imaginary butthurt will wear off in 15 minutes. They ruined an employee’s career over it. Meanwhile, Asian Americans, including Jeremy Lin, are still alive and well and in possession of their reputations and livelihoods, having suffered nothing.

      • Jawaka says:

        We’re ignoring the possibility that the person who said it hadn’t even considered that the term was racist. For instance, ESPN anchor Max Bretos who was suspended over this has an Asian wife. According to another article “The moment passed almost entirely without notice. A video replay suggests Bretos was not trying to be funny but made a poor choice of colloquialism.”

        “Chink in the armor” IS a somewhat common term.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/jeremy-lin-slur-honest-mistake-fired-espn-editor-anthony-federico-claims-article-1.1025566

      • Charmander says:

        I hardly think this is a fireable offense.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      You would probably think an article called “Spic and Span” about a Hispanic player is perfectly acceptable as well.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        When I played high school baseball, our coach used to yell “spic and span” when the bases were loaded. It was his way of saying “cleaning up”. I don’t recall anyone, of any race, being offended.

        • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

          It’s context.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I agree. That’s why I was responding to the above post. Is that phrase wrong overall or just when referring to Hispanic baseball players?

          • backinpgh says:

            Exactly. Same reason you can paint your face orange with red lips and it’s not a problem, but it’s a BIG problem paint your face black with red lips.

      • Dave on bass says:

        Only if said player is also on a bridge.

    • Citizen says:

      this reminds me of the scene from Scrubs with JD and the janitor.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d0nNS_zjds

    • MMD says:

      Your use of the word “retard” here is the icing on your cake of racism and obliviousness.

      Yum?

      • clippy2.0 says:

        Right I forgot, it’s 2012 and it’s totally not PC to call anyone a retard anymore. Damn it all!

        • MMD says:

          Right, because it was ok in 2011 and now, suddenly, the big bad PC overlords are making new rules.

          By the way, you can’t troll in one thread and pretend to be asking a thoughtful question about context in another. Or, you can, but it just makes you look extra trolly.

          • deejmer says:

            Oh yes he can! I made fun of the new PC term “rescue” for a dog who has been ADOPTED, and was flamed by ol’ Clippy, even told to be hit by a bus. This is just part of his double standard where animals are to be put on a pedestal, and humans are not worthy of such esteem.

            • clippy2.0 says:

              If it makes you feel any better, I like that hat. I would totally rock it

              • deejmer says:

                I’ve already willed it to you:
                “In case of death by large commuting vehicle, please bequeath this here fuzzy, rainbow, pimp-hat w/feather to Clippy 2.0 at Consumerist.com. It will be the best story of the day…Possibly the month, thanks to Phil.”

        • Brunette Bookworm says:

          Yeah, it’s really not. I work with the developmentally disabled and they are eliminating that word from even diagnoses and groups that work with the disabled. Some of our individuals have been called that by others and you know what, it does hurt them. Maybe you ought to think before you speak or click the submit button.

          • Costner says:

            I would never call someone who is developmentally or mentally disabled a retard. I reserve that term for people who cut me off in traffic, wear socks with sandles, or a few who just happen to host television programs on Fox News.

            You know what – I’m not going to apologize for using the term either. Just like I don’t apologize for using the terms “idiot”, “moron”, or “imbecile” which at one time were all legitimate medical terms to describe different levels of cognitive disability.

      • synimatik says:

        can you explain to me exactly how the term “retard” is racist? Insensitive and insulting maybe, but certainly not racist. You really should choose your words more wisely if you’re trying to be clever. Otherwise you just look re… er, impervious to fire.

    • JakeChance says:

      Clippy! I’m not trying to write a letter, get off my case!

      Seriously though, everyone in this thread should really refer to what Stephen Fry said about being offended. http://imgur.com/EX5v4

    • clippy2.0 says:

      Man, they should have just said “Lin was looking a bit yellow after the game” and avoided this whole problem!

      Am I doing it right?

  3. aphex732 says:

    I can maybe see how a copy writer might look at the headline with the stock photo and have a second thought about the story, but for a live commentator it’s a common turn of phrase when describing someone who performs well but may have a single weakness.

  4. davegins says:

    Asian-Americans have good reason to be Linsulted by that headline.

  5. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    It’s a black day in sports.

    Oh…wait. Damn.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Up next: Live reports from Atlanta Braves spring training!

      …aw crap.

      • Axon2 says:

        The Atlanta Native American Warriors

        fixed

        • Quirk Sugarplum says:

          The Atlanta Generic Native American Very Honorable Non-Stereotypical Warriors Being Referenced Here For Their Athletic Prowess And Competitive Spirit Alone With Spirit Not Implying Their Or Anyone’s Religious Beliefs But Religion Is Perfectly Fine Also As Long As It Is Kept Personal Although It Can Be Shared When Welcome.

          Sadly, hats with the team name are no longer available.

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            As long as I can still do the Tomahawk chop, I don’t care about the hats.

      • failurate says:

        Hi-how-are-ya?

  6. sendbillmoney says:

    Apparently, ESPN has no editor who approves copy before it goes live.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      I don’t think any sites have editors who approve headlines, or even look at them. It’s a rare day when there isn’t a spelling error in a headline on CNNSI.

  7. Dallas_shopper says:

    That headline was pretty tasteless.

  8. Cat says:

    GET OVER IT, YA WUSSES.

  9. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Sounds like an inadvertently racist headline. The phrase “chink in armor” isn’t exactly new.

    It reminds me of a few articles from our local paper, with the headlines…

    “W Va has cracker advantage” and “W Va governor pushes for cracker incentives”.

    • Kryndar says:

      Have to agree, I can see the reason why it was pulled but I can easily see it as just being a stupid mistake. Frankly I personally find the positive headline about him, “Amasian”, or something like that don’t recall exactly how the words were combined, more offensive because they had to have intentionally gone out of their way to make a pun about his racial background whereas this, if done intentionally, was horrible but it would have been such a direct slur that I have to imagine that the double meaning was simply overlooked.

    • Jawaka says:

      It wasn’t meant to be racist at all. The ESPN anchor who said it even has an Asian wife.

      He hadn’t even considered the racist use of the word until contacted about it afterwords.

  10. Kaleey says:

    Would people be as upset if he was Greek, and someone referred to him as the Achilles’ Heel of the team?

    • Cat says:

      What if he was Greek and they commented on his under-the-table dealings as “Back-door shenanigans”?

      Sorry Mr. Burns, but I don’t go in for these backdoor shenanigans.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      Achilles heel is not a racial slur. Why is this so hard to understand?

      • Jawaka says:

        Except chink actually has a legitimate real world meaning aside from its racist one. Its silly to over react like this because some people don’t know better.

        It reminds me of a Beavis and Butthead episode

        hehhehhehheh hehhehhehe he said hole. hehehehehehehhhhhh

        • iamlost26 says:

          So does the word “faggot”. If I used a metaphor about faggots (the sticks) in a headline on an article about homosexuals, would you consider THAT offensive?

  11. Straspey says:

    There are two types of racism in this country -

    Acceptable and Unacceptable.

    It’s unacceptable for a sportswriter to use the phrase “Chink in the armor” in reference to an Asian or Asian-American athlete.

    While, at the same time, it’s still perfectly acceptable to have sports teams at all levels – professional, amateur, collegiate, high-school, little league, etc – to have team names (and mascots) with names such as “Redskins” or “Braves”.

    Do you suppose it would be okay for me to name my team the “New York Darkies” or “The Brooklyn Hebes” or “The New Jersey Grease Balls” ?

    No ?

    Then why is it still okay for me to have as my mascot a guy dressed up like an “Injun” with a headdress and an ax ?

    How come nobody gets offended or cried racism at that ?

    • atthec44 says:

      Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

      Or is that not racist because most Irish people are white?

      • Cat says:

        “Fighting Irish”
        Don’t be silly. Everyone knows that’s not racist, it’s a proven fact.

        Why did God create whiskey?
        So the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.

        // 25% Irish, and not offended.

      • Straspey says:

        It has nothing to do with being white.

        In fact, if I were Irish I would find the term “Fighting Irish” to be exceptionally offensive because it perpetuates the stereotype of Irish people as a bunch of drunken brawlers.

        I guess it depends on which side of the fence you’re on.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Several years ago, there was a predominately Indian semi-pro basketball team called the “Fighting Whites”. If I recall, they were inundated with people buying their t-shirts.

        • VintageLydia says:

          I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think a year or two ago Notre Dame did receive a lot of complaints about their mascot. As someone else above said, offensive mascots are rarely changed, though, because rich alumi threaten to pull their donations if they do.

        • Jawaka says:

          I am Irish and I find it to be somewhat accurate.

    • VintageLydia says:

      …they do. Schools all over the place have received flack about their mascots and I know the Washington Redskins have. College of William and Mary changed their mascot. Their team is still the “Tribe” but their mascot is a griffin, now, rather than a Native American figure.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      …off the top of my head, Fighting Irish, Vikings, Trojans, and Celtics all refer to white people.

      • VintageLydia says:

        IIRC (on my phone so its not easy to look things up) Notre Dame have received complaints about their mascot. As far as the other examples (Vikings, Trojans, Celtics) these are examples of appropriation but since the affected cultures are functionally dead, they’re not seen as a big deal. Native American cultures are not dead, no matter how hard our government tried to kill them. They deserve respect NOW since they’re being affected by appropriation NOW. It’s a much larger problem.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Culture is never dead, it just evolves over time.

          A modern-day Scandinavian has as much in common with his 1,000 AD ancestors as a modern-day Shawnee does with his Adena or Hopewell roots. I work with NAGPRA compliance issues on a regular basis and cultural affiliation and lineage is an incredibly complex subject.

    • MMD says:

      But they do get offended. All the time. Occasionally, the mascot actually gets changed:

      http://www.uillinois.edu/chief/

      Most of these fights over changing mascots come down to wealthy alumni donors threatening to pull their donations if a change is made. Gotta preserve “tradition”

    • RandomHookup says:

      My college used to be known as the “Indians”. Talk about boring. I think at least once a year, they played another team named the “Indians” and hilarity ensued.

    • do-it-myself says:

      Well I most certainly do. Washing “Redskins”….REALLY? How can anyone really be a fan of this team?

  12. MikeTastic says:

    It’s really strange to me reading some of the comments on this article and some of the rhetoric that I’ve seen in the media that a lot of people seem to be A-OK with the Asian-American racism. It’s fascinating. Yes, “Chink in the Armor” is a common phrase – in the correct context. Context is everything.

  13. Cat says:

    If we must speak so guardedly that nobody whatsoever is ever offended in the least little way, we have given up our freedom of speech.

    • VintageLydia says:

      You haven’t lost your freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is only a shield against the government. As private citizens we have every right to call you out and shun you/fire you/do whatever else in our power to show you we think you’re being an insensitive prick. Just because you’re safe from legal ramifications does not mean you’re safe from social ones. FFS I get so sick of supposedly intelligent people decrying the lost of first amendment rights in these situations.

      • Cat says:

        I understand what you are saying, but I think the “calling out” and the consequences of such actions are going a bit overboard, don’t you?

        I think in this case, first, it’s much ado about nothing. Second, it should have resulted in a reprimand and an apology, not a firing. If the employee has a history of such actions, then yes, terminate. Otherwise, why so over-the-top?

        • VintageLydia says:

          I think that’s why the copy editor was fired and the anchor was not. A copy editor has a chance to look over his work for a minute and assess if it can be construed as offense. And anchor often does not. I can see how it can be said as a mistake because in other contexts it’s fine.

          By the way, it’s perfectly acceptable to call out people when they’re being offensive and it’s appropriate for the offensive people to receive social consequences. If you don’t like it, become a hermit or create a compound with like-minded individuals.

    • Coffee says:

      This is not a freedom of speech issue, Cat. ESPN is owned by Disney. As employees of the Disney, ESPN’s people are held to a higher-than-normal “moral” standard, as Disney is very sensitive about its image. If you make a racially charged comment (and yeah, chink in the armor is a racist pun any way you look at it, even if it doesn’t offend you personally), the government isn’t going to do anything, but Disney has every right to protect their image as a family company.

      I just think you’re overly sensitive to this because you’ve been in trouble for using n and f-bombs in a tongue-in-cheek way in the past . ;)

  14. Bsamm09 says:

    What if the headline was “Do the Math, Jeremy Lin + Knicks = Playoff Contenders” — Is that racist?

    or

    “With Lin in the drivers seat, Knicks lose”

  15. maruawe says:

    This is crap I doubt that either of these people had any intention of racial bias on their part of this story ESPN reactions Were overboard and these men should maybe have been told that the comments were insensitive and they should apologize and get a week of unpaid leave.
    But NO ESPN has to make a big deal out of it to make headlines

  16. u1itn0w2day says:

    By most accounts ESPN is one of the primary reasons your cable bill is so high. So if they have no qualms about gouging the cable companies and their customers for money and I guess they have no problem firing one of their very own. They can afford to be as petty as they want to.

  17. Snullbug says:

    What a steaming load of crap! The word chink has a completely respectable meaning as used in the questionable phrase that probably predates by centuries it’s use as a rascist epithet – the word chink is used in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Does that mean that if an asian actor appears on that play, the lines referring to the chink in the wall have to be bowdlerized? This reminds me of the brouhaha raised some time back over a politician’s use of the word “niggardly”. Do we have to gut the language because illiterates get their panties in a knot?

  18. prosumer1 says:

    This whole Linsanity shit is just getting stupid. I’m Asian, and I can’t stomach the fact that one Asian who excels in professional league sports, and the world goes apeshit. Look, there have been plenty of good Asian athletes, you just don’t know about them. The stereotype tends to be the biggest naysayer in our society…We can’t drive, we’re nerdy, can’t excel in sports, but great at math and computers, etc.

    Dude, grow the fuck up, people.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      I’ve been following Lin – not because of his ethniticy, but because of the fact that he’s gone from a player nobody wanted to a superstar in a matter of days. That’s just a great story about hard work and perseverance paying off.

      If Lin had been a highly touted draft pick, I wouldn’t care. It’s the fact that he’s taken a very unconventional path to stardom that interests me. Much the way that Kurt Warner took an unconventional path to stardom in the NFL.

  19. AngryK9 says:

    People in general need to grow thicker skin.

  20. u1itn0w2day says:

    Ironically ESPNs primary audience probably consists of degenerate gamblers, drunk bar patrons and out of shape weekend warrior types living life vicariously through their favorite team and celebrities. So that comment is actually offensive to…

  21. Dirtylicious says:

    I love it when the comments are full of white privilege.

    its amazing how many people will try to find any other excuse before acknowleding the racism.

    • Cat says:

      Thank you for your racist comment.

      • VintageLydia says:

        That wasn’t a racist comment. White people, in general, have privilege over people of color in our culture which can blind white people to issues that concern POC. You might not think something like this is a huge deal because you may not have had to deal with racism on a regular basis. For people that do, this is just one more example of the bullshit they’ve dealt with since birth. That’s what “white privilege” is.

        • damicatz says:

          Yeah because we get priority placement in college, priority placement in college. We can murder someone and get off the death penalty because of our race (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/02/16/what-exactly-does-ncs-racial-justice-act-mean-well-know-soon/).

          Oh wait, my bad.

          As a white person, I had to deal with racism on a regular basis because I went to a school that was 90% black. And the school district didn’t give a damn about my complaints because I was white (the school district refused to believe that you could be racist against whites). So yeah, I kinda know a thing or two about it.

          Racism comes from people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who profit off of it. Those thugs teach black people that the white person is the enemy (nevermind that my family never owned slaves and that my family was always supportive of the civil rights movement, even before it became popular.)

          See, race-baiters have no interest in ending racism because it is profitable. I mean, Jesse Jackson can have a very expensive car stolen in Detroit and just shrug it off because he’s got more than one. If there was no racism, no one would donate to the “Rainbow Collation” or to the NAACP because they would be irrelevant.

          • Nemesis_Enforcer says:

            I totally agree my friend. I went to school in Florida and Virginia where I was the minority as a white kid. Poor whites are the most discriminated against in general. Other races assume because we are white we get a free ride. Too bad the only way I could go to college was the GI Bill, the only way I acquired anything in life was hard work and perseverance. I was never given anything. My wife who is of mixed race and has a Latin maiden name saw how much crap there is in the system. She was denied acceptance to her school of choice because she scored too high on the SAT’s and they needed lower scoring minority students to fill the quota. She applied for student aid after we were married with my Germanic last name and got zilch, refilled with all the same info except her last name changed to a Latin name and boom! she all of a sudden qualified for thousands of dollars in aid. Tell me that is fair and equal treatment.

  22. El_Fez says:

    So for those of us who don’t follow sports, what was the offending headline?

  23. msmith6044 says:

    the Pekin, Illinois HS sports teams are known as the “Chinks”.
    uh oh

  24. wkm001 says:

    I didn’t know this until just now and I still found the SNL skit funny. But now it is even more funny.

  25. all4jcvette says:

    I guess my kids can’t wish for a white christmas either?

    What a major over reaction to a commonly used expression referring to armor used in the middle ages, which describes a soldiers weak point. Sports figures commonly talking about going to war, etc… it’s a fine phrase that has been used to describe one’s weakness in ever sport, including Baseball which has more Asian players then any other sport.

  26. pine22 says:

    The context is important. This isn’t even the first time. ESPN dropped this same headline during the Beijing Olympics. Chink in the Armor is a common phrase but the word chink has another meaning. Coupling the phrase and any Asian is what makes it racist.

    Spike Lee was coming up with nicknames for Jeremy Lin on Twitter about a week ago. They basically revolved around martial arts and dragons. The man spent his career trying to get others to overlook stereotypes of African Americans but was totally fine resorting to them when referring to Asians. I was disappointed that he basically chose not to respond after being called out.

    I am Asian American and grew up in the Midwest. It is mindblowingly insulting to have other people tell you how to feel when someone insults your culture and race. Just because you don’t think it’s offensive doesn’t mean it’s inoffensive. So when we’re faced with an outright insult we’re supposed to just take it? That’s BS.

    We’re often villainized for the perceived “threat” that China is to the United States. (I guess scaring people with equally appalling things like “Muslims Terrorists” and “Mexicans stealing our jobs” isn’t enough anymore) Politicians can not seem to control their racism and xenophobia.

    OMG THE CHINESE ARE COMING!
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HrbdXUWryXk)

  27. duke40 says:

    As a previous poster noted the expression is far older than the racist slur. I heard the guy say it on ESPN live or the first time shown. It was clear the man had no idea he just put his foot in it. I laughed at the time and knew it was going to blow up. Lets see if we can find some common ground. To use the term is careless and offends people and reasonable people don’t want to offend others if they know its offensive. But to fire people over this is clearly over board and all signs should call for ESPN to go with apology and rehire them and work hard not to make the same mistake again.

    Sound reasonable?

  28. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    Why is this an important consumer issue? Are the Chinese going to stop dumping their inferior products on the market if a sportscaster calls them a name?

  29. damicatz says:

    This country needs to grow the hell up and stop acting like babies.

    ——–
    chink
    1 ‚ÄÇ ‚ÄÇ[chingk] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    a crack, cleft, or fissure: a chink in a wall.
    2.
    a narrow opening: a chink between two buildings.
    verb (used with object)
    3.
    to fill up chinks in.
    ——–

    The fact that chink is also a racial slur is irrelevant because any idiot should be able to see the context of which the word chink was used and see that the writer was using it not as a racial slur but indicate chipping or cracking in armor. Anyone who can’t see that is a complete moron.

    Idiots.

  30. Bladerunner says:

    Anybody else reminded of the episode of South Park with the racist flag? The flag is clearly racist, showing a bunch of white guys lynching a black guy. Chef is trying to get it changed. He gets upset that the boys don’t understand why, until he ultimately realizes that it’s because they didn’t even process the racial aspect of the flag; to them, it was just a bunch of people hanging another person.

    I feel like the newscaster was not likely trying to be racist. One could argue “he should have known better!”, but I think it’s better to have a society that doesn’t even factor in the race of a person at all, rather than one that makes certain words taboo for certain races only. Although “he has an asian wife” doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not racist, the fact that the phrase is pretty frequently used says to me it’s likely he didn’t draw the connection, which makes him less racist than those that do.

  31. stormbird says:

    It took me a few seconds to see the racial slur (I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that slur in real life); the only time I remember hearing that used was in an episode of MASH where they wanted to show a racist a-hole was racist. It’s a cliche that’s really old (armor? are we off to the Crusades?) and almost out of use because of that. I guess we should go through our cliches and get rid of the unacceptable ones- pot calling the kettle black, on like Donkey Kong, yellow peril, Indian giver. I will still call the French cheese-eating surrender monkeys and I stand by my racial slur!

  32. Anna Kossua says:

    One of my old bosses didn’t know that was racist against Chinese people. We were talking about where to go for lunch and he said “I’d like {you all know the word} today.” He just thought it was a regular word.

  33. BobbyCanuck says:

    I could have been worse a lot worse…

    As the yellow sun set on a nippy winter night the chinks in the armour was exposed.

    It’s alright, the fired people have strong grounds for a wrongful dismissal case and defamation of character, they will be laughing all the way to the bank..