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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ESPN apologizes for Jeremy Lin headline, has made the same mistake before

It may be time for the folks over at ESPN to permanently retire the phrase you see in the screen grab above. If their writers and anchors simply don’t use it, they might be able to avoid major controversies. Early Saturday morning, an extremely insensitive headline was posted ESPN.com’s mobile web site after the Knicks suffered their first loss since Jeremy Lin took over as starting point guard.

What is particularly surprising about the situation is that this isn’t the first time ESPN has gotten into trouble with the exact same headline. Back in 2008, the same phrase appeared on ESPN.com during Team U.S.A.’s gold medal run at the Beijing Olympics. In addition, ESPN anchor Max Bretos snuck the phrase in when discussing Lin and the Knicks on the air Wednesday night.

Another ESPN anchor later apologized for what Bretos said on television. You would think between that and the backlash they faced three years ago, the World Wide Leader would have learned their lesson. Apparently neither incident was at the forefront of their thinking on Saturday morning. It took ESPN about 30 minutes to realize they had made a major mistake with their latest headline, which led to the following apology on their media website.

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.

As you can see, this has become a recurring theme for ESPN. The use of this particular phrase certainly isn’t doing their public relations department any favors.



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