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.

Around The Web

  • Anonymous

    That’s awful, they misspelled armour

  • Anonymous

    I’m a chink and I was like, “awesome!”  It’s great that a chink made it that far.  “Chink in the armor” means that Lin is considered a knight, that’s a complement!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NFYRCI3IBVGGS7YRK2ED2PTNHE Here Legally

    I don’t chink this is racist. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7AHZBVCOA3JT4GTJB23U6DR33U Mack

    Check back in a couple weeks and see who was “disciplined”  If anything, someone will get a raise

  • Anonymous

    you guys are all stupid. Chink is a derogatory term used by western americans back in the 1950’s.  “Chink” like “Fag” should never be used to describe any asian person. This guy deserves to lose his job and all his assets. ESPN should never have anyone with a racial mentality for jokes in their media. ALL you idiots should open your ignorant eyes and realize this is the year 2012.

  • Anonymous

    …says the white man.

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding me? You’re either not really Asian, or a self-hating one, if you can’t read the racist overtones here. 

  • Anonymous

    if he were not of asian or chinese descent, then this would be a non-issue.  We are getting  too sensitive and liberal in the US.   The person that wrote in his commentary that “…this guy needs to lose his job and all his assets” is a perfect example of extremism.  Are you serious with this statement?  I hope that you lose your job and all your assets – that would be justice.

  • Derek Barr

     how is that justice, moron?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZVOPI56BQIIKJ77H7GP7QMD4FE Wilming Yee


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GFGJJA4P3KFUO76FL7OIOW6FNM Jason

    Maxine Bretos is a racist biotch and need to have her ass fired

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EXREIXH6WISOMZWNANMPX5IJHY maile

    agree..I am offended when anyone refers any American citizen as Asian- American or African-American…or whatever American.  Do we call whilte folks White-American.  We are American, period. 

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6UAYGxiRwU Phaerisee

    even if it turned out he was intentionally racist, why do you want the guy to lose all his assets?  That is a little weird and extreme.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQMPX5YA7HQNTBX7VDLKC5WCMQ Rieman

    I’m of asian descent, and offended with the word!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQMPX5YA7HQNTBX7VDLKC5WCMQ Rieman

    how such an ignorant came tobe an ESPN anchor???

  • Anonymous

    Oddly, I can’t find anything on ESPN’s site about this.  They seem to have completely whitewashed it.  Rest assured, when anyone else in the sports world utters anything that comes within a country mile of racism, ESPN is there front and center demanding a firing and asking what is wrong with our racist society. 

    But when the racism belongs to ESPN, well then, let’s just move along, nothing to see here. 

  • Joan Finholt

    I’m a dumb Swed and even I get it.

  • Anonymous

    This guy definitely deserves to get fired for using such offensive phrase.  It will also set as a good disciplinary example for others.

  • Anonymous

    Are we getting clear on this?  The reason why this issue has raised such a controversy is because the phrase was being used on Jeremy Lin who IS of Chinese descent.  In this case, it is NOT a bit funny.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4RKIZWNDAZALUEGXJUL4Y2MCA4 MEL


  • Anonymous

    Excuse, the word can be spelled either way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tammy.stewart3 Tammy Stewart

    From a World Class Sports to a Low Class!!! WOW!! I hope Lin will be the President of the United States in 20 years and I hope ESPN will be a has been!!!

  • mdmonahan

    I wanted to make a comment, but it is probably not politically correct.  So, I will just keep it to myself.

  • Anonymous

    IHaveHumor:Read your comment again. Of course it’s an issue because he’s Asian! If Jeremy Lin was white, it would be just be another article headline. But he’s Asian, where “Chink” has a clear history of being a racial derogatory term. This has EVERYTHING  to do with him being Asian! How can you respond the way that you did, and not see why it’s an issue? Do you also bust out the N-word around black people and tell “Stop being so PC” when they get offended?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EQL6NTZUVF6XHLQCKBIABHGAD4 Jacklove

            ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑

  • Anonymous

    are you kidding me? get a grip.  Webster’s Dictionary – chink…. a crack or fissure. You know..as in chink in the armour. I have used this phrase a many times.  It’s a phrase people. Just like “we found his Achilles Heal.” Anyone who noticed it as a racial slight had issues. ESPN has no guts. I would never apologize for such a thing. Can we still say, “it’s getting nippy out” or will I have to look over my shoulder to see if an Asian is in our midst?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KCD5UMTBOJGFO3FSMCXD26MHRE The Rattler

    Not if you’re English.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KCD5UMTBOJGFO3FSMCXD26MHRE The Rattler

    There’s a difference. Unlike the “N-word,” “chink” is an actual word that has a meaning that is not racial at all. It was used appropriately with the companion word, “armor. The idea it was purposely done to be racist is your speculation and nothing more.

  • Anonymous

     Then you are a p—y, wait,  now I am probably offending cats.

  • Anonymous

    It’s obviously not just my “speculation” if ESPN has fired one staffer and suspended another. Of all the words in the English dictionary at the writers disposal, he uses “chink”. You really think that was unintended? Do you also take all metaphors literally?

  • Anonymous

    I’m  glad to see others whom “get it”.  Over sensitive people who want “sympathy” should look that word up in the dictionary-they’ll find it between sh–t and syphilis

  • Anonymous

     Maybe in your micro-mental-world that’s how it is, but the way I see it, is if the “n-word” is used in literature both classic and current, also in popular music-then its fair game. Yes, I’ve used it amongst my black friends and they’re intelligent so they respect me for it……just a word that has historical implications dumbed down to insinuations.

  • Anonymous

    The person who wrote the ESPN headline ain’t my friend. Man, “micro-mental-world”? I love it when white people tell other races what they should consider to be racist, and use their close cluster of “black” friends as an example of it being alright. So I’m unintelligent for being offended by racism? How about you go into downtown Oakland with that mindset?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODCLBY7JF4HDYXHPN4CP5TM23M Alexander Walker

    All the overblown athletes and fatheaded commentators are in a state of confusion over Jeremy Lin, they’re having to reconstruct their thinking.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GKKMZJI7CYEU7JCHN2WG242R74 Irving

    Armor is American, Armour is British
    Honor is American, Honour is British
    Labor is American, Labour is British
    Favor is American, Favour is British
    Center is American, Centre is British
    Theater is American, Theatre is British
    Elevator is American, Lift is British

    Need some more lessons, open your dictionary SpinMax
    I am not American, I am not British, I am Asian.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4GREQ2VFBKJ432LPBRGFBCZ6OY Morgan Tucker

    you are not too intelligent, are you?

  • Anonymous

     Then you are more ignorant, stupid, and a complete idiot if just because it’s, 2012, that somehow racism should have magically disappeared. I wonder how often in the privacy of your own mind you’ve said racist remarks.

  • Anonymous

    No, but you’re clearly a racist.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3QYZ53KZV62IS5PEPCU54D2XZM Sara

    unfortunately, what you do not realize is that the connotation American to most means “white”  the pre-fixes e.g aian, african are responses to clarify one’e ethic heritage.

  • Anonymous

     Never said I was “white”, but have experienced my share of “real” racism. Your comment just tells me the difference between you and me is I’m not AFRAID of others…but yeah, I’m not stupid enough to walk dt Oakland yelling out with a bullhorn.

  • Anonymous

    Can whoever’s modding this comments section stop deleting so much? There’s some honest discussion going on here, and it’s a shame when one side of it get’s deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.huynh2 Suzanne Huynh

    For those who said “chink” is not inappropriate and racist.  Then you wouldn’t mind if I call you a BITCH, QUACKER, PUSSY ETC…
    Since bitch is a female dog, quacker is a type of cookie, and pussy is a cat.   Will you be offended when people call you that? 
    Sometime is not what you said and it is how you said it.  Those people in the media knows damn well it is wrong and it is racist. They choose the word very carefully. They fully undersatand what the word meant. They had made the mistake before and chose to do it again. hmmm sad!!!  Those people are highly educated, but ignorant at the same time.  I guess books doesn’t necessary make you a smart person, because they had made the wrong decision. They made their choice and now they had to pay the price. FIRE THEM!!   FIRE THEM! FIRE THEM!

  • Anonymous

     Thank you, PF, I’ve been trying to engage here but got blocked…communism much?  Anyways, nothing against you or anyone for that matter-the way I was raised was simple, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt me”. Guess my age, now. I have had my share of racism, but have always stood up to it within reason even going to fistacuffs and proud to say-win some, lose some. But I am not AFRAID of any man…my wish is we could be really free, say anything we want so I can decide who my friends are.

  • Anonymous

    You are a racist a-hole yourself, so of course you wouldn’t understand. Moron…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NAFYJMPD2ZAQI2EWAZQNJXJDI4 Matthew

    I agree that it’s derogatory and he definitely deserves to be punished. Whether it’s a suspension or even termination depends on his history. If he has a pattern of behavior like this, then he would deserve to be terminated.  However, lose his job AND all of his assets?  That’s extreme overreaction.  If you did something at your job for which you deserved to be punished, would you feel justly treated if they fired you AND took your 401K?  That’s what you’re advocating.