ESPN graphic had LeBron James still playing for the Cavs (Picture)

We make plenty of mistakes here at LBS, so I don’t mean to pick on ESPN too heavily with this. But … you have to admit the timing and severity of this mistake was pretty amusing. LeBron James had just gone off for 45 points in Game 6 for the Heat against the Celtics, and a graphic at the bottom of the ESPN screen said James still played for Cleveland. As if Cavs fans don’t already have enough, you have to tease them like that? And you really think Heat fans want their top player confused for being on a different team? No way.

Chest bump to Jimmy Traina

ESPN addresses Sarah Phillips hiring, firing

ESPN executive vice president and executive editor John Walsh hosted an online chat Thursday and addressed the company’s decision to hire and later fire Sarah Phillips. Phillips was exposed this week by Deadspin as someone who was hired by ESPN to write for their “Page 2″ section despite having very little writing background. She leveraged her position with ESPN, and combined with a friend/partner, to allegedly scam several people. Her aim was to gain money/and or promotion via social media from her victims.

Walsh was supposedly “asked” a question about Phillips during his chat. Based on the way it was phrased, the question seemed planted by ESPN (or specifically chosen by them) so that they could formulate a response that wouldn’t make them look too bad. Let’s look at Walsh’s response:

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ESPN commercial showing Indiana’s win over Kentucky motivates Wildcats

ESPN has a commercial advertising its mobile platforms, and the ad features an exciting clip from the Indiana-Kentucky game in December. Most people probably don’t think twice about the ad, but apparently it’s motivated the Wildcats.

Kentucky is the No. 1 team in the country and 30-1 on the season. The commercial plays Indiana’s buzzer-beating three pointer that won the game. Every time the Kentucky players see the ad, they’re reminded of their lone blemish.

“Oh, I turn the TV off,” forward Terrence Jones said about the commercial. “Every time. I know I turn the TV off every time I see that commercial. I almost sold my iPhone, my iPad. I turn the TV off.”

Coach John Calipari called the ESPN commercial “one of the greatest services for my program,” noting that his players get angry every time they see it.

“It shows like 100 times on ESPN a day,” Anthony Davis said. “That really makes us mad. It’s just the way we lost. We never want to have that feeling again.”

Kentucky is one of the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament. If they end up taking it all, ESPN should get credit for an assist.

Below is a video of the commercial:

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ESPN editor apologizes, claims Jeremy Lin headline was honest mistake

The fired ESPN editor who wrote an offensive headline about Jeremy Lin that appeared on the company’s mobile website late Friday/early Saturday has apologized and claims there was no racial intent.

“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the New York Daily News.

“I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”

Federico tells the paper he’s used that headline many times before and he didn’t think anything of it.

“My faith is my life,” he said. “I’d love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.”

It’s nice that Federico apologized and somewhat comforting that he says he made an honest mistake. I wouldn’t expect otherwise; would anyone who hopes to land another job admit to being a racist? Of course not.

I still believe ESPN did the right thing by firing him and don’t feel badly he lost his job. Whether it was an honest mistake or not, you can’t have someone in such an important position acting that carelessly.

H/T Deadspin

ESPN fires employee who wrote offensive Jeremy Lin headline, suspends Max Bretos

ESPN announced Sunday that they fired the employee responsible for the offensive Jeremy Lin headline that appeared on their mobile website after Friday’s game. They also announced that TV anchor Max Bretos was suspended 30 days for using the same phrase during an on-air interview.

ESPN has acted swiftly two days in a row in response to the controversy. They apologized early Saturday morning, hours after the headline appeared on their site. A day later they fired one employee and suspended the other.

The firing was the right way to handle things. At worst, the headline was intentionally racist. At best, the employee had no idea about the word’s offensive meaning. Either way, you can’t have someone who doesn’t know better writing headlines for your company.

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.

ESPN Mobile calls Knicks’ loss ‘Chink in the armor’ (Picture)

MSG had already toed the line of racism when they showed a picture (or fan’s sign) of Jeremy Lin’s face above a fortune cookie Wednesday. ESPN has gone clear past that line and straight into the offensive with the above headline seen on their mobile website late Friday/early Saturday (click twice to enlarge the image).

That’s right, some person either wasn’t thinking, or was trying to be blatantly racist, and called the Knicks’ 89-85 home loss to the Hornets a “Chink in the armor.”

Chink of course is a derogatory term for a Chinese or Asian person. Jeremy Lin is of Taiwanese descent, and the Knicks lost for the first time with him as their starting point guard.

There is no way around this headline. I checked ESPN’s website from my Android phone and saw it too. Someone is definitely going to be reprimanded for the horribly offensive headline. Not even Floyd Mayweather would have said something that offensive (at least we hope not).

Here’s another look at the headline as it appeared on an iPhone:

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