Mercury News insults Simone Manuel with headline, apologizes
Simone Manuel made history on Thursday night at Rio when she tied Penny Oleksiak in the 100m freestyle to win a gold medal, becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win a gold for the U.S. in an individual event.
The accomplishment by Manuel was incredible and significant, and it led to tons of celebration from American fans. The 20-year-old Stanford student also made headlines throughout the country, though one was not as kind as others.
The San Jose Mercury News insulted Manuel by omitting her name from its headline and simply calling her an “African American”:
no, just no. pic.twitter.com/OPMmImiOT9
— Alexis Morgan (@alexiskmorgan) August 12, 2016
The Northern California newspaper scrambled to try fixing things after receiving some backlash, but they screwed up the amended headline by forgetting the word “with.”
so flustered now they can’t even get it grammatically correct. keep trying, tho pic.twitter.com/Vf2X6bPaM3
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) August 12, 2016
On take three, they finally got it right. The new headline stated “Olympics: Stanford’s Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps make history.” The Mercury News also apologized for the original headline.
We apologize for an insensitive headline earlier on a story about Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps' medal wins. https://t.co/ykWvcddaKf
— Mercury News (@mercnews) August 12, 2016
The newspaper elaborated in an editor’s note on the article.
“The original headline on this story was insensitive and has been updated to acknowledge the historic gold medal wins by both Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps. We apologize for the original headline. The story has also been updated,” the note said.
At least the newspaper apologized for the original headline, though there isn’t an excuse for making a mistake like that. Then again, we also couldn’t believe something like this could happen, and it did. There were mistakes all over related to Olympics coverage on Thursday.