It took only two weeks for a racist headline involving Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA. ESPN ran the headline “Chink in the Armor” after Lin’s poor performance in the New York Knick’s first loss with him at point guard, and are now scrambling to apologize.
The Washington Post reported that ESPN said in a statement Saturday that it removed the offensive headline 35 minutes after it was posted. The story was initially reported on Outsports.com. ESPN said they are now “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.”
Headlines like these, that reach millions of people, are not new to American Indians. It was only six days ago that the New York Post ran the headline “Seneca Nation on Warpath” referring to a brawl that involved Senator Mark Grisanti and the Seneca Nation’s casino. Last March 12th, for example, a student newspaper in California, the Union Weekly, made national headlines with their insensitive headline “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay,” in which the editor made several crude remarks, such as “What the f*ck are Indian tacos?”
This headline went out on ESPN’s mobile website, visible to people checking the site on their phones and tablet computers. What makes this especially onerous is this is the same word that used against Lin during his collegiate ball playing days at Harvard. It gets worse. This is not the first time ESPN has used this exact racial slur in a headline against. Deadspin reported way back in August of 2008 that EPSN used “Chink in The Armor” during the Olympics. Which were held in Beijing.
The Huffington Post reminds us that ESPN’s insensitive Lin headline comes in the same week the New York Post used “AMASIAN” on their back page after Lin sunk the Toronto Raptors with a last second three pointer. Their excuse was that it was a play on the Amazin’s, a great New York Mets team. MSG Network, which is finalizing a deal with TimeWarner Cable thanks in large part to all the eyes Lin is drawing to Knicks telecasts, showed a graphic of Lin’s face over a cracked open fortune cookie with text reading “The Knicks Good Fortune.”