Racist headline about Jeremy Lin

It’s a case of Lin-sanity gone too far.

ESPN apologized Saturday for using an anti-Asian slur in a headline about Knicks star Jeremy Lin after he committed nine turnovers in a loss to the New Orleans Hornets Friday night.

The headline “Ch--k in the Armor” — posted after the Knicks’ seven-game winning streak ended — was up for about 35 minutes before being pulled off ESPN.com.

“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,” the network said in a statement. “We regret and apologize for this mistake."

But that was not the first time an ESPN used the slur.

An anchor also used the racist descriptor in a broadcast on ESPN News Wednesday while questioning Knicks announcer Walt Frazier about signs of weakness in Lin’s game, prompting a separate on-air apology broadcast several times Saturday.

By Saturday morning, the offensive web headline had created a public relations fiasco for the network, drawing criticism even from its own staff.

“Thought I was annoyed when I was awakened from deep sleep,” SportsCenter anchor Michael Kim tweeted. “Then I checked text msgs/Twitter. Unacceptable. Extremely disappointed.”

ESPN.com editor-in-chief Rob King also offered apologies on his Twitter account, saying “There’s no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate.”

In a letter to ESPN, the Asian American Journalists Association called the headline “inexcusable.”

“Many people, not just in Asian American communities, are shocked that a news company with a long tradition of excellence would use a racial epithet,” the letter said. “It’s particularly galling because of the weeks of discussion about Lin, his heritage and even the wave of outright racism surrounding his stardom.”

AAJA said it’s not enough that ESPN took the headline down — the organization wants to know how it was posted to begin with.

Lin is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, and his pro-league success in recent weeks has sent waves of pride through minority communities and sports fans alike.

Sadly, derogatory language and tired stereo-types have emerged throughout Lin’s astonishing run with the Knicks.

MSG Network aired a fan’s sign that showed Lin’s face above a fortune cookie, coupled with the words “The Knicks Good Fortune,” during Wednesday’s game.

FOX Sports columnist Jason Whitlock also got in trouble for a derogatory sexually-charged tweet after Lin’s 38-point performance against the Lakers.

By Nina Mandell AND Kevin Deutsch,Saturday, February 18, 2012

	Jeremy Lin hasn’t commented on the controversy as of Saturday afternoon.
Jeremy Lin hasn’t commented on the controversy as of Saturday afternoon.