On ESPN’s mobile page, they had this headline for the Knicks’ loss to the Hornets from Friday — ending New York’s seven-game winning streak.
And as you can see, with the hype around Jeremy Lin and his image in the photo, ESPN decides to go with “Chink in the Armor” as their headline.
No need for me to explain why that is viewed as racist. The use of the word “chink” in this situation is just a bad idea. I am not overly offended by this. Maybe it’s because I think it could have been an honest mistake.
The term “chink in the armor” has been used by ESPN numerous times in the past to describe a team’s struggles and it’s totally fine. But in all honesty, this was not a good headline to use for this situation at all.
Even if they used this headline to describe another game that had nothing to do with Jeremy Lin, it’s still a very stupid headline. It just doesn’t work with the story.
I’m pretty sure the editor didn’t realize the coincidental racism linked to the headline.
But since they decided to go with a very boring, overused headline and coincidentally have it for a Knicks game recap with Lin as the main photo, it’s just a whole lot of bad.
Whomever was responsible for the headline should be punished for the incident. I would assume termination is expected, despite what I think was an honest mistake.
Maybe I am desensitized to racism and this really doesn’t bother me as much as it does to other people. I’m a little surprised but that’s really it. I think I am more offended that ESPN decided to use one of their overly used headlines that just didn’t fit into the story. (Maybe that’s the journalist in me.)
And the kicker is that it was coincidentally racist that will rile up the Chinese community within the next 24 hours. It’s an honest mistake (I assume) that’s gone all wrong.
“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.”
At least they know they screwed up.