ESPN’s racist headline to Knicks loss using image of Jeremy Lin

Already dumb headline has racist touch to it.

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.


EDIT: ESPN issues statement:

“Last night,’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.

9 thoughts on “ESPN’s racist headline to Knicks loss using image of Jeremy Lin

  1. So you think it was an honest mistake but he should be terminated? You really should pick one. It should be renamed for sure, but I do not think termination is required unless there is a reason to believe the guy/gal that wrote this is actually racist.

    • Mike, this guy that used the derogatory term “Chink” is a professional writer, writing for a huge media outlet, ESPN. A writer must be qualified to even write for ESPN. Let’s pretend the ESPN gave an audition to 5 writers. One used the term “Chink.” That writer wouldn’t even make the cut!

  2. Sam,

    I agree with you 100% on this one. My ex-wife is African American. I am totally against racism of any kind towards any race. It is just sad such a large media outlet could overlook such headline. Maybe that’s the writer in me, too! Lol. For all articles I can never use the word Chink or the “N” word or anything even remotely racist.

    I won’t even befriend someone who is racist either. Thanks for writing this piece. Hope it serves as an invaluable lesson to the ignorant, vain writer who used that headline.

  3. Man, I’m not Chinese and I am a different type of Asian, but I am still offended. I knew that in America, people see us pretty badly, but I didn’t know that Jeremy Lin’s national exposure would cause people to show their true colors.

  4. I would think it’s more alarming if media journalists didn’t even know the word is a slur. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  5. How is that “an honest mistake” though? Calling somebody a chink is not “an honest mistake”. An honest mistake is something that’s not intentional, and if he was writing something, then obviously it’s intentional that he meant to put “chink” in there. He clearly is racist

    • The term “chink in the armor” itself is not a racist term and ESPN has used that numerous times for stories that have nothing to do with Lin. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that it was used in this context. I am giving ESPN the benefit of the doubt that the connection didn’t occur to them.

  6. Pingback: ESPN sinks to a new low by making it awkward for Brandon Weeden | But at the end of the day…

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