News: UPDATE: ESPN Fires Employee Over Anti-Asian, NY Knicks Slur

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 8:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

48 hours after ESPN caught heat for publishing an anti-Asian racist slur in relation to the New York Knicks' loss last Friday (February 17), the sports network has taken firm action by firing the employee responsible.

While details are still emerging, ESPN has handed the pink slip to a now-former employee.

ESPN says it fired an employee responsible for an offensive headline referring to Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin. The headline "Chink in the Armor" was used Friday on ESPN's mobile website after Lin had nine turnovers in New York's loss to New Orleans. In a statement Sunday, ESPN apologizes for that headline and also says it is also aware of two other "offensive and inappropriate" comments on ESPN outlets. An ESPNEWS anchor who used the phrase has been suspended for 30 days. And ESPN says a similar reference was made Friday on ESPN Radio New York, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee. (Fox News)

Despite its instant negative buzz, New York Knicks overnight sensation Jeremy Lin said he has since moved on from the matter.

"I don't think it was on purpose or whatever, but (at) the same time they have apologized. And so from my end I don't care anymore," Lin said after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday. "Have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not." Lin is the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He captivated fans by leading the Knicks to seven straight wins before Friday's loss. (Washington Post)

Reports of the offensive headline began circulating online early Saturday (February 18).

Several hours after the Knicks' Lin-spired winning streak was snapped by the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN ran the headline "Chink In The Armor" to accompany the game story on mobile devices. ESPN's choice of words was extremely insensitive and offensive considering Lin's Asian-American heritage. According to Brian Floyd at SB Nation, the headline appeared on the Scorecenter app. The offensive headline was quickly noticed, screen grabs, Twit pics and Instagrams were shared and it began circulating widely on Twitter. The use of the word "chink" is especially galling as Lin has revealed that this racial slur was used to taunt him during his college playing career at Harvard. After a brief run, the headline was changed to "All Good Things.." (Huffington Post)

Following the post, ESPN's Director of Communications Kevin Ota issued a public apology.

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. (Statemenet)

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