ESPN Mobile Headline on Jeremy Lin: “Chink in the Armor”


When Jason Whitlock tweeted out an insensitive joke regarding an Asian Stereotype a lot of people called for him to be fired. I for one thought his tweet, while ill advised, was not the worst thing in the history of journalism like some people made it out to be.

I even said “not like he said there was a ‘Chink in the Armor'”.

The expression itself is fairly common in sports because it evokes images of brave knights in battle. But about an Asian-American basketball phenom?

Not so much.

The headline was up on mobile devices last night after Linsanity was momentarily dealt a blow and the New York Knicks were handed their first loss in 8 games with Jeremy Lin in the lineup. Somebody realized it was offensive after about 15 minutes and changed it to “All Good Things…”

In this case, I would say the person who was responsible needs to be fired. Whitlock’s tweet was stupid and I understand the people who were offended, but what he did was make himself look like an idiot. He made his employer, Fox Sports, look bad for having one of their employees say something stupid.

For ESPN, this headline is coming from the entity as a whole and not from one writer. Most times, the headline is determined by the editor based on the story.

I wonder what the headline would have been if the Nets were playing an exhibition game in France. This editor might have thought to take his headline from a popular song from team owner Jay-Z and Kanye West.

It is provocative after all.


Apparently, more than one person thought this was no problem, as it was said on SportsCenter during an interview with Walt Frazier.


(h/t to reader @ejfarino)

ESPN has apologized.

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

(Statement also appears on ESPN’s MediaZone)


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