ESPN Fires Editor Over “Chink in the Armor” Headline


ESPN issued a statement today in the wake of the Jeremy Lin “Chink in the Armor” headline and reference on SportsCenter, as well as another mention on ESPN Radio in New York.

At ESPN we are aware of three offensive and inappropriate comments made on ESPN outlets during our coverage of Jeremy Lin.

Saturday we apologized for two references here. We have since learned of a similar reference Friday on ESPN Radio New York. The incidents were separate and different. We have engaged in a thorough review of all three and have taken the following action:

The ESPN employee responsible for our Mobile headline has been dismissed.
The ESPNEWS anchor has been suspended for 30 days.
The radio commentator is not an ESPN employee.

We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.

For what its worth, I believe the actions taken are about what should have happened. Much like the Whitlock Tweet situation, the headline was probably just a case of someone trying to be clever and not measuring out the consequences. I hate somebody losing their job over what could be an “honest mistake”, but intent is not always taken into account, especially given the result.

For the ESPNEWS anchor, Max Bretos, I think he just used a cliched phrase that was horribly misplaced. For his part, Bretos took to twitter to apologize.

If after reading that anybody thinks he had any racial intentions, they are looking to draw blood from a rock. He made a bad choice of words and has to sit for 30 days as a result. For those of you who think he shouldn’t get suspended because it wasn’t a racially charged statement, imagine if he had slipped and said “That play was fu**in’ unbelievable.” He would be suspended and after that time everybody would just move on.

Now if you want to see the depths of peoples ignorance, pop over to the comments sections of the ESPN Front Row statement where you will see gems like this.

Greg on February 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Wow! Really!? Lighten up, all of you with the first grade education. My niece is 5 years old, and she knows ESPN was NOT being racist. I am Japanese, born in America. I’ve been called “chink” plenty of times. Anyone upset with this situation must have the mentality of a child. By the way, chink means a crack or fissure; an imperfection or weak spot in metal(armor); dent. origin dates back to the 1500′s or earlier. Wasn’t used as a racial slur until nearly 1900.

Matt on February 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

Another sign that society is going backwards. The only reason racism is still alive is because people keep bringing it up. It’s blatenly obvious that nothing was implied about Lin’s race, but people keep digging into a open wound of this country. Well now all the weak minded people who were offended got this man fired.

All i know is, all this coverage is giving me a bad case of Lindigestion.