ESPN’s use of the derogatory headline “Chink in the Armor,” describing Jeremy Lin’s turnovers as costing the Knicks its seven-game winning streak on Friday is racist and inexcusable. Although ESPN issued a statement apologizing for its lapse in editorial judgment, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) asks that this apology be aired prominently on ESPN’s television programs, so that it is clear to all viewers that this racist language is unacceptable.
AALDEF in turn extends an offer to meet with the editorial and production staff of ESPN to educate and assist in establishing procedures to prevent racism or stereotyping of Asian Americans in any future coverage.
This ESPN headline followed one day after MSG, owner of the Knicks, aired a racist image of Jeremy Lin popping out of a fortune cookie, and after Fox Sports Columnist Jason Whitlock apologized for his offensive tweet about Jeremy Lin. It appeared three days after an ESPN anchor used the exact same phrase “Chink in the Armor” on air in an interview about Jeremy Lin.
The time for apologies is over. The media and the general public must understand that racist language and stereotypes used to describe Jeremy Lin are an insult to all Asian Americans, and no one should tolerate their use.