Follow-up statement and action

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.

(Statement also appears on ESPN’s MediaZone) and at


  1. I think the people commenting about the lack of a sincere apology on this forum yesterday, including myself, can accept the fact that ESPN has done their due dilligiance.

  2. Truly despicable. ESPN is the lowest form of any form of journalism on the planet. How does something like that get published without numerous checks and edits? What kind of a hack organization is this?

    The fact that you got an Asian member of your organization to issue this apology is transparent and empty. If these were racist comments against blacks or hispanics, people would be screaming bloody murder. But of course, you guys knew this and the fact that the backlash would be muted among the Asian community is why you published it in the first place and all for the sake of ratings. Great work, fellas. You should be proud of yourselves.

    For my part, I hope one day soon you all end up where you belong — joining the millions of Americans on line at the local unemployment office.

  3. Thank you, ESPN. This should be the end of the criticism on this issue. Criticism definitely was warranted, ESPN and the employees responsible received their fair share, and ESPN has responded by showing the results of disciplinary action, something employers rarely do.

    Let’s let this one rest and move on and hope it doesn’t happen again.

  4. The ESPN mobile thing was a premeditated use of chink as a pun. Meanwhile the anchor just used a bad change of words by accident, a one month suspension for that should be offensive to anyone who has made a mistake before.

  5. Fired? Really? What he did was offensive, but he shouldn’t lose his job.

    Also, the anchor who used that phrase did not use it in a snide or offensive way, it just came up in the discussion. If the headline never happens, no one would have realized he even said it. For him to be suspended a month is a joke.

    This is political correctness gone too far.

  6. When I first saw the headline… I thought nothing of it. Age old term that never has had anything to do with race, until people with racist minds saw it that way at 3 in the morning.

  7. Tom, the headline writer got fired. The director of communications announced it, which is normal. No, there are not multiple layers of editing on mobile headlines in the middle of the night; editors are supposed to have good judgment. Whoever wrote that hed clearly didn’t – and worse – and he got fired. We all thought the hed was outrageous, but I’m not sure what you expect ESPN to do beyond this.

  8. Tyler, well said. The mobile site headline was inexcusable, there’s just no reason anything like that should be put forth. The anchor, on the other hand, did choose his words poorly, but it didn’t seem at all like he was being racist, it’s a common idiom. Just one that *clearly* shouldn’t be used as a headline when the the guy loses his first game.

  9. 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.

  10. I’m glad to see that ESPN took this seriously. Regardless of whether the term itself was racist in origin or not, the editors at ESPN should realize that it now has racist connotation, especially when used in the manner it was.
    Not to mention, you would have to pretty stupid to not see why this was offensive; and it goes without saying that I’m sure the writer knew exactly what they were doing.
    Good job on doing the right thing here, ESPN.

  11. So he wasn’t reading off the teleprompter then?

    I can’t wait for the inevitable “we’re just getting too politically correct here, doncha think?” comments from the same people who have used the term “politically correct” to suit their own bigoted agenda.

  12. maybe you guys should just stop talking about certain athletes like lebron, tebow, favre for weeks at a time just let the young man lin play

  13. All the people yowling about “political correctness” on issues like this merely want to excuse the age-old racism of the dominant culture. They’re tired of having to watch what they say around women, minorities, gays, whoever. Well, guess what. Those days of dominance are done, and other people and other points of view are just as valid and important as yours. You had better get used to it.

  14. Greg, Lin’s race is one of the dominant aspects of this story. There is NO REASON to use a phrase like that if the story is about Asian Americans. As an Asian American, why do you excuse it? “Chink” is pretty much the N-word of the Asian American experience.

    You also don’t have to insult other people with legitimate points of view by saying they have first-grade educations. That pretty much shows where you’re coming from.

  15. If this is an apology, why is not titled as an “Apology” rather than as a vague “Statement”? Or does such a headline not look good in the archives? Just a little disingenuous this. Dude diligence done – yes. Genuine contrition – not so sure

  16. ESPN is one of the most despicable media outlets in the world. They have cornered the sporting market (monopoly) and peddle absolute crap because they can, and do every single day with their horrid biases. Some of these biases go as far as to hurt peoples well being, and possibly even alter their lives as some are only college student athletes. ESPN should be broken up or taken down completely, it’s been a long time coming and I hope this is the beginning of the fall.

  17. Wow. Did a guy just say his FIVE YEAR OLD NIECE knew ESPN was not being racist? Everyone think about that for a second. What a joke. Guys and gals, it doesn’t matter what the true oxford dictionary definition of the word is. Everyone who has common sense knew right away this was in poor taste. And for the people who said they didn’t think anything was wrong about the headline until the rest of us with the “racist mentality” cried outrage over it. Sorry, please get over yourself. Stop trying to pass the buck. This was WRONG. PERIOD.

  18. 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.

  19. I commend ESPN for taking these steps to restore my trust in the network. As an avid sports fan and frequent ESPN viewer, I was angered and dismayed by the headline. Yes, it was offensive and stupid. But more than that, it made me question whether I could support and watch a network whose editorial leadership holds an attitude of Asian Americans that would lead them to think this was an appropriate headline. This action sends the message that ESPN does not hold these views nor condones those who do.

  20. Fire one person, wipe your hands clean and it’s all done. Yes, lets HOPE it never happens again so we can all just forget it. After a similar Jason Whitlock incident days ago, ESPN brass is eager to see us all forget about this. Just drink the ESPN Kool-Aid. When you’re the biggest dog, no one can cover you, and you ain’t about to change and expose yourself.

  21. Its not for me to say what should have happened regarding the disciplinary actions but this speaks to a larger issue in society that no one wants to end, and that is race and the arrogance to not use history as a teacher. This should have never made headlines or surfaced. The person that posted this headline should not have been the only one fired. Someone in charge .of the process shoulda been fired too. How can someone as an editor look at that and say it’s fine

  22. “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…” -Matt

    I literally did a spit-take on that one.

  23. RA Eckart, Jason Whitlock works for Fox Sports.

    Roybus, many online news operations only have one person publishing at times, especially overnight. So the judgment skills of that one person are critical. You don’t want someone flying the plane whom you don’t trust.

  24. I’d like to see what article in your ESPN policies you used to justify the suspension of Max Breto. There was no malice or ill intent in his comment.

  25. The title was unfortunate but the overreaction has been absurd. This was certainly just an honest mistake, because what on earth did the employee stand to gain from being purposefully racist? All this tarring and feathering is becoming way too common place these days. Just try and think about this rationally. It’s a really common phrase that was misused at 3am given the circumstances. Seems innocent enough. Most people would have caught the mistakke instantly, but sometimes shit just happens. Lighten up people, ESPN isn’t racist.

  26. Wow. ESPN has finally shown some moral responsibility. Color me shocked. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

  27. I for one, was wholeheartedly disappointed ESPN did not take the ‘Deny. Deny. Deny’ Defense. I think we all need to take a cold, hard look in the mirror and start taking ourselves a little more seriously. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the four-letter network to back its employees in a situation such as this? The esteemed employee who posted the “Chink In The Armor” headline was mindlessly released because of ‘racist’ backlash by ‘racists’. I’m sure he has a journalism degree and was very obviously posting a headline intended to reference armor. It was Lin’s first loss as a starter. Let’s be smart here. ESPN isn’t that funny anymore.

  28. the firing is because he’s freakin incompetent not because hes racist. how do u let that slip. not doing your. u get fired for not doing your job period, as with any job.

  29. Honest mistake? Really? ESPN should maintain higher standards for hiring people who know what is responsible journalism.

  30. There was no malice of ill intent with Max Bretos, that’s why he still has his job. Suspension is warranted there, as is the firing in the case of the headline writer. Max Bretos job was to ask a question to Clyde Frazier about flaws in Lin’s game, and he used the absolute poorest phrase possible given the context of the story on live television. The headline writer got caught up in all of the puns going around with Jeremy Lin and, in an attempt to be clever, choose that specific phrase. Had to be let go.

  31. Front Row encourages and values the discussion being undertaken here. We remind you of our commenting policy (found below comments) and our insistence that this forum remains a healthy and respectful gathering spot for diverse, mature dialogue.

  32. Absolutely the wrong decision TO DISMISS THE EMPLOYEE. Unbeliveable. I am truly disappointed in that decision, and feel very sorry for the guy who put the headline up. People need to learn to NOT GET OFFENDED SO EASILY. Everyone just needs to let things slide and go on with life and not spaz out over a couple of ‘racist’ words once in a while. Unbelievable.

  33. “His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community”

    Beyond that, his accomplishments should be a source of pride to all Americans. Let’s continue to work together towards being a country where achievements matter, not skin color.

  34. I stopped liking ESPN years ago. When the sportscasters are turned into celebrities, there’s a problem. ESPN is too big and way out of control. I cannot stomach Sports Center anymore.

  35. @Alex, how do you know it was an “honest mistake”? There’s no such proof that the headline didn’t go out with the pejorative insult intended. In any case, there should be zero tolerance for these kinds of insults being used, no matter the pun, and the firing shows that ESPN leadership takes issues such as this seriously, as they should.

    FoxSports should also fire Jason Whitlock. His tweet was inexcusable.

  36. You guys realize that Bretos’s wife is Asian, right?

    Huge difference, IMO, between a headline and a guy giving an interview. Bretos just asking questions, using phrases, has a guy in his ear from production, etc.

    The headline writer sees the picture of Lin and thinks he’s being clever at 2:30am. Maybe call his buddies and thinks it’s a little joke that he’ll leave up there for a little while.

  37. How can anyone claim the headline wasn’t racist? Have you ever been called that? If you have, you know it is never directed at you in a positive light. Every time that I have been addressed by that word, it has always been in a situation where conflict was involved. It was always used to elicit a response based on my race, along with other derogatory characterizations. I believe that is the definition of racist.

  38. Isn’t this the same ESPN that last fall fired Hank Williams for his comments?

    There is NO way you can convince me that only one person allowed that headline to pass.

    Someone higher up the food chain needs to be fired. Shame on you ESPN.

  39. Its amazing the level of sensibility the american culture has gotten to, you cant say anything without offending anyone anymore

  40. Its clear that the writer used a poor choice of words in his pun used to reference Lin. The editor should of prevented it being posted and now he gets thrown under the bus. Jason is a hater, doesn’t like the fact that an Asian is in the spotlight.

  41. I can see ESPN is trying and has tried to go fast in order to move on and put this behind them. Firing / suspending the insensitive racist individuals that created, supported and broadcasted these comments is the right step, what I cannot understand is the lack of responsibility, ownership and professional honesty by their superiors (editors, managers etc) who have escaped any and all involvement when supposedly they are ultimately responsible for anything that goes ‘out there’ . Either they did not care, they where asleep at the wheel or even worse condoned this as it went live……with no obvious concecuence?. Any other organization would have dealt with the breakdown in the ” chain of responsibility” obviously not ESPN.

  42. I’m not a basketball fan nor I am a jeremy lin fan as I’m fairly apathetic about sports in general. when i saw the headline as multiple friends posted about it in facebook i was apalled. i’m glad that espn made a firm stance. i think anyone whether there was intent or not who posts any headline with the word “chink” in it above a photo of an asian american should be fired. non-asians may not be aware that the term “chink” is pretty much the most offensive term that can be used in reference to an asian and we’re not being too sensitive or too p.c. there’s obviously a difference between a headline in large font and someone using the phrase in passing. probably max breto’s reading of the teleprompter and used as a term “chink in the armor” was not intentional but really a 30 day suspension is not a horrible punishment and i think an appropriate move on espn’s part to show how seriously they are taking this issue. hopefully this means that they will be more sensitive in the future to a huge part of their viewership.

  43. Where were the editors and why weren’t they doing their jobs? Prejudice in any form should not be tolerated. The fact that Breto’s wife is Asian makes it even more disrespectful. All instances were uncalled for and a job well done by ESPN.

  44. C’mon now, ESPN encourages and creates the social climate Here. We should all come together over this fiasco. Importantly, I don’t think that using the N-word would have been considered as socially acceptable if this had been a Kobe Byrant comment.

  45. Perhaps ESPN (and other media outlets) need to school their employees on respect, tolerance and what slang constitutes offensive behavior. Are these people so stupid they don’t know the words are inappropriate, or so disrespectful they don’t care? Either way, there needs to be more responsibility exercised by the reviewers before the words are written or spoken. Makes for more integrity and less empty apologies.

  46. I have noticed that many on here are covering up with the derogatory term for African Americans (the “N-word”) but you are not affording the same respect for the derogatory term for Asian Americans by fully using the so-called “C-word” in comments. Let’s afford the Asian-American community the same respect that we are giving the African-American community here.

  47. C’mon now, ESPN encourages and creates the social climate Here. We should all come together over this fiasco. Importantly, I don’t think that using something as socially unacceptable as the N-word would have seen such nonchalance had this been a Kobe Byrant comment.

  48. ESPN, very disappointing to hear your establishment, who over the years of stellar sports journalism has let the word for a head line of C**** (EDITOR’S CHANGE) make it on reporting.
    Shame on your peoples who let this happen.
    There is a place and time and this place and time was inappropriate.
    A time where Lin is stepping up and making it happen. He’s breaking new ground for Asian Americans and others as a good clean, hard working, role model. There is not any need for colorful words like that. Really? that’s what you thought best to use?

    Glad though ESPN is doing some of the the necessary steps to make things right. ESPN do the right thing.

  49. Can’t we agree that it wasn’t meant to be racist? its just an expression, if it was used for someone who wasn’t asian it wouldn’t have been brought up. its not like it was necessary to fire someone, this whole thing is just a crazy overreaction.

  50. this just shows how deep discrimination is rooted in America. I have spent over 9 years in the US,and it seems to me that American define racism as “discrimination against black”. Chinese seems to be too minor a minority and therefore off the list.

    I have heard countless times people telling me to “Go back to China”…and finally I took their advices seriously.

  51. While some response despite being late is better than no response I think the actions taking by espn, abc, and the disney family of brands has been weak and insufficient. The racist term is as offensive to millions of americans as the “N” word is, yet if someone would have used the “N” word in one of these forms, let alone all three more heads would have rolled as a result I am deeply disappointed in this minimal response.

  52. I am going o try this again. I have nothing in this comment that violates the Comment Policy but for some reason it was deemed unacceptable so I took out the initials that referred to it no being a big deal. We’ll see.

    This is such an overblown story. You would never hear a ESPN exec say something like this :

    — Because of the enormous pressure we place on our workers to perform and get results one of our workers made a poor decision. Rather than insulate ourselves for creating and encouraging a stressful workplace, our part must be considered. This in no way excuses the behavior and in response we have suspended the headline writer, his supervisor and the VP in charge of the department for one week.—

    No. You never see anyone but the worker bee punished. And how much does he make? 25? 30K? versus his boss who makes at least double? And the VP?

    How much pressure is put on these mobile people to deliver content quickly fast and with an irreverent, edgy feel that get’s people’s attention are their demand.

    The sacrificing of a low level functionary is typical of corporate entities. He’ll be replaced in minutes. The big wigs stay insulated huffing and puffing about how they care about the communities they serve. Then they send a peon to the gallows so the crowd can cheer that punishment has been meted out.

    All those comments who are so self-righteously indignant should take a hard look at who they actually throw overboard when you scream for blood. Was it wrong / bad taste / offensive? You bet and take a hard look at how they “fix” the problem

  53. Lin isn’t just a source of pride for Asian Americans, he’s a source of pride for all Americans of any background! I don’t think the joke made by Max Bretos is funny. I’m an asian and I STRONGLY DEMAND A PUBLIC APPOLOGY FROM MR. Bretos or he should be fired.

  54. Disgusting! Shame on you ESPN. I don’t think any Chinese or Asian will enjoy this hard-nosed racist attitude. You will be shut off from the Chinese and Asian market!!! Is this want you want?

  55. Mr. Marcus –
    We will post this but we will also let users know that you make false assumptions and generalizations which was the reason we did not post your initial submission.
    We do appreciate your input and value your opinions.
    Thank you.

  56. As an Asian-American, I appreciate the apology and actions taken in the wake of the offensive words used in the coverage of Jeremy Lin. With that said, in this day and age something like this should have never happened in the first place. ESPN would never, ever use an offensive word when covering a story of an African-American. Asian-Americans we never be subjected to the kind of bigotry African-Americans have experienced but we are now the ones who are subjected to today?s bigotry that is more subtle but just as hurtful. As a company whose affiliations run deep, with Disney, ABC, etc., you really need to be more responsible with the content that you share with the entire world.

  57. So much for transparency and open discussion. There was nothing in my previous posts that violated the comments policy unless you think implying ESPN execs actions are insincere a violation. Good luck Kevin.

  58. Mr. Scott, Thank you for your response. I would welcome any correction to any assumptions I have made so to better understand ESPN policy and actions in this matter. But, I stand by the assertion that punishment for such events rarely make it to the higher echelons and specifically to those reposnsible for creating the style and workplace environemnt from where your products are created and delivered. Thank you.

  59. What’s funny is minorities are allowed to be racist. You can say white guys can’t jump or can’t dance. But say something negative about a minority and its the end of the world. Idk why Im writing this, i fully expect to have it withheld or deleted.

  60. People take offense, offense isn’t given. Anyone who hasn’t said something they regret, throw the first stone. ESPN’s atta’boys outnumber their no-no’s. How about a little grace? Learn your lesson ESPN and let’s all move on as you continue your 99.9% entertaining and informative coverage of our favorite sports stories, teams and players.

  61. If they said a N_ _ _ _ R in the armour, our friends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have thrown a hissy fit as well as the entire community.

    C _ _ _ K is just as bad. Don’t try to derail it. I hate political correctness to begin with, but you shove it down our throats when it has to do with African Americans. Yet white people get called cr_ _ ker and Chinese get called C _ _ _ K and people are like, “Oh no big deal!”

  62. I have read that you fired the writer of the story for using a headline that includes a phrase that has been around since the 16th century, because a few individuals claimed to be offended? You should hold your head in shame if that is the sole reason for his dismissal. I take it then any reference to Hines Ward running a slant will be removed as well in other future stories along with any other statements that could be misinterpreted. I would have thought, you would have stood behind the writer and simply explained to those simple minded people that did not understand the phrase that it was in reference to defending Lin. And taking in to consideration the authors wife, from what I have read is Asian I think you have done him and your staff a disservice and you were wrong in your decision.

  63. A simple dismissal and apology is not enough for the offense made to the Asian American community. I want to see you guys pay and not just be sorry. Your apology does not change the fact that an article was published with a heavily racist tone behind the headline. Make contributions toward the Asian American community through means of air time, non profit sports programs, or finances. Make a heavy donation to the Jeremy Lin foundation. A simple verbal apology and holding those responsible is not enough. Those were your employees and there your company is also held responsible. Do the right thing and make a pay for your mistake.

  64. Speaking as an American of Chinese descent, I am gratified that ESPN is taking this seriously. The commenters who think this is just about “a few people being offended” strike me as either ignorant or disingenuous. The problem is not that the phrase “chink in the armor” is racist per se. The problem is that the sportswriter would not have used “chink” if the player in question had been black or white. He had a whole world of words and phrases to pick, but he picked this one AND, he used it specifically because “chink” is used to refer to Chinese people. He was trying to be clever by relying on the (supposed) comedic potential of this double entendre, which was meant to direct attention to JLin’s poor playing that night AND the fact that JLin is of Chinese origin. And, to the extent that the attempted pun “works” it is because of the broadly held cultural knowledge that “chink” is a derogatory term for Chinese people. So good for ESPN for “getting it.”

  65. Yes, white people who tell Asians and others to get over ourselves — your point of view is the only correct one on this issue. We get it. You’re also wrong.

    Yes, “chink in the armor” has a primary meaning. It’s also inappropriate and inexcusable to use it in this situation, because “chink” is also a slur that every Asian in this country has suffered, repeatedly. Just because it has “your” meaning doesn’t mean it doesn’t have “our” meaning as well. “Chink” is the N-word of Asian American culture. So why use it there? Again, inexcusable, and you wouldn’t want someone working for you in such a capacity who thought that was either funny or innocent. You’ve got to be a little more worldly than that.

  66. How is it ESPN can afford someone to censor and filter comments from readers but not headlines from employees?

  67. This should have never been said and its crazy somebody thought it was cool. But people please stop comparing it the the N word and blacks in general. Seriously.

  68. It was obvious from the context and intent that Max Bretos was using a centuries old idiomatic phrase “chink in ones armor” and not using it as a deraogtary statement of anyone’s race. The bottom line is “chink” has a very clear meaning beyond a racial slur. So now it can never be used again? Or can we use the legitimate meaning of the work when not referring to an Asian? If he was referring to Carmelo Anthony’s poor shot selection as “chink in his armor” (which it is) would anyone have been offended? As of today I start my 30 day boycot of ESPN and ESPN radio for kowtowing to a bunch of hypersensative babies. I’m sorry can I use kowtow or is that racist?

  69. When I heard the headline remark, posted by ESPN of all places, I was astonished considering we’re in 2012. I am of Asian descent, and I use to hear the “C” word loosely only 20 years ago, believe it not. growing up. I would think, for one, we’d have our crap together; guess not. In any case, it is good to see that Jeremy Lin is seeing success in the NBA, not only as an academic role model but also as an Asian baller.

  70. “His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN.”

    You still don’t get it. Lin’s accomplishments should be a matter of pride for Americans. Period.

  71. This has been going on for years with ESPN,and other media outlets,….if you think about it Floyd Mayweather was right……..think about it,…its ashamed but its deep rooted

  72. Its a shame that a lot of the racist comments were created by the black people, who have been the victims of racism until now. Its ironic and its pathetic! I don’t really take it that seriously with the brainless comments from these brainless people!

  73. And now we have the True Hoop Knicks blog using the phrase “Honest Injun” in a recap of today’s game. These last few days have been very disheartening, and I think it’s clear some type of cultural sensitivity seminars need to be in place. Here’s the first day’s itinerary: “When is it okay to use a racial slur? Never.” “What if I’m being clever or ironic when I use it? No.” Then take an early lunch, hand out a quiz with those two questions on it and anyone who fails should be fired.

  74. We will not be doing any advertising with espn for our franchise brand which is growing nationally. Mr. Bretos would have been fired by any other network if his remarks had been directed at other ethnic groups. Why ESPN using kid gloves with Mr. Bretos is baffling.

  75. ESPN just simply do not have the caliber to seriously take the Global market. This stupid mistake shows the weakness of American firms while dealing with other race or culture. If NBA & MSG want to enjoy SUPER-BOWL SIZE Audience for every game Jeremy Lin plays, they better hire some serious Marketing Team who really know the Asian culture, not just throwing cheap shots like fortune cookies which is distasteful & NOT funny at all.

  76. Dear ESPN,

    This is a good start to communicate to the rest of your employees that racist behavior isn’t acceptable. However, please clarify:
    (1) “The ESPN employee responsible for our Mobile headline has been dismissed.” Why didn’t ESPN have this person explain or apologize personally? Who is this person? You don’t give us a name, it’s like the Catholic church transferring child sex abusers to new parishes without telling anyone.
    (2) “The ESPNEWS anchor has been suspended for 30 days.” Is that PAID leave, or without pay? Pretty much a slap on the wrist, what if he said the “N” word on the air?
    (3) “The radio commentator is not an ESPN employee.” Where is your statement that this person is now BANNED from ever commenting on ESPN again? Racist trash don’t get to use ESPN to spread their hateful views.
    What steps are taken so this doesn’t happen again? It happened 3x in barely a week!

  77. I really think people are so soft at this point they have no idea what the old saying really means. I think there are several racists making a much bigger deal out of it mostly because race is always at the front of their mind in these situations.

  78. This, my friends, is what you call journalism at its worst. As a matter of fact, this is pure garbage — not even worth being called journalism. These so called “journalists” and their racially slurred headlines and statements demean, degrade and belittle not just Chinese individuals, but also every living Asian American in this country. I’m pretty sure the 4+ billion Chinese people in China (the most populous country in the world) aren’t going to be very happy when they hear about this.

    Is the United States not based on the principle that “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”? It doesn’t matter what color skin you are, so leave race out ESPN; it’s as simple as that. Follow this rule and the credibility and respect that people give your network will remain. How many times are you going to do this? Seriously.

  79. Feb. 19, 2012

    Dear ESPN,

    Please add me to the growing number of viewers and former viewers outraged and disappointed that ESPN would call Lin a very racist name on live TV. It is bad enough that the script was written, but no editor or other person in the production unit had the decency or courage to cancel the slur.

    As part 1st People / Native American, if nothing else, sports can be an equalizer in Western society where minorities can compete and win. ESPN has set that back today.

    Your error in judgment is also an error in courage and erodes trust in your firm or its sponsors.

    I fear for how you will now cover Jim Thorpe or Jacoby Ellsbury, and I am saddened that I need to ask ESPN not to dismiss me as being “on the warpath” or making “savage” remarks.


    Member, Choctaw Nation

  80. ESPN finally did something useful.
    Lin is a rare inspirational model for all the young people around the world. there is no place for racism in this case.
    plus, Lin has some BILLION people behind his back. you dont want to spoil that kind of big market by introducing racism herre

  81. You Americans are such softies. Do you honestly think it was meant as a racial slur? The “C word” as you’re calling it now has more than one meaning, heaven forbid. He didn’t call Lin anything, he said a very popular phrase that has been around for decades, it was merely a coincidence. But of course, you softy Americans always want to make mountains out of molehills, blame somebody else, apologise because you were offended, boohoo. Some democracy you have.

  82. Thank you for recognizing ESPN’s inappropriate use of the “C” word, and rendering an apology. Firing the announcer was far more than anyone wished to see. Today, during the Nics and Maverick Game ESPN didn’t do much better when talking about Lin juxtaposed to the NY Hong Kong subway station. And the reference of Yao Ming and Lin was not much better. Lin probably never thought a thing about Yao Ming. I believe, if I am not mistaken Lin was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. What media value do you get by juxtaposing Lin’s play with Hong Kong Station? Within a few moments your announcers reference Yao Ming and Lin. Dear ESPN Lin’s is no more related to Yao Ming then Fields or Chandler. The only qualified likeness of Lin & Ming is is the color of their hair and skin and the slant of their eyes. Sure, they have the NBA in comment, but why qualify Wade with Manute Bol. Mr. Lin is and Asian American of Taiwainese decent; Yao is from China. Ugh? A different ethic heritage. It would be the same as panning over a barber shop in Harlem when referencing Anthony’s play. Since all New York seems to be buying into Linsanity, why the Hong Kong station? The only relationship of Lin and Mao is the color of their hair & skin, or the slant of their eyes. With all do respect to ESPN and your great sport programming, I encourage you to demonstrate greater responsibility by promoting diversity rather then promoting ethnic stereotypic generalizations. ESPN certainly wouldn’t pan over residents of Harlem watching a game or African American’s watching a televised game in Compton, California.

  83. Ch**k in the armor was a clever but unfortunate use of a phrase that has nothing to do with race. Or at least it’s not meant to. Many people are not aware of how offensive the term is, including my son who is married to an Asian woman. He had heard her use the word and ended up repeating it in the workplace, again not realizing the offensiveness. He was severely embarrassed and was chastised by coworkers. He wasn’t trying to be derogatory, just thought he was throwing down a slang term. I have 3 kids or grandkids of mixed Asian descent and I wouldn’t flip out over ch*nk. I would also hope to teach them to be tolerant of other peoples ignorance. Learn to recognize true racism versus using a semi ambiguous word to get attention.

  84. “c*&^% in the armour” I thought it was creative writing great headline at no time did I ever think it was used as a racial slur.This just shows how closed minded people really are the word was used as a verb it means small crack or tear.I understand you have fired the writer shame on you shame on you!The writer in my opinion did nothing wrong other than come up with a creative headline.I believe you are the ones two blame you should have stood by your writer and help put a stop to racism instead you make people think that he actually wrote the headline to be racist.I will now boycott espn not because of the headline but because you don’t have a bone in your back you think you solved this by firing the writer in my opinion you made it worse.It has been a good run I will miss you especially during football season.
    By the way I am asian American.

  85. You should know that people are still disgusted by ESPN. Why did you not post my previous comment regarding who the writer of the racial slur is? How do we know the writer was indeed fired? That is the hottest topic of conversation among many groups here, and that is a legitimate concern. Shame on the moderators for not publishing perfectly valid comments, and know that these comments will indeed be published elsewhere, with appropriate comments regarding ESPN’s refusal to address these issues.

  86. Thanks ESPN for taking this matter seriously because the history of racism in this country is very deep. What are you going to do to prevent this from happening in the future?

  87. Classy ESPN. While you’re at it, let’s hear an apology to evangelical Christians for the way you portrayed Tebow’s religion.

  88. The first thing that comes out of people’s mouth is usually their honest opinion. For the ESPN staff who made this racial slur, it demonstrates how deeply runs the racial prejudice. To apologize afterwards is band-aiding. When Max Bretos said that his wife is Asian American and that he would never disrespect her and her community, does that mean that he would if his wife was not Asian American?

  89. Pretty sad state of affairs that “professional journalists” don’t know the idioms of our language.

    The allegedly “racist” phrase appeared more than 25 million times if you Google search between Jan 1 2010 and Jan 1 2012. In fact ESPN has used the phrase a number of times in the past.

    If it’s such a racist slur, why is the outcry only happening now?

  90. Everyone, how about opening up a dictionary? The word “XXXXX” is an actual word. So if you want to be offended by it because you all you know is the slang usage, then that’s your problem.

    A lot of you people have sensitivity issues.

  91. Supporting my original thought that ESPN simply was more interested in getting past this embarrasment by blaming and punishing an editor without taking on any resposbility for the lack of journalistic checks and balances, Kelly Dwyer on Yahoo says: “Now you fire the guy, extend a story that people were going to forget anyway within two weeks, and now this person is out of a job for doing something that just didn’t click to him as wrong because nobody was around to say, — “Hey, you know what people are going to think that means, right?” — But as long as the mob gets it’s pound of flesh who cares who it hurts as long it is not higher-ups. Right?

  92. I feel that it is difficult to not give any benefit of the doubt to someone who has claimed that it was an honest mistake. The word in question has an actual literary meaning other than to degrade Asian Americans. One of the “offenders” has a wife who is either Asian or Asian American according to his twitter statements. Let’s make sure that we are appropriately directing our criticisms.

  93. It should also be noted that the word in question is used derogatorily towards Chinese people and Lin is of Tiwaneese decent.

  94. Jean –
    Your prior comment contained misleading or false information.
    The identity of the person you are referring to was revealed today across various other media outlets.
    We thank you for your comment and for continuing the discussion and dissection of this matter.

  95. David on February 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    You are SPOT ON as is your 2:29 comment. You might make belive there are reasoning people in the world

  96. It is 2012 and our education system has failed us again. There are people on here who do not realize that using “Ch**nk” with the association with J LIn is like saying a headline about LeBron when he loses a game as such: “N****r” in armor”. The idiots who cannot see the parallel in the headline with racism are either dumb as a bag of rocks or just pure racist. Wake up people. It’s that kind of ignorance that has held this country back for many years. Please try reading a book to educate yourself and better your IQ, please. And can we stop using the childish phrase “Serioulsy” and “Really”. You sound like a bunch of high school drop outs at the age of 14. Think of a new phrase, be a leader and not a follower. Geez! You people will wear something into the ground and keep using it for 2 years. Be creative.

  97. Good lord ESPN moderator, you guys are so twitchy right now…you removed the wrong duplicate comment. I mistakenly hit return I was just trying to complement David on his excellent observations. He gave me more hope there might be more reasonable thoughful people in the world.

  98. I’ve read his apology, and while he claimed it was an honest mistake the issue here is regardless of intent OF COURSE he would, that’s the entire premise of cloaked racism. He was being paid for his vocabulary, judgement, and usage of words. If he had thought he was being clever he did it knowing he had a defense at the ready. If he did it out of ignorance he did it failing to know the history of the word in use, had awful judgement in thinking it was an appropriate headline, and proved he couldn’t be trusted with the words that were attached to the ESPN name, not his own.

    Hoped to see some type of response to the knickerblogger comment, but I guess that just failed to reach an audience to warrant a response. A defense of “I was ironically using racist slurs” and a change after the fact to me is just the author hoping his slur was on the lower rung of racial slurs so he gets a pass. I liked Huckleberry Finn, but if an author were to refer to a player with the “N-word” before his first name there would be hell to pay.

  99. “You still don’t get it. Lin’s accomplishments should be a matter of pride for Americans. Period” — Why? They are not your acomplishments, nor are they mine. The only person with reason to be “proud” of anything Lin has done is Lin himself, because he did them. Now, while the phrase “XXXXX in the armor” was ill-advised, I think it was mainly ill advised because of the ethnic back ground of Mr. Lin. Had they used the same headline about any non-asian player nobody would have said anything. I for one seriously doubt there was any racist intent in the headline or comments and nobody should be losing their job over this.

  100. “I can’t wait for the inevitable “we’re just getting too politically correct here, doncha think?” comments from the same people who have used the term “politically correct” to suit their own bigoted agenda.” — I think you have “political correctness” reversed. Being politically correct NEVER adds words or phrases to the language, “political correctness” is almost exclusively used to REMOVE or BAN words or phrases because they might offend some minority party, person or interest, even if the particular group being “protected” sometimes uses the very word themselves (like, the “N word”). It is never used to increase someone’s ability to advance any “bigoted agenda”. Simply fact is if we eliminate every word or phrase that might ever offend anyone we will have almost no remaining ability to communicate for fear of losing our jobs or freedom.

  101. “I have noticed that many on here are covering up with the derogatory term for African Americans (the “N-word”) but you are not affording the same respect for the derogatory term for Asian Americans by fully using the so-called “C-word” in comments” — maybe that is because the the word “chink”, although it can be used derogatorily, has an actual, non-racist, non-perjoritive meaning, i.e. a crack or fissure, whereas the “N-word” does not (except, apparently, when used by one African American to refer to another, then suddenly its okay to say – go figure).

  102. Doug –
    Our moderators are taking caution to edit out offensive language. At this point in the moderated commenting, the terms being used have been established. We hope to further the discussion and not let it get bogged down in name-calling. We welcome your take on that as well. Thank you.

  103. as an asian AMERICAN, i believe they know exactly what they were referring to when they used the “c” word. like most racist bigots, they then back peddle to try to say it was innocent. there is NO purpose of this kind of mean degrading behavior other than to hurt, tear down the actual innocent people. weather out of jealousy because these espn announcers, editors will never be the super star Lin is, or they are just down right jerks. this definitely tarnished the whole sports organization. Now its ESPN’s turn to make this right and treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

  104. David Scott

    Thank you for your comment related to ESPN Moderators taking caution to edit out offensive language. What about taking greater caution to overt the less obvious displays of racism? Lin’s success story does create an irony, not recruited by a college, no scholarships, walk on success at Harvard and NBA, and a Harvard grad. Admittedly, a success story uncommon in United States. It’s an American success story! ESPN’s continued use of other Asians foreign and American born juxtapose of multiple Lin’s success because of his hard work, commitment to the game and a bit of luck (timing). His is success perhaps making Asian American’s proud to finally have someone of Asian decent having success in the NBA. The color of his skin, hair or slant of his eyes is irrelevant.

  105. David

    My comment somehow was submitted when I was not done. I did not get a chance to say his success juxtaposed to multiple Asian Foreign and Natural born American citizens has nothing to do with Lin. It is playing of a stereotypic generalization predicated upon various Asians in American and abroad. Will you eliminate that less overt display of racism?

  106. So I’m curious what Cindy and many like her thinks will “make this right”? Should the poster of the offensive and dreaded “c” word be fired? Check. Should the poster be portrayed an lying, evil, hurtful racist? Should the world shout out his name as one curses the devil himself? Check and Check. Should ESPN as a corporate entity ensure that this vile man never be employed by it’s parent company Disney, ABC and any other affiliates? hmmm can’t put a check on that for sure… but I’m pretty sure that will be a check. Is taking away a person’s livelihood enough? Should there be more? Where is the appropriate place to drawn the line in retribution for this unspeakable act? Where should we stop? Tell us Cindy, where is the line? Treat it with the “seriousness it deserves” you say. How much “seriousness” does it deserve? Because I really think we all want to know what line to toe to “make it right”. We all probably want to know where the hate ends and your compassion begins.

  107. @David Scott- Have you gone back and removed the same phrase from ALL of ESPN’s webpages over the past 4 years?

    I see ESPN used the exact same phrase multiple times. But then there’s nor real reason to remove it, is there? At least there isn’t if one actually speaks idiomatic English and has a grasp of the language.

    Apparently none of ESPN’s executives actually DO know English.

  108. These are professional journalists people who well one would assume have communication, broadcast journalism and/or english degrees. They know very well what words to use and what not to use. I’m in marketing and one of my biggest tools is a thesaurus. They knew very well what they were doing and to say “my wife” is Asian doesn’t justify it. Glad they suspected Breto, but to release it a second time the editorial staff is either guilty of incompetency or is complicit in the posting of the C-word.
    To say the c-word a legitimate word is to forget that “faggot” (a bundle of sticks) is a perfectly legitimate word as well, but I dare any ESPN sportscaster or employee to use that word in an article associated with a gay athlete.
    But what should I expect from ESPN in so far as proper journalism anyways.

  109. FYI – Being from Taiwan, or of Taiwanese descent IS still considered Chinese. Please get your facts straight before posting more ignorance.

  110. @anyone who actually had to look up the word c***k in the dictionary: are you for real? Seriously, who doesn’t know what the word means, in either way? The fact that you had to even look it up proves you didn’t hear the word hurled at you everyday growing up. And therefore you are in no position to say whether it is offensive or not.
    And here’s my favorite: the “he has an Asian wife therefore he cannot be racist” logic. High school level of thinking at best.
    THE FACT that he has a wife who is Asian makes the mistake even MORE appalling. Think about it. A little bit harder.

    There you go, got it?

  111. @Willie it was 2am. He made a mistake. Period. Honestly I wonder if in your work there is such a zero tolerance for errors. He made a mistake and should be reprimanded. But no that’s not enough. You need blood. And to justify that need, the editor needs to be cast as a evil demon to rationalize your “rage”. You *have* to cast his actions as willfully hurtful. You cannot allow him the slightest ebenfit of the doubt to have made a mistake. Because if you did… if you did, you and others would have to stop throwing those stones from your glass houses.

  112. I think suspending Max Bretos for 30 days is wrong. There was no bad intent in the use of the phrase “a XXXX in the armor” as Max used it in a question. There was no snideness in Max’s body language – there was no “nudge-nudge” crap going on – it was a question that was blown out of proportion ti its intent. I think ESPN should have stood by Max – let him say something along the lines of “Hey – I’m sorry if you took that question wrong” – and then moved on. In an entire news segment a single sentence with no racial slander obvious through body language or tonal inflection by Max has now become news… There are shock-jocks that make a living using word-play to put someone down or insult them. Max is not a shock-jock.

    I think ESPN is wrong in how this was handled. There was no intent to “put Lin down” in what Max said/asked.

  113. @david and David Marcus (posts 102 and 103): spot on?!?! Please get an education before you make a fool out of yourselves on the WORLDWIDE web. It is spelled TAIWANESE DESCENT. Taiwanese people are not calling themselves Chinese due to political reasons, but ethnically I am pretty sure their ancestors are from China. And even if Jeremy’s ancestors were from Taiwan for as far back as history accounts (wrong anyway as he is half Chinese half Taiwanese) is that now OK to use the C-word on him? The lengths that you guys will go to in making this a non-race issue is AMAZING. Amazing because the point is if the writer was ignorantly unaware that the c- word is offensive then he does not belong in a global organization like ESPN, and if he is aware of its offensiveness than he CERTAINLY does not belong.
    Dang, why is it so hard to get through your thick skulls?? EDUCATION!! Get one!! It’s free in most countries the last time I checked. It helps you get respect when you open your mouth or move your fingers. E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!!!

  114. “If they said a N_ _ _ _ R in the armour, our friends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have thrown a hissy fit as well as the entire community.”

    That makes no sense. They would not say that because that expression doesn’t exist…go google the phrase chink in the armor and you will see it has absolutely zero racial connotation.

  115. Mr. Chang. Thank you for your note. First, a suggestion, try and refrain from the capitalization. Capitals as you know in written communication is shouting and shouting is not conversation. If you believe the editor’s explanation story (NY Post) then it *is* a non-racial issue. If you don’t believe him then it is a racial issue. It is not the editor that made this a racial issue. ESPN did not make this a racial issue. Everyone else did. It’s your perception that makes it one or the other. It’s that simple. You point out correctly people self-identify in a variety of ways, politically, ethnically, economically, socially, racially. And you are entitled to your perception of offense in whatever categories you want. And you should voice your opinion when you are offended. But to attribute this episode to nefarious intent or lack of education is a stretch. (See above on perceptions.) Education can alter and enhance perception. But by your own admission you past personal experiences have a far greater effect on your perception. But if you want a personal pity parade because you were called names growing up then get in line. And it’s a loooong line. I’ll happily go head to head with you and compare our life-long slights and verbal attacks, racial, ethnically or other. I imagine we’d come out even as long as you’re not too competitive about it. _-_-_->
    If you read my previous posts regarding the lack of responsibility ESPN takes for this event (#58, 64, 73) and the vengeance you and others demand (#100, 113) then perhaps you’ll see that I agreed that it was a dumb and offensive headline. But, it did it rise to the level of a capital crime? No. Did the editor deserve reprimand? Yes. Did he deserve to be fired? No. There was not a past history of similar behaviour. The contortions you go through to rationalize your rage is amusingly sad to say the least. You admit people label themselves for a variety of reasons in this case you mention political then you jump over to remind that someone is half-this and half-that. Does that mean you are entitled to only be half offended? Don’t you think it is curious exercise to rationalize our own hate? To your specific point of the other David’s Taiwanese comment I felt he was being ironic and if I hadn’t been too quick to post I would not have had a duplicate posting deleted and that may have come through. So it was a mistake for me to try and be droll. A little ironic isn’t it? Anyway, there is apparently no wiggle room for imprecise comments right? But for the record there was no malevolence on my part. But let’s be honest, you don’t care about conversation, right? I mean you’re here to post about how mad you are and how people are so unaware and uneducated. BTW if full awareness is a requirement for work the unemployment figures would be closer to 99%. Finally, I will close by asking you as I asked Cindy. Where is the appropriate place to drawn the line in retribution for this unspeakable act? Where should we stop? I really think we all want to know what line to toe to “make it right”. I want to know where your hate ends and your compassion begins.

  116. To those that say the N-word doesnt have another meaning, yes it does. “N****dly” means stingy with money and yet, I have not seen a headline stating that a black athlete that went broke wasnt so “n—” with his money. Those that have used the word denoting cheap or stingy have been punished time and time again but I see no uproar telling African-Americans to calm down and not be so sensitive. Btw, people outside the Asian race telling Asians to calm down is absolutely appalling to me. I dont tell you how to feel and act, you dont tell me either.

    The C-word and the N-word are one in the same when it comes to racism. No matter the origins of the words, when used in connection with people of race (who have suffered at the hands of those words) it is offensive. Many racist terms have other meanings, but that doesnt mean we can use these terms, especially as it relates to people of color. I dont see how many here are defending ESPN or saying its not a big deal or people are overreacting – there is no such thing as overreacting here. If Asian-Americans are offended, then they are offended. You cannot tell them how to feel unless you walk a mile in their shoes and deal with both subtle and overt racism.

    I can never tell another minority group to chill out if they feel offended, yet I dont see how many of you (who I imagine are not Asian) are telling Asians to get over it.

  117. Hey Ms. Tran

    Certainly if your qualified to say a Taiwanese are of Chinese decent. Are you also saying that Yao Ming and Lin have something in common? If I am not mistaken Taiwanese People prefer to be called Taiwanese.

    I think you are confused. A history lesson for you.

    Supporters of Taiwan Independence only recognized themselves as Taiwanese, rejects and do not wish to be recognized as Chinese national or Chinese. In particular, they have emphasized that politically and legally, they are not Chinese

  118. H2Fish is correct. Myself, my experience and my interactions with other Taiwanese people and as well as a survey with 20 years of tracking data on Taiwanese self identification show that Taiwanese people are increasingly prefer not to be call Chinese (Ref#1). Especially in the situation the word Chinese can be mistaken as Chinese national.

    While Ms. Tran may be from Taiwan, her comment only reflects her believe. Much like my comment can only represent myself and my experience and cannot represent the population as a whole. As a result, I encourage interested people to research further into the subject.

    Since outside links are not accepted in most places. I only provide the keyword for Google search.

    Google “” for Taiwan National Chengchi University’s continuous survey on Taiwanese self identification since 1992

    Google “Emerson M. F. Jou, M.D. Are We Chinese or Taiwanese” for why some Taiwanese may be considering themselves as Chinese

    Google “Wikipedia Political_status_of_Taiwan” for the complicate political status of Taiwan

  119. Ms. Jae, You are 100% correct you have every right to be offended. Just as others have every right to say chill out. The funny thing about being offended about *any-thing* is that it is so hard for all of us to put the offense in perspective. And I disagree with you. There is such a thing as over-reacting. Listen to the drums politicians beat looking for the slightest offense to justify conflict. On a sports level does the angry player win out over the calm and collected one? Most times no. And on our personal level, we so much want to hang onto that rage for the raw energy release don’t we? Myself included. The question is, does that rage serve you? Beyond the energy release I find the cost to sustain that anger is too high a price to pay. All anger it needs to be channeled and when anger rises, think of the consequences. Be offended, speak to the offender as a teacher and move on. They will either learn the lesson or not. You can not make anyone learn.

  120. I would like to make a comment regarding Stephen A Smith’s reaction the the reactions towards ethnic sensitivity: Please note, I am coming from a non-sports perspective. I’ve never really watched/listened to ESPN, so I do not know the background of all the people involved. The problem is – before this anchor and writer put the slur “XXXXX” out there, weren’t there individuals that had to approve of material before it actually goes out to the public? As it shows, I am not a journalist. Also, being an Asian-American myself, my honest take is that Stephen A Smith needs to chill out a little, because right now is not about the African-Americans. There has been a long history of the African-American struggles. I’m thinking – finally, Asian-Americans are being in the spotlight and let us react the way we want to react. Give us some time too. Just because African-Americans had hundreds of years to react, doesn’t mean they were covering for all racial tensions. And I say this with all respect.

  121. Your comments are very well written and educational. As an Asian American, racism can exist in comments such as “those people _____, or any grouping based upon a characteristic, It is a sad day in 2012, when comments are offered to fuel and ugly situation. There is an Asian, Dallas Maverick player, Yi Jianlian #9; he is also 7 footer. It is an another opportunity to compare the two and make another uneducated generalization based upon their characteristic. No one really cares because he is not have the same degree of impact. No sooner then Yi becomes a impact player, the ugliness will likely also begins to spew out in the media. Lin’s ability to look beyond the years of derogatory comments, stop the irrelevant dialogue, and recognize he is of star quality. Is it that star quality that causes a reaction?

  122. Doug (107 & 108)

    Have you ever felt the ugly affects or Racism? To see your son or daughter come home because another school age student emulates what a parent demonstrates at home? Unless you have, your comments are probably very easy to write. You forgot to leave out the telling sentence, “Why don’t those people not get offended by the derogatory comments.”

    This will be my last comment, ESPN has demonstrated that they understand, and they are willing to exhibit greater sensitivity. greater sensitivity. It will take a while, but change begins with one ESPN person speaking dismissing any ethnic based comments. My comments are only to educate.

  123. David Marcus, aka moderator of the Jeremy Lin discussion boards now that his comments are not being deleted by ESPN:

    I don’t know who you are, where you are from, or what you do. Nor do I care. I find it interesting that I have thus far elicited your longest and most passionate post here at ESPN but it doesn’t impress me. I wonder what your beef is with the entire discussion here: are you asian or a person who hurls insults at asians or someone who used to insult asians but now have reformed and thus gets easily perturbed at anyone making a fuss out of racism because you have tried so hard at change and it frustrates you that there are still people who makes racial comments and there are STILL people who get into a frenzy when racism rears its head? You ask me why the anger, that’s easy I was made fun of DAILY while growing up and believe me I tried to forget it but time and again things like reading the word XXXXX in the media makes me remember. You say boohoo everyone was made fun of growing up so move on, you probably were made fun of more and you got over it and so should I, blah blah blah. No. Wrong. Sorry. There is no WAY you were made fun of more than me while growing up unless you are a lesbian black and for some reason I HEAVILY doubt that. And even if you ARE that doesnt mean you have the right to tell me to get over the XXXXX word just as I don’t have the right to tell a spanish/hispanic person to get over the word XXXX. I am SURE someone of your intelligence knows this so why do I need to waste both of our times pointing this out?? I wish I had the time that you apparently do, including going back to each and every one of my posts to collect data in order to rack up your arsenal to make a full-on attack at me, and trying to point out my lovely habit of USING ALL caps as if we are STILL in linguistics 101. But I don’t. And so I won’t. But one final comment: while your criticism of ESPN for the C-word is respectable, your telling us to cut him some slack and not get so offended and to move on makes you only one notch higher on the racism ladder and puts all the hard work of your American brothers and sisters back 50 years. Grow up.

  124. I have already written to ESPN, but I’m glad to add my voice to the chorus of those here who are outraged by the casual racism, not just of the ‘c—-’ headlines, but in much of the hoopla surrounding the recent breakout performances of Jeremy Lin. The apologies have been relatively swift, mostly shallow, and certainly insufficient. Jason Whitlock at, Floyd Mayweather’s well-publicized comments on Twitter, legions of blogs and opposing sports fans in arenas across the country… is this not obviously a symptom of a deeper sickness?

    There seems to me to be no question that there is a double standard when it comes to racial slights and disparagements toward Asians and Asian Americans, and what’s worse, these are symptomatic of the kind of subtle racism in the power structures of major college basketball programs and the NBA that left Lin dismissed and otherwise ignored until recently. A few decent analyses (and some hilarious satire on The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live) have appeared online, so I’ll refrain from reprising them. I will only note, along with Jason Whitlock in a follow up article to his now-infamous tweet, “Until the past two weeks, Jeremy Lin was entirely unwanted by the NBA, and before that, major college basketball had little interest in him. The people who dominate American basketball on the court, on the sideline, in the executive rooms, in the stands and along press row do not look like Jeremy Lin.”

    ESPN is a part of that group that dominates American basketball in its role as the leading sports media empire, and with power comes responsibility. It’s time to go beyond apologies – even sincere ones. The issue is bigger than the fact that some of us are personally and ethnically offended. This is about structural injustice that ESPN helps to validate and reinforce, unless it takes appropriate action. I’m not talking about reprimanding, suspending, and firing people, though that will sometimes be necessary. I am talking about hiring consultants who can help them to think through how communication helps or hurts the cause of racial justice, about building an ESPN organization (not just TV faces) that is more diverse and more aware, about being a part of the solution and not part of the problem. Sports, at their best, teach us to cooperate, to work together for a common goal; they allow us to transcend distinctions of race and ethnicity and find common ground, whether playing or cheering. I know that ESPN’s main goal is to turn a profit, and I’m not suggesting they alter that goal – only that they recognize their larger place in society as well. Why not leverage their position to promote the common good?

  125. Wow, ESPN has really pulled out all the stops to address this: a paragraph on a back page of their website. ESPN, you don’ get it. Whether intentional or not (I believe it was), whether malicious or not (I don’t believe it was), the term “c—-‘ is as offensive to Asian-Americans as other terms are to other ethnic groups. What are you doing to address your (corporate) ignorance or indifference towards Asians/Asian Americans? What actions are you taking to educate your staff that respect for diversity applies to all people? Why aren’t you using the voice you have to America to speak against racism and bigotry towards everyone?


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