Caught up in all of the hoopla over New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin was the race (heh heh. Get it?) to see which major news website would make some stupid headline based on Lin’s Asian background. If you had ESPN in your office pool, you won.
Late last night ESPN’s wisecracking writers needed to find a way to sum up Lin’s nine turnovers in the Knicks’ 89-85 loss to the awful New Orleans Hornets. Well sure enough they picked the worst possible racial slur to use.
I’m sorry, but this is intentional. The whole mystique of Jeremy Lin being good at basketball and Asian seems to be throwing these journalists off. Just the fact that this headline didn’t go through any checks and balances and was actually published should result in a firing. “Chink in the Armor” is a fairly common phrase, but the slur “Chink” is one of the worst racial slurs for people of Chinese descent. The headline couldn’t have possibly been a remark about a potential flaw in Lin’s game. It reeks of pure ignorance and insensitivity if you ask me.
ESPN apologized for this “gaffe” and removed the title earlier this morning, but it’s a fairly empty apology when you think about it.
If it’s not Jason Whitlock making “Asian men have tiny penises” joke, it’s ESPN trying to write a clever headline and turning it into a racist statement. This is the kind of thing that comes when a player of a certain race/ethnic background comes into a sport where their race/ethnicity does not traditionally perform well, and then proceeds to play impressively. Tiger Woods being a golfing star in a predominantly white sport to this day still brings out racist remarks from people like his ex-caddie Steve Williams. And golf is probably the most exclusionary sport on the planet. Black hockey player Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers had a banana thrown his way in a preseason hockey game in Ontario last October in the middle of a penalty shootout. Lin is an Asian-American playing guard –as opposed to many other Asian basketball players who have played center — in a sport now dominated by black players, and is performing beyond anyone’s expectations for an undrafted player out of Harvard. It seems to be stupefying to people because they have a preset stereotype that Asians aren’t good at basketball.
It’s not a shock that this kind of issue is now being discussed because chances are most Americans seem to skirt around talking about the racial issues we still have today. No, it didn’t go away just because we elected Barack Obama as President. This is still an ongoing problem and needs to be addressed as such. And it applies to every race from black to white to Asian to purple people eaters.
The media needs to lay off of Jeremy Lin for just one second. They act so childishly and that’s exactly why you can’t even blur the line from what bloggers write compared to credentialed, supposedly qualified journalists. Drop these dumbass “Linsanity” puns and actually write something interesting about him for once. Let his impressive play in a revived career speak for itself instead of trying to force-feed lame jokes and cheap puns and pass it off as reporting.
Between Tebowmania and Linsanity I think it’s evident to me that American mainstream media is just too incompetent to actually report. These last few months are exactly why the average person looks towards blogs and other outlets for their news and sports information. The media is not good at their job and they’ve shown zero signs of improvement.