Jeremy Lin is the first American player of Chinese descent playing in NBA. A Harvard graduate and American citizen by birth, Lin had led Knicks to a respectable position in the last few weeks at NBA with his meteoric rise.
Instead of being proud of the player who is an American citizen by birth, commentators and employees at ESPN had been frequently using the word “chink” in reference to Jeremy in recent times.
The racist fashion was kicked off by Max Bretos, ESPN News anchor, who used the word “chink” to refer to Jeremy while on air with Knicks legend Walt Frazier. The phrase apparently found appeal with the racially inclined, and a few days later, another commentator who is not an ESPN employee used the same term to refer to Jeremy Lin.
The attempts to derogate Lin do not stop with ESPN employees. In fact, MSG, which owns the Knicks, recently promoted an image of Lin popping out of a fortune cookie. Also, Jason Whitlock, the well-known Fox Sports columnist tweeted offensively about Lin last weekend.
Whitlock has apologized since then, referring to the matter as a surrender to the “immature, sophomoric, comedic” part in his personality.
In response to the continued derogatory references to Lin on media, The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund issued a statement on Saturday calling the use of the term “chink” in reference to Jeremy as “racist and inexcusable.” The organization demanded that ESPN issue an apology for such actions.
ESPN first apologized on Saturday following the demand and then stated “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.”
Following up on its commitment, ESPN has, since then, fired one employee and suspended another over the use of racist words to refer to Lin.
ESPN further stated in its officially issued statement, “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.”
While the conduct of individual employees of ESPN is absolutely insupportable in this case, ESPN’s reaction has been nothing short of exemplary.