ESPN’s Overreaction Indicates A Linsanity Tipping Point
Over at FreeDictionary.com, the word/term “chink” has a number of definitions, including the word’s racial epithetical implications. There’s also this specific example — 1. a small narrow opening, such as a fissure or crack, chink in one’s armour, a small but fatal weakness — while the armor relation was bolded, perhaps the following phrase, “a small but fatal weakness” best describes what happens if someone uses that phrase in relation to Jeremy Lin.
What we have are not one, but two instance of that particular phrase being used in relation to the white-hot (trend-wise) Jeremy Lin. Over the weekend, Lin’s New York Knicks lost the to New Orleans Hornets, and much like they were quick to trumpet his ascension to this month’s most popular athlete status, it seems the guys at Bristol, Connecticut, were ready for Lin’s inevitable failure — no one goes undefeated in the NBA, folks.
The use of the phrase “a chink in armor” was used to describe the point guard’s performance, and because of Lin’s heritage, the proverbial waste hit the fan. Not only did an on-air anchor use the phrase, but it appeared on ESPN’s website as well. First the anchor and then a screenshot of ESPN.com when the phrase went live:
The anchor in question, Max Bretos, has apparently been suspended for his remarks, which in no way come across as a “hey, watch me make fun of the Asian kid” attack. Brestos has even taken to his Twitter to defend himself, and to send thanks for all the support he’s received, and to let the world know there’s no way he meant that in a racist manner because his wife is Asian:
Wanted 2 apologize 2 all those I have upset. Not done with any racial reference. Despite intention,phrase was inappropriate in this context.
My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community.
Wanted to thank all those for their support. Has meant a lot to me and my family.
While the “my wife is Asian” thing comes across a little like “but, but my best friend is black,” it’s pretty clear Brestos wasn’t trying to offend anyone with his use of the saying. As for the unfortunate web developer who used the phrase in the ESPN.com headline, writer Antony Federico, he was fired for his mistake. Much like Brestos, Federico apologized, saying, “‘This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny. I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”
For what it’s worth, it’s clear Lin has moved on as well, ““They’ve apologized and so from my end, I don’t care anymore.”
Hopefully, this will be the end of it, although, if Rex Chapman keeps going down the path he’s currently on, it might only get worse.