The world momentarily stopped this past Friday night as Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks fell to the New Orleans Hornets by four points, 89-85. The prospect of Lin losing was so shocking, in fact, that ESPN seemingly lost all sense of good judgment and decided to post the worst headline ever for the recap story.
Yup, you guessed it: a picture of Lin with the caption “Chink In The Armor”
Here is a photo of it, via The Big Lead:
Predictably folks were incensed at the insensitivity displayed – and justifiably so.
This is far worse than when Max Bretos said the same thing on air, and even he got suspended for his lapse in judgment. Listen to the way Bretos said what he said – it seemed genuinely accidental. Like something he would say for any other sporting event and could have theoretically simply not thought about when he referenced Lin’s game.
What ESPN did with their headline, though, that’s just ridiculous. Given all of the levels of editing and proofreading that goes on at that company, for something like that to be posted on a main page story is just unforgivable.
In response to the controversy, ESPN released an apology:
Last night, ESPN.com's mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. 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.
We saw the racial aspect of this mess coming a while back, and we warned folks things like this would happen. It was inevitable.
This is the first big screw-up that’s gotten mainstream attention, but it’s undoubtedly not the last. Stay tuned.