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ESPN’s Jeremy Lin Headline Was “Chink In The Armor,” Then It Was Changed (UPDATE)

While we very much doubt this was intentional, and wouldn’t give it a second thought if Jeremy Lin were not of Asian descent, someone has to be thinking before putting up a headline like this. It is not on the main ESPN.com website, but was visible on the mobile sites formatted for phones and tablets.

UPDATE Shortly after this post, ESPN updated the mobile headline to read “All Good Things…”

UPDATE 2: ESPN has released a statement on the headline. It reads:

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.

[h/t Tim Burke]

Hat Tip to Hannibal Buress and Myles Brown for the tweets.

  • Chadtaylor03

    its okay i’m pretty sure the chinese news paper has “chinese defeat niggers at their own game”

  • dude!

    They are so busy trying to come up with witty headlines that they don’t know how to use common sense and/or decency.

  • Linfan

    True colors of ESPN, Jeremy Lin continues to outclass every aspect of the Sports world, even the giant of ESPN. Shame on you ESPN and this will forever tarnish your image with this sports follower. I applaud you Mr. Jeremy Lin, keep up the great work and don’t let any selfish, prejudicial, irresponsible writings or comments tear you down. You have proven to be a man of great character, keep it up.

  • Jonas

    i seriously doubt it was intentional.  I’ve seen that headline used a lot of times but now because it’s an asian guy it’s racist… most likely not well thought out

  • Sh2164

    i wonder if it would be racist if they had said knicks are re-nigging on point guard…most likely not well thought out

  • Blue

    dude.. of course it was intentional by some bonehead that thought they were being clever. You think hey would have used the same headline for a black guy? come on

  • Astrocreep

    Unintentional  my buttocks. Asians are the butt-end of so many jokes and politically incorrect remarks because everyone thinks Asians are stoic and simply accept things. But, if the headlines were “Lebron is niggardly in his contributions to the United Way” or “The Dodgers need more Beaner Burritos in the bullpen,” the ACLU would be all over the corporate hallways of ESPN. We want tolerance and acceptance for everyone except people of Asian cultural foundations. Hypocritical double standard chalk people. Now, let’s all go get some fried rice or noodles.

  • reasonableman

    How can a company the size of ESPN not figure out that this was a stupid thing to write? There must be some checks in place before headlines get published. If no one (Editors) had noticed, that’s a big problem in itself. Don’t see how any normal sane reasonable person couldn’t see that it was racist. Bad day at the office for ESPN.

  • Kenny Smith

    dont get it :/ 

  • Manuelmecenas

    chink is not racial??? wtf  neither is cracker, or uncle tom or all the other hateful words that are intended to cause harm  huh?? when have u seen that kind of headline before and no one was offended???

  • Sincitymaniac

    you can call him just another lingger…

  • Sincitymaniac

    dont forget the watermelons and greens with refried beans and tortillas.

  • Know the facts

    Although I honestly don’t think this was intentional.  I’ve heard that term used when an NFL team goes 10-0 and then finally loses that they have a chink in their armopr and now might be seen that they are not unbeatable.
    That being said, even if it was unintentional, it should have been caught that using the word chink wneh talking about an Asian is, at best, ‘regretable.’
    If they can prove, or at least show that there is good reason to believe that it was an intentional slur,I hope the disciplinary action taken in immediate dismissal from employment, with the bravery to let eny future employer know the reason for dismissal.  That would definately make that person think twice about ever doing it again, as well as making all others think twice.

  • ??

    seriously???? Your retarded

  • Anonymous

    Several years ago, a teacher was fired for using the word “niggardly” in class.  In Wagner’s opera “Das Rheingold”, English translations have a character discovering a chink in the hoard of gold he was promised. 

  • 4WheelDrifter

    Growing up in Pittsburgh, I learned I was a ”Hunky”  (My Mother’s parents emigrated from what is now Slovakia). Oddly enough, I never took that as a racial slur. I grew up with Pollacks, Jews, Hunkies, Wops, Krauts, and the occasional Nigger.  None of us seemed to take any offense at these, epithets? However, in today’s hyper-sensitive and politically-correct world, those words cannot be used, and justifiably so. However, if “Jeremy Tupi” were the name instead of Jeremy Lin, and the ESPN headline had read “Hunky blows game”, I don’t think I would have been offended.

  • Anonymous

    Come on, that would have been an appropriate headline for any other player in the league. People are getting way too defensive about plays on words. He has been the knight in shinning armor for his team. There should be NO disciplinary action, I don’t even know if I would have taken it that way if it hadn’t been blown up like this.

  • MyPartyRightorWrong

    Is your argument really, “I had NO idea ‘chink’ was an insulting term to Asians! COLOR ME TOTALLY SURPRISED!!!”

    Do you really believe that? Are you 15 years old?

  • Golden State

     Actually I heard the same “chink in the armor” reference from an ESPN radio talk show host last Saturday during a mostly positive segment about him and wondered how he could not know that he was using a centuries old derogatory slur . He even pronounced it the same as the slur as opposed to saying  “kink”.  If he had used a slur against African Americans he would have been let go immediately.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever members of the mainstream/majority want to get away with making these type of comments/statements they say it was a joke, unintentional, that member(s) of said minority group is/are being overly sensitive or that member(s) of said minority group is/are in fact themselves racist. To all of that hogwash I say bull$h!t and f^ck you! Take your lies elsewhere cus we don’t believe you. You need more people.

  • Charles Ulysses Feney

    chink1n1. a small narrow opening, such as a fissure or crackchink in one’s armour a small but fatal weakness
    Free Speech has been retarded!

    The thought police want our words guarded
    And the world is completely bombarded
    With demand that we be
    Always perfectly P.C.
    To the point where free speech is retarded!

    Yes our language is colored with terms
    Now taboo by the action that affirms.
    If you feel happy and gay
    You’ll get into a fray
    With those who thik cooties ain’t germs!

    We must keep our daily terms spic-n-span
    Lest you offend an undocumented clan.
    If you recycle your trailer’s trash,
    It’s assured that you’ll clash
    So just place it out in the garbage can.

    They cripple language with the power of the State
    Building dikes to contain waves of perceived hate.
    A small flying magic person ain’t a fairy
    And you’d better not linguistically vary
    Or a fat sanction will keep your vocabulary straight.

    Any A.D. attending the Games up in B.C.
    Had better use terms correct for 2010 CE!
    Be cautious where you go
    Lest you drop white crackers on the snow
    Which are tough for sanitation engineers to see!

    This NewSpeak dwarfs the verbage we had before
    It’s queer terms make it tough to rapport
    With the most indigenous womyn
    Be ze Native American or Indian
    And in golf, “QUATRO” is the correct term to roar!

    So don’t be niggardly with your words if you’re a charmer
    Unlike some sunburnt armed, intellectually challenged farmer
    Just apply Shinola to your turds
    By using government approved words
    So you don’t develop a proverbial chink in your verbal armor!

    Charles Ulysses Feney

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6KBFNQTRKOVXJDJF7RBB2O4HDQ A

    I think it’s pretty obvious it was a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” racial slur by someone stupid enough to think he (and most likely it was a “he”) was clever enough to slip it in on a story about a Chinese guy.

    Just take a look at the posting time of the headline – 2:30 am ET.  It’s a junior staffer relegated to the hinterlands of the mobile ESPN overnight shift thinking he’s going to have a little fun while the corporate suits are sleeping -  “Who’s going to make a big deal about this at 2:30 in the morning?..”

    Fire his a–!  I’m sure ESPN wouldn’t be tiptoeing around so lightly with “apologies” if the same mobile ESPN headline-writer had made some thinly-veiled racist remark headline about  a black professional athlete like LeBron or Kobe.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    To those saying that it is racism, I don’t agree. In fact, I see this as making a mountain out of…nothing. Did Lin get somewhat exposed last night through his turnovers? Yes. If the headline were written about any other NBA player, would it be considered racist? No. Was this demeaning Jeremy Lin solely because of his race? No, it was saying that he had a bad game (to say the least).

    Therefore, it is not racist…and everyone over-reacted badly.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Well, those who feel that it is insulting to me have no business speaking…the one thing missing from all of this…is the insult!

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Not in that context it isn’t! Anyone who has a brain knows (or should have known) that it was referring to Jeremy Lin’s game…not his ethnicity. (Cracker and Uncle Tom, however, are actually derogatory.)

    As such the comparison to cracker and Uncle Tom is not valid because they are discussing race, rather than basketball IQ.  Those are ad-hominem in usage; chink in the armor is not.

  • Anonymous

    Chink has been used as a racial epithet towards Asians. Lin is Asian. Therefore the headline is racist. If you don’t see that clearly you don’t know how to follow simple logic.

  • Anonymous123

    The Slur ESPN author = A lot of muscle with little brain ?

  • Anonymous

    ESPN would never say anything like that against any black athlete. Lin has been getting hammered by tons in the media just because of his race, if he was black this wouldn’t be an issue period. I am a huge basketball fan, probably one of the few but the NBA has a double standard when there are rising stars of any race than isn’t black and they get hammered and it happens in other sports. Look at Tebow (I don’t think he is a good QB), but look at all the crap he got. If he was black nothing would have come up about him in the media.

  • Lsmith587

    who really give a shit?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    People are trying to reason with you.  I’m not that nice.  I will put it in terms you can understand, OK?  HEADLINE:

    “Kobe makes monkey out of himself with 45 turnovers.” or

    “Look at that monkey run!” — Howard Cosell.

    Now do you get it, brainiac?

    Probably not. But I’m an optimist OK?

    And if you are black? You have got to ask the question, “What about OTHER RACES’ racial sensitivity”. It’s just not about YOU YOU YOU, ok?

  • Anonymous

    You are actually following flawed logic.  By your logic you would also have to conclude that the headline was not racist.  ”Chink in the armor” has long been a phrase used to characterize a flawed player or group of players in many sports.  Lin is a sports player.  Therefore the headline is not racist and works perfectly in the context of meaning a weakness in his game.

    More importantly, this is just another example of people looking for fire when there is no smoke.  ESPN isn’t racist.  And there is no real evidence to suggest that whomever wrote that headline is racist.  There used to be a time with saying something was racist meant something.  And, now, because of the overuse of the term by thin-skinned folks like you, the term means nothing.  People see a cry of racism and pay it no mind b/c the meaning has been diluted so badly by people crying wolf.

  • I H8 Golden State

    Hey A&& whole why not just say it was a stupid comment and leave it at that? Do you have proof that an AA typed the headline or spoke the statement on radio? If not, why even mention anything about AAs. Just say the N-word two times and call me in the morning.

  • Anonymous

    I grew up in Pittsburgh too. Guess what – that’s racist and guess what else – you might be too there, “enlightened” one! Yeesh.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    Yeah and you are a dumb ass.

    Not that I was meaning anything derogatory.  I was just commenting that you sound like you are unable to physically SPEAK and that you have the stubbornness of a DONKEY/MULE like animal, but as a compliment rather, get it, dumb-azz? So I’m NOT insulting you, OK, dumb azz? So don’t get mad, ok? ;>

  • Anonymous

    Well that simply just doesn’t make any sense. But thanks for trying.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    Made about as much sense as what you said, clown.

    Clown in a complimentary sense — like a funny entertainer, OK? A circus performer. In fact, you seem as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.

  • Anonymous

    Completely wrong. You cannot assume something is racist just b/c it conveniently fits the narrative you want. That is what’s happening here. There is no evidence to support the headline was racist. The author of this post seems to even understand that it was just poor word choice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    There is also no evidence I was derogatory to YOU either ASS CLOWN.  Nor any that I am being derogatory to you NOW, right, ASS CLOWN?

    Because I was not intending to be derogatory. And I show how I am not. Therefore, it’s all good right, brainiac?

    Brainiac as in a COMPLIMENT, ok?


  • Anonymous

    Hey, listen, you are being childish. I’m trying to have a serious and proper discussion here. You aren’t really bringing anything to the table. So there’s really no point in continuing this with you.

  • yoshi

    Just a regrettable and stupid mistake. No one would be dumb enough to think they could slip this by thousands of people intentionally and think their job would still be there afterwards. “Ch_nk in the armor” is just one of those tired sports-speak phrases that analysts and sports writers use. JUST LAZY OVERSIGHT. Definitely embarrassing for ESPN. From an Asian-American.

  • White_trash_Cracker

    You asshole, are completely ignorant and insensitive to the thousands of asian kids who get called this derogatory term everyday walking home from school. I know, I was one and your user name just reflects worse on you.

    You are most likely a while trash, inbreed Caucasian, with the common sense and logic of an ape with an average IQ of 70.  Go back to Walmart and keep slapping butter on everything you eat, you piece of shit.

    In my bioengineering graduate program we give a cookie to any White, Black or Mexican who can make it past Math 10A

  • White_trash_cracker

     Fuck you, you are wrong.

    I was called this derogatory term everyday walking home from school.

    How about I just call you beaner? Your last name is Spanish, so I am just assuming…

  • Xynnek

    Knicks lost? Sum ting wong.

  • Xynnek

    Great f—-ing headline. Funny funny stuff. Get a sense of humor.

  • http://profiles.google.com/uconndeltaz08 U Conn

    If ESPN had called a Hispanic player Spick And Span or a White player
    Honky Tonky or a black player He played Niggardly do you have ANY idea
    the firestorm it would cause? Chink in the Armor is the same derogatory
    like term for Asians. Anyone with common sense gets the intent pun.
    Shame on you ESPN and any Americans who think calling an American born
    Asian American a Chink is no big deal. 

  • Anonymous

    You betray your argument by being so vile and hateful in your response. Your name calling and weak attempts at insulting me are in and of them-self more racist and derogatory than that espn headline could have ever been.
    If you want to win a debate opposing racism, I would recommend you refrain from spewing racist comments throughout your argument.

    Also – and I just have to point this out for folks like you that don’t get it – my handle is simply a play on a recent news event. It’s fun w pop culture; a little poke in the eye. And if you can’t see that, you clearly don’t deserve a cookie.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    I have not be vile and hateful, ass clown (compliment).  In fact I’ve been very very very patient explaining things to you and showering you with accolades and being jovial with numerous LMFAOs!  In fact I’ve been treating you nicely like how I might treat a toddler I’m fond of and taken you under my wing.

    There is absolutely no evidence of racism, hatefullness, or vileness on my party, chinky_eyes. I even spelled out the context in which I am speaking in baby-talk so as to not be misunderstood.

    PS.  Read the discourse, ass-clown, and figure out where and why you LOST this argument, chinky_eyes, OK?

  • Anonymous

    Hey, sport. I was replying to white trash cracker.

    And to you, teddy, I just can’t thank you enough for taking me under your wing. You are flying us down the road of good intentions. Of course we all know where that road ends…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Sounds like to me people have a hair trigger when it comes to calling a statement racist. I say hair trigger, because those same folks DO NOT stop to think that it could also refer to what is the normal meaning of ‘chink’, ‘a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable’, first known to be used in 1535. FIFTEEN THIRTY FIVE.

    Did they even have basketball back then?

    The fact that it has a double meaning in today’s societies is an unfortunate accident, and no more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Except ESPN is a 24 hour shop, not a 9-5 job. Sorry, that logic doesn’t fit in this context.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Someone could make the same statements of you but for common decency, I will not be the one to throw that first (second?) stone.

    ‘chink’ does have a definition that is far different then what people assume it is, in that websters define it as a ‘a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable’. The fact that /some/ people take it to mean something different? I’m sorry… it has been used as an epitaph, granted.

    But lets get back to what things were once, not what people /want/ them to be. I didn’t see a headline that says ‘Lin is a —-k’. What I saw was a comment on his play style, not on him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Sounds to me more like a leap of logic then any simple logic. Sorry Anonymous.

    Just because some doctors are tall and some women are doctors doesn’t make all doctors tall women (but boy I wish it does…) :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Eh, I would think Racism itself should be more of a mental disease where one takes offense where none was intended based on perceived insults to his/her race (or someone else’s race). And I do label it a mental disease, one that can be cured.

    There should be no reason for someone to have a knee jerk reaction to such insults, other then to have a moment of pity for the one saying it and then just move on with what you were doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    Blue, are you claiming to be a telepath and had read the author’s mind when he was writing that title? If not, then I would have to call the comment you wrote suspect for lack of evidence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    I’m light skinned and have been called a cracker before. I tend to just laugh it off and say something about being good to nibble on then, at least that what my wife says.

    I CAN choose to be offended by the title. I choose not to and instead laugh it off, or just take pity on the guy spoiling for the fight for a moment and then continue to walk past them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    The word is supposed to be renege. I would have to say your spoiling for a fight on that one SH2164, but I’ll grant the point was made. Just in your case the intention wasn’t well hidden.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    It is a sad state of affairs when the less educated in language have a say in what can be said in the classroom, even if they don’t know the meaning of a word that has been used.

    Niggardly IS a legitimate word. Basically, think of scrooge. Now THAT guy, was a niggardly one until the ghosts get their point across to him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1713195172 John Walker

    I was insulted quite a bit too in growing up but I basically let that just fall off like water off a duck’s back.

    I’m sorry, upbringing does not excuse current actions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Troy-Baker/1517797316 Troy Baker

    yeah it is…ever hear of the racial water sprinkler?  Chink, Chink, Spic, Spic, Nigga, Nigga

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/25FAGS6F7P7F6Z5EMOH7NJCHSM lkrfan

    Unfortunately, the meanings of words change, even if the definition in the dictionary does not always change.  Consequently, words that were once accepted are now offensive.  When I was young the word “gay” meant something totally different than it does today.  (I’m not  saying that the word “gay” is offensive, I’m  saying the meaning has changed.)  Niggardly is a legitimate word — yes, it means stingy– but because of its’ close “association” with the “N” word, it is offensive.  I am black, and I wouldn’t even use it.  I remember reading that Jeremy Lin tols about some of the racial remarks from the opposing teams’ fans.  “Go back to China” (He was born in the United States and is not of Chinese ancestry, shows how ignorant these people are) and other stupid remarks, so yes there is a sensitivity there.  Unless youve lived it, it’s difficult to understand.  Perhaps, the intention was not to be racially offensive, but as many other readers mentioned, it was not thought out.

  • Sarahgreen1001

    U idiot!

  • Sarahgreen1001

    U R stupid 2!

  • Sarahgreen1001

    When you sit back and laugh, make further jokes and not address the issue, you are co-signing on the racism.  It is a very slippery slope.  ”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK Jr. What would you do if you went to school or a public outing with a child or a friends child and heard someone calling that child the cr-word?  Would you laugh it off or would you teach that child and the offender that it is not right.  Light skinned or not…wrong is wrong.  What planet are you on, not thinking that the ch-word was not used to be offensive, and racist?  Freaking La-la land!! Please John, for your sake, dig your head out of the sand, open up your eyes, speak up for yourself…SMH

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJ6A2IF3HMNRT5DFTGPQEOXP2I Teddy Bear

    “And to you, teddy, I just can’t thank you enough for taking me under your wing. You are flying us down the road of good intentions. Of course we all know where that road ends…”

    Oh.  Sorry.

    But I’m sure you are smart enough to understand my point.  Perhaps subliminally however :)

  • coexist

    Very witty, and you prove the point.  The dictionary definition of many words used accordingly does not and should not cause any heartburn.
    However, “witty one”.  If you are culturally competent or as my 15 year old daughter translates it as, “You Care”, then you will not abuse witty banter by using it in ‘certain’ situations’ which you know are inappropriate depending upon the dimensions of diversity of the audience or the subject. 
    Language is not one era fits all.  If you wrote work memos like Shakespeare today, you would be let go for incompetence.

  • Razor

    You are right.  White trashs and niggers are all the same.  Peace out!

  • Tonyribeiro

    I think you are referring to an incident involving the press representative for the Mayor of D.C. I thought his firing was unfair, because he used the word completely innocently (and the origin of that word has nothing to do with the racial slur, by the way). Most teachers have strong unions, they aren’t fired for that type of incident. I think the writer of the ESPN headline knew exactly what he was doing and deserved to be fired. And if he didn’t know what he was doing, a strong case can be made that he deserved to be fired because of incompetence (if you are a mainstream journalist and unknowingly write copy that strongly offends certain groups, maybe– just maybe– you shouldn’t be a mainstream journalist, right?). 

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? Doing a quick google news search for “chink in the armor” excluding “ESPN” yields 40 other stories in all sorts of publications in just the last month. It’s in stories about everything from the Jayhawks’ weak bench to the Champions League, to Union College’s hockey team to USC’s spring football practices. And in non-sports world, there are stories about the battle between Microsoft and Google, Anonymous continuing to outwit the FBI and the collection of buffoons in the Republican primary.

  • Anonymous

     Taiwan is a geographic location. The country which occupies the island of Taiwan is the Republic of China. We generally use Taiwan to describe the nation because (a) we’re stupid Americans who are lucky to find the United States on a global map and can’t be bothered with such details, and (b) because using the legal name Republic of China bothers the government of the People’s Republic of China.

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