You Know Linsanity Is Back When ESPN Anchors Are Apologizing For ‘Cooking With Peanut Oil’ Jokes

  • Rick Chandler

Jeremy Lin didn’t start tonight in his return to Madison Square Garden, but he had 21 points as the Rockets beat New York in overtime, 109-106 (James Harden had 36, Carmelo Anthony 45 for the Knicks). It was Lin’s first sub-30 point performance in the past three games (31, 34), so we have to ask, is Linsanity a thing again?

We would have said no, until we heard this. From Deadspin:

Here’s SportsCenter anchor Jorge Andrés on tonight’s 9 p.m. episode making a much more pointed reference to Lin’s race, claiming the Rockets star is “cooking with peanut oil.” We’ve included his apology that came 40 minutes later, one that makes it sound as if everything on ESPN’s flagship program is ad-libbed and not, you know, written out beforehand.

Back in the halcyon Linsanity days of last season, you couldn’t roll a basketball across the floor without hitting at least four or five clumps of racism. My favorite, which is to say “Thhhbbfffttt!” was ESPN desk man Max Bretos, who wrote the “Chink In The Armor” mobile headline. It was one of three ESPN racial goofs pertaining to Lin, and Bretos was fired.

The peanut oil comment isn’t as bad as it gets, but for mercy’s sake ESPN. Get a grip. You’ve had a year to get used to a person of Taiwanese descent playing at a high level in the NBA. Is it really that exotic? Are all of your employees 12 years old? Would you say any of this with Yao Ming in the room?