Saturday, February 18, 2012

Worst Jeremy Lin Headline in the history of Jeremy Lin headlines (updates)

NOTE: Scroll down to the 2nd update regarding ESPN's statement and where this "offensive headline" probably came from.

Via, we get news of a facepalm to end all facepalms. Yes, they really did use "Chink in the Armor" on their mobile site shortly after Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks were defeated by the Hornets, and it was up from about 2:30 am until being taken down at about 3:05 am.

But not before a number of people saved screenshots, one of which appears below.


I share Myles Brown’s conclusion that this offensive headline couldn’t possibly be intentional. It’s just a horribly stupid mistake, in a political and cultural climate where even the slightest hint of insensitivity is met with righteous indignation and demands for a head on a platter.

A head may roll here, but it gets harder and harder to apologize for mistakes when the mistakes happen over and over again.

This is far from being the first example of ESPN’s producers tastelessly playing with words on the screen.  Like the screen shot below via


And then there was the case of a tasteless ESPN Insider report following the death of Alabama lineman Aaron Douglas, in which reporter Albert Lin (no relation, presumably) suggested that the early demise would loosen competition for then incoming freshman Cyrus Kuandjio.

All of these instances just have to be honest mistakes, made by overworked and underpaid interns and junior-level producers. Right?

UPDATE: Oh, and there’s video of ESPN’s LINcompetence.

UPDATE II: The WWL responds with a statement:
Last night,'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.
Note well that ESPN's statement addresses the mobile site headline,  but does not address the on-air utterance of the same phrase captured in the video above. That video was uploaded on February 16, at least one full day before Lin and the Knicks fell to the Hornets. Could this be the "inspiration" for the headline used early on the morning of February 18? I would have to conclude that it was.

UPDATE III: ESPN has now addressed the video segment: 

Wednesday night on ESPNEWS, an anchor used an inappropriate word in asking a question about Jeremy Lin. ESPN apologizes for the incident, and is taking steps to avoid this in the future.

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