Posts Tagged Jeremy Lin
The New York Daily News reports that the fired writer responsible for that racist ESPN headline is apologetic and never intended a slur.
The writer,28 and clueless, readily admits to using the cliche “chink in the armor” so many times in the past that it never occurred to him it could be racist. Yeah, but he probably was never using the phrase in conjunction with an American born Chinese person.
I feel sorry for anyone fired or suspended by ESPN. But Jeremy Lin represents a sea change in how we look and refer to Asian Americans in sports.
ESPN’s zero tolerance has to be applauded. It noticed it was guilty of a double standard when it comes to Asian Americans and owned up to it in a strong and definitive way.
For example, yesterday in the NBA, Kevin Durant went for 51. Would the ESPN writer make a crack about celebrating that feat with a nice cold watermelon?
Of course not.
Now the ESPN style book will let people know how to relate to Asian Americans.
Let’s hope the shock jocks and comedians who continue to use tired Asian stereotypes as humor crutches get the message too. When they keep doing it, audiences think it’s OK to slur. Just like the clueless writer at ESPN. That’s how slurs keep their currency. But the times have changed.
And it took Jeremy Lin to make the point.
After hearing from Asian Americans around the country, ESPN took action and fired the writer responsible for the “chink in the armor’ headline. And it suspended an anchor for using the same tired cliche.
That’s both good and bad.
Good, in that it punishes the perps. Bad, in that it should send a chill through the ranks of wordsmiths in journalism.
I take no joy in seeing someone lose their job. Indeed, I think a public apology on all ESPN shows would have been sufficient.
The problem with firing is that the mesage to ESPN workers sounds more like censorship than a corrective action.
We’re fighting racism, not free speech.
And yet, what happened when we were free to talk about Lin?
People started ching-chonging and using racist language because they don’t really know how to be clever or smart about Lin without resorting to race.
It shows how ignorant and how limited people are about Asian Americans.
When Lebron or Kobe have a great game, no one breaks out the fried chicken and watermelon jokes. Everyone knows that’s racist. For Asian Americans, no one seems to care. Maybe now they will.
I’m sure ESPN didn’t want to be a buzzkill and spoil the party. But by taking an extreme zero tolerance stand against slurs, it shows it means business.
Lin’s performance today helping the Knicks beat the defending champion Dallas Mavericks means Linsanity has legs.
Maybe now we can all celebrate it without a lapse into racism.
We were all having so much fun, too. Doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the racism.
I was wondering when someone would use a “Chink in the Armor” reference.
I’m sure many Asian Americans thought about it before ESPN did. But only the most screwed up Asian American self-hater would use it in public to describe the basketball flaws of Jeremy Lin.
It’s not so bad if we were all living in Medieval America and people actually bought their chain maille and armor from Barney’s and Macy’s. Then, hey, sure, it might be OK. When you get a ding in your metal suit, that’s a drag. We all can relate.
But the dark ages are gone. We live in a diverse America, and when you say “Chink,” you are not bringing the love. Nor are you talking about the flaws of Sir Lancelot, real or imagined. Besides, you play basketball in your underwear.
Still, if someone likened Lin’s ball-handling to Lancelot trying a crossover move in full armor, you might make a case for “plausible deniability.”
At least in a metaphorical sense.
But let’s face it.
The ESPN headline was not poetry. We all know what someone means when they say “Chink” in reference to Jeremy Lin.
The media, in this case the headline writers at ESPN, have been so giddy with Linsanity, they must have thought it gave everyone the green light to have some racist fun.
Editors surely would have taken more care before blurting the “N” word. But evidently not the “C” word.
The good fun of Linsanity is intended to make people realize how inclusive the world has become.
It’s not intended to desensitize us all to the racist sentiments of the past.
ESPN has apologized for the slur, but that isn’t enough.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is calling for full apologies on ESPN cablecasts. The network needs to set the record straight for all to hear, lest anyone get the idea that Linsanity is a good excuse to turn racist.
It’s the next step of Lin-sanity. After you play “out of your mind,” next comes the crazy love that ensues from fans and general observers.
The last second, game-winner last night against Toronto extended the fairy tale. The game tonight against Sacramento should extend it further.
What makes it more ironic is that on the Sacramento King bench is a certain rookie named James Taft Fredette.
You remember Jimmer, the one time basketball phenom.
He burst into our consciousness while heaving up balls from beyond downtown. He was in Utah, at BYU. And because of a hot run in the NCAAs he became a Sports Illustrated cover boy.
When lowly, small market Sacramento drafted him No. 1, Jimmer was cursed and blessed.
Management loved Jimmer and he was their poster boy. But then a coach was fired, a new one came in, and Jimmer looked out of place. He was no longer starting.
The old coach liked his shooting, but the new coach didn’t. Jimmer is inexperienced, slow on D, doesn’t fit in with all the pieces the Kings have.
Next stop for Jimmer? The bench. You’ll see him in sweats more than you will see him sweat tonight. Jimmer is one busted Phenom.
You just don’t hear much about it because he’s in Sacramento not New York. That’s the blessing. Sacramento is a good place to be bad.
Conversely, as Lin is finding out, New York is a great place to play out-of-your-mind-crazy.
I wonder what Jimmer will be thinking tonight as he watches Lin?
Maybe he’ll be hopeful. Jimmer shows signs that made him a media flash during the NCAAs. But maybe if he learns that if he works hard, keeps his chin up, and doesn’t get depressed, he may one day find the spot to open up where he again can be “the man.”
Until then, there’s only one man in the NBA EVERYONE is watching.
And it’s the Asian American wonder, Jeremy Lin.