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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.
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.