The headline read “Chink in the Armor,” referencing the New York Knicks’ 89-85 loss Friday night to the New Orleans Hornets that ended the team’s season-high winning streak. The phrase has two meanings; one is an ethnic slur. Lin, 23, came off the bench earlier this month to guide the Knicks to win after improbable win. The unlikely star of Taiwanese descent quickly turned into a global brand and “Linsanity” became the phrase of the times.
The ESPN headline Saturday morning was up for 35 minutes before being removed, but the damage was done. The network apologized Saturday and said it was “engaged in a thorough review.” It also apologized for a question ESPN anchor Max Bretos asked Wednesday night: “If there is a chink in the armor, where can Lin improve his game?” The network said Sunday that a third reference was made on ESPN Radio New York on Friday.
Lin addressed the controversy during a news conference Sunday following the Knicks’ 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks, the defending national champions. He said he did not think the headline was intentional.
ESPN said the writer of the headline that appeared on the network’s mobile website has been dismissed. Bretos has been suspended for 30 days. The radio commentator was not an ESPN employee.
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