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China Daily Website

ESPN sorry for offensive headline on Lin story

Updated: 2012-02-20 15:19
( chinadaily.com.cn/Agencies)

The US cable television sports network ESPN has fired an employee responsible for an offensive headline about Knicks basketball sensation Jeremy Lin.

ESPN sorry for offensive headline on Lin story

A still image taken from the ESPN website shows the headline about Jeremy Lin story, Feb 20, 2012. [Photo/yahoo.sports.com]

ESPN ran the headline "Chink in the Armor" after Lin had nine turnovers in New York Knicks' 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night on its mobile website that could be seen on phones and tablet computers.

The headline was an idiom that contains a word that also can be used as a racial slur against Chinese.

ESPN says in a statement Saturday it removed the headline 35 minutes after it was posted. In a statement later, ESPN apologized for that headline and said it is aware of two other "offensive and inappropriate" comments.

The cable network then announced that the employee responsible for the Mobile headline had been dismissed in an updated statement published on their website in the following day.

An ESPNEWS anchor who used the same phrase was suspended for 30 days. The cable network said a similar reference was made on ESPN Radio New York, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee.

ESPN concluded by apologizing again to Lin, writing that "his accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community."

The cable network will "conduct 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."

"I don't think it was on purpose or whatever, but (at) the same time they have apologized. And so from my end I don't care anymore," Lin said after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday.

But the 23-year-old Harvard graduate, whose on-court heroics have made him a sports sensation and media darling nearly overnight was not bothered much by those slur, "Have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not."

He also talked about his performance in Friday's game, his first defeat as a Knicks starter. "9 TOs wont get it done...gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one. See you guys sunday!"

Lin, the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese descent, was rejected by a string of NBA teams bu captivated weeks ago by leading the Knicks to seven straight wins before Friday's loss.

His surprising performance inspired an outpouring of fan adoration that has been dubbed "Linsanity."

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