Jeremy Lin and ESPN
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  1. #1

    Jeremy Lin and ESPN

    I don't know who's heard this story here, but for those who don't know basketball (I am one of those). Jeremy Lin is a basketball player of asian desent. Recently after a bad game against another team, an ESPN reporter asked if perhaps they had found a "chink in the armor". The headline was used on and now the person who wrote the headline on the Web site has been fired and the anchor (who's married to an asian woman) has been suspended.

    This is so ridiculous. Have we become such a PC society that we must analyse every single word and associate it to a meaning that is automatically derogatory. "A chink in the armor" means a hole, a failure, finding a weak spot it has nothing to do with the awful word used for asian-americans. To me this is racism, it's racism because we are treating someone differently because of the color of his skin.

    Should we ban the term crackers because it's a derogatory term towards white people. How about monkey? If I write that a black player who broke a cold streak "got the monkey off his back", is that racist? Racism is in the intention. To counter racism we must live in a society where we don't differentiate people by the color of their skin. Jeremy Lin is a basketball player, just like Kobe Bryant is a basketball player and just like Steve Nash is a basketball player, they are one of the same, when we start differentiating them based of race or origins, then we are in fact turning into reverse racism when we should be going towards equality.

  2. Totally agree. It's like everyone has to walk on eggshells. Takes all the fun out of spontaneity. Every corporation is like this. One slip up and it can cost you your job. So sad it has come to this.

  3. #3

    The worst part is I read some comments on sports blogs and even on ESPN and people are genuinely offended and are applauding the dismissal of a man who at the very worst, can be accused of not making the connection to the racial slur. I'm french canadian, so if I fart and someone says "did you hear that frog?" should I be offended? Calling someone the word chink and using a perfectly acceptable word in the English language in an idiom that's been used all over is not the same.

    Just for fun I googled "chink in the armor" and I got results for a Mitt Romney article and here's what I found on urbandictionary:

    "Chink in the Armor

    1) An narrow opening and vunerable area in one's armor that the opponent will usually aim for. This term relies on "chink" in the sense of "a crack or gap," a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.

    2) A figurative term for a one's weakness, largest flaw or their prevention of success.
    1) Because of the chink in the armor of Sir Lancelot, his opponent was able to break past his defense and inflict a dangerous flesh wound.

    2) We would have aced this presentation if Leo wasn't in our group. He didn't study at all, he's the chink in the armor."

    I've seen some people take this as if ESPN had said "a n-word in armor" about a black player...ridiculous. If I were the guy who got fired I would sue ESPN under right to free speech.

  4. #4

    I remember back when a reporter asked Pete Rose about his gambling (1999 world series game2), and deliberatly tried to put him down on live tv. Chad Curtis, the guy who hit the home run that either tied the game, or pulled out the win (cannot remember) refused to interview that t.v. station because of the commentator's comments to Rose.

    Basically, NBC lost its audience because the game MVP, and both teams boycotted interviews in retaliation to the incident. ESPN was probably covering their bases, to assure they were not boycotted in a similar fashion. Maybe not, but I can see why they did what they did.

    Of course that is only my opinion and speculation, not saying I'm in the right here.

  5. #5

    I hope the guy who got fired sues for wrongful termination. At the very worst you issue an apology and explain to people you didn't mean to offend, to calm down the PC witches. It's called freedom of expression for a reason.

  6. #6

    The only problem is it can arguably be covered under "hate crime act". To successfully win a wrongful termination suit there would have to be a very, very swayed judge. Stuff like this is as big of a confused issue as abortion, the Patriot Act, and the death penalty. It's widely debated if the hate crimes act dilutes freedom of speech.

  7. #7

    "A hate crime is one in which hate is the motive and can involve intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat of physical force against a person, a group or a property"

    And if I were the attorney for this gentelman I would bring up the history of the phrase, I would get a litterary historian to explain the meaning, the uses and the origin. It would be very easy to prove there was no intention of racial discrimination and win big.

  8. #8

    In the US a racial slur is also included. I'm sure ESPN has plenty of attorneys and they would not have proceded without their go ahead.,a,1...v_GID,1553.asp

    Examples of hate crimes include:

    Physical attack
    Destruction of property
    Cross burnings
    Telephone harassment
    Painting swastikas and other hate symbols
    Use of racial slurs
    Cemetery desecration
    Verbal abuse
    Firebombing of residences, businesses, and churches
    Racial slurs have been successfully prosecuted as hate crimes in the U.S.
    Lonny Rae doesn't deny that he used a racial slur last October after seeing a black man scuffle with his wife, who like Rae is white. For uttering an ugly word in what he says was the heat of the moment as he tried to defend his wife, Idaho prosecutors are charging him with a hate crime that could land him in jail for five years

    You would also probably lose..

    Anyway, I'm glad to see another side of the coin on this.

  9. #9

    That's the thing though, he didn't issue a racial slur. He used a word that CAN be used as a racial slur in another context. If he had said "That chink can't play basketball" I would agree with you, but this is not the case here. In order to commit a crime you have to have the intention to do so. I see no such intention here. The employee must have received a substatial severance package I hope and maybe the promise of getting his job back once the heat cools down. I think he could succesfully argue wrongful's just such a dumb story IMO. I can't believe we've come to this.

  10. #10

    A lot of it is not only what is said, but how it is perceived. For example, if I hand one of my female employees a picture of my pet rooster... and say, "here's a pic of my cock.". It is harassment. Defined by how it is perceived. Cock according to a dictionary is a rooster. It is slang for a male penis as well. IF it is perceived as word-play, either meaning a wiener or the fowl it is harassment.

    Asking or mentioning "chink" to an Asian CAN be perceived as harassment. At the least I'd fire the guy for being stupid enough to do something like that... ESPN has the right to fire employees that can hurt their business. Just as a store or restaurant can fire an employee for being stupid enough to do the same thing...

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