ESPN is apologizing for using what many consider a racist slur in a headline after Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks had their seven game win streak ended by the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.
The headline "Ch--k in the Armor" was posted for about 30 minutes on its mobile website before being pulled down by the network. The headline was seen on phones and tablet computers a few hours after the loss.
A statement from ESPN today read: "Last night, ESPN.com's mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:03 am ET. We are conducting 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."
Lin is the NBA's first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent and his mercurial rise— after an unheralded start to his pro career— has been the top sports story over the past two weeks.
The Knicks point guard's stellar play has sparked what has been called Linsanity. His name has been used in numerous puns and fans have created websites devoted to making up new words using his surname.
It is not the first time ESPN has used the offensive term. After the Knicks beat Sacramento on Wednesday, an anchor used the phrase to ask Walt Frazier if there was any signs of weakness in the point guard's game.
An ESPN spokesman said the network apologized on-air for the ESPN News faux pas. He said the network would not apologize on air for the website headline, though they did apologize on their Twitter feed and through statement to the media.
The phrase even drew criticism form ESPN's staff.
"Thought I was annoyed when I was awakened from deep sleep," ESPN SportsCenter anchor Michael Kim tweeted. "Then I checked text msgs/Twitter. Unacceptable. Extremely disappointed."
ESPN.com editor in chief Rob King apologized on his Twitter account: "There's no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate... [ESPN] was fixing the failed process and addressing discipline."
Looks like some one at ESPN better start checking its Lin-ks.