Jeremy Lin and ESPN’s “Accidental” Racism

The sports world has no anti-racist mental apparatus for how to talk about an Asian-American player. The spectacular New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin just made more headlines by leading his team to victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, with twenty-eight points and a career-high fourteen assists. But that’s not the only reason Lin is in the news. Outrage erupted when ESPN’s website posted a headline about the NBA’s first American player of Chinese origin that read, “Chink in the Armor.” Seriously. An ESPN anchor previously used the same phrase in an interview with Knicks Hall of Fame guard Walt Frazier and it had also been uttered on ESPN radio. But the webpage was captured and the frozen image went viral.

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