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ESPN apologizes for 'chink in the armor' headline, promises review

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Last night, ESPN's mobile site used a headline with a racially charged double entendre to describe Jeremy Lin's game against the Hornets. This morning they have ap0logized and are promising a review of the process that lead to the insensitive headline:

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 3:05 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.

ESPN.com editor in chief Rob King offered a strong statement on Twitter:

To be sure, the headline is a double entendre. "Chink in the armor" is a perfectly legitimate term to express vulnerability. But when you use the term to refer to someone of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Longtime Outsports reader Canmark shared this on our previous story:

As someone who’s been called a chink (many years ago), I’m not getting too excited about this. The phrase “chink in the armor” isn’t in itself offensive. For example, I recently saw this headline: “Santorum’s victory may expose chink in Romney’s armor.” Now, applying the “chink” phrase to someone who is of East Asian descent is questionable, but I’m willing to give the headline writer the benefit of the doubt (I don’t think there was any negative intent).

The phrase was also uttered by a SportsCenter host earlier in the day (below). Saying it off-the-cuff on live TV doesn't bother me personally, given that it is a legit term; But somebody should have caught it, sitting at a desk carefully considering a headline, before publishing it on the Web.