ESPN Lin Slur

February 20, 2012 by staff 

ESPN Lin Slur, ESPN announced Sunday that it had suspended one person and fired another for using an ethnic slur last week in reference to New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. It also said that it had discovered a third use of the offensive phrase, on Friday night.

The headline on ESPN’s mobile website was used for a story about a New York loss in which Lin had nine turnovers.

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

“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.

“Have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.”

Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He had captivated fans by leading the Knicks to seven consecutive wins before Friday’s loss.

The cable network said a similar reference was made on ESPN Radio New York, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee.

Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor, was suspended for 30 days for using the same phrase during an interview about Lin on ESPNews with Walt Frazier, the Knicks’ TVanlyst for the MSG Network. Lin is of Chinese descent; his parents are Taiwanese.

On Twitter, Bretos apologized and said, “My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community.”

“We again apologize, especially to Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN,” the network said in its statement.

Orlando guard Jason Richardson was a late scratch from the Magic starting lineup against Miami after experiencing chest pain that he thought was associated with heartburn. Richardson said the pain intensified when he tried running before the game, adding that the issue was “nothing to play with.” He is expected to be evaluated again today. A team spokesman said the Magic do not expect the issue to be serious.

Boston forward Kevin Garnett missed Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons due to personal reasons. Boston coach Doc Rivers said that he has known since Thursday that Garnett would be unavailable against Detroit. He said that he is not sure if Garnett will return to the team in time for today’s game in Dallas.

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