Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock apologizes for Jeremy Lin tweet
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
Much has been written about Jeremy Lin’s spectacular performance for the New York Knicks over the last week and a half -- that includes a few unfortunate words from Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock on his Twitter account.
Whitlock has since apologized for tweeting a joke involving a racial stereotype about the Asian American basketball player, who just happened to be in the middle of the game of his life against the Lakers on Friday night.
The Asian American Journalists Assn. posted a letter to Whitlock, who is African American, on its Facebook page. ‘The offensive tweet debased one of sports’ feel-good moments, not just among Asian Americans but for so many others who are part of your audience,’ the letter said.
The AAJA concluded by asking Whitlock to apologize, which Whitlock did Sunday on the Fox Sports site and via Twitter:
I get Linsanity. I’ve cried watching Tiger Woods win a major golf championship. Jeremy Lin, for now, is the Tiger Woods of the NBA. I suspect Lin makes Asian Americans feel the way I feel when I watch Tiger play golf. I should’ve realized that Friday night when I watched Lin torch the Lakers. For Asian Americans and a lot of sports fans, his nationally televised 38-point outburst was the equivalent of Tiger’s first victory in The Masters. I got caught up in the excitement. I tweeted about what a great story Lin is and how he could rival Tim Tebow. I then gave in to another part of my personality — my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It’s been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother’s Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian. The ... tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin’s performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too. As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I’m truly sorry.
Some commenters on Twitter and Facebook feel the apology is not enough and that the comment should cost Whitlock his job. Others feel too much is being made out of a joke. What do you think?
-- Chuck Schilken