The folks at ESPN may be in damage control, but New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin isn’t making a big deal out of the sports network’s use of language condemned as racist in discussing the Asian American player.
After the Knicks’ loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, ESPN’s website published a headline with the phrase “chink in the armor.” The network pulled down the headline and apologized before firing the headline writer and suspending an ESPN television anchor who used the same phrase on the air.
Lin, however, told reporters Sunday that ESPN apologized to him and that he doesn’t care anymore that it happened.
“Have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional,” he said. “Or hopefully not.”
In a statement, ESPN apologized for the “offensive and inappropriate comments.” ESPNews anchor Max Bretos, who was suspended 30 days for saying the phrase on air, apologized on Twitter.
“My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community,” Bretos said. “Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context.”
Lin is the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. He scored 28 points in the Knicks’ 104-97 victory Sunday and has played a leading role in New York’s eight victories in its last nine games.