NBA - ESPN apologizes for 'offensive' Lin headline

Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:06am IST

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin passes the ball against the New Orleans Hornets in the second half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin passes the ball against the New Orleans Hornets in the second half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, February 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

REUTERS - Sports network ESPN apologized on Saturday for publishing an online story that contained an anti-Asian slur about New York Knicks star point guard Jeremy Lin.

The headline - "Chink in the Armor" - accompanied an analysis that blamed Lin, a Chinese-American, for the Knicks' surprising 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets at a sold-out Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The loss ended the Knicks' seven-game winning streak.

In a statement, ESPN called the headline, which was up on the mobile website for about 35 minutes early Saturday morning, "offensive." Chink is a derogatory term used mainly to refer to a person of Chinese ethnicity.

ESPN said it was "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."

Lin, who contributed to the Knicks' loss to the Hornets by committing nine turnovers, did not address ESPN's gaffe on his Twitter site, @JLin7.

But the 23-year-old Harvard graduate, whose on-court heroics have made him a sports sensation and media darling, talked about his performance in Friday's game, his first defeat as a Knicks starter.

"9 TOs wont get it done ... gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one. See you guys sunday!"

The Knicks will play the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Lin, who was rejected by a string of NBA teams, became the unlikely driving force behind the Knicks' seven consecutive wins.

His surprising performance inspired an outpouring of fan adoration that has been dubbed "Linsanity."

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Paul Simao)

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