Suspended ESPN Anchor: Hey, My Wife is Asian, So What’s the Big Deal About the Jeremy Lin “Chink” Gag?

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

It seems as if most of the American media is shielding the identity of the fired and suspended ESPN employees following the Jeremy Lin “chink in the armor” headline from the other day.  So we have to go to the UK media to find out who they are. Sure enough, one of them pleads his case by pointing out his wife is Asian.

I’m sure she finds it hilarious.

An ESPN anchor suspended for making an offensive remark when referring to New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin has defended himself on Twitter. 

Anchor Max Bretos has been taken off-air for 30 days for using the phrase ‘Chink in the armor’ when talking about the basketball player who is of Asian descent.

ESPN writer Antony Federico was fired after using the same phrase in a story headline on their mobile website after the Knicks lost to New Orleans on Friday.

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

‘Wanted 2 apologize 2 all those I have upset. Not done with any racial reference. Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context.’

Bretos said he had learned from the gaffe and that he would make ‘every effort’ to avoid something like this happening again.

Federico also apologised for his blunder – and said he was not trying to be offensive.

‘This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,’ he told the New York Daily News. ‘I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.’

The headline appeared on the ESPN mobile website between 2.30am and 3.05am on Saturday morning.

He added that he had used the same headline on stories at least a hundred times before and did not think anything of it.

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9 Responses to “Suspended ESPN Anchor: Hey, My Wife is Asian, So What’s the Big Deal About the Jeremy Lin “Chink” Gag?”

  1. AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) SMOD 2012 on 20/20/12 at 10:25 am

    Oh, please. Of all the things to get upset over (and Jeremy Lin isn’t, so I’m not sure why people are getting upset on his behalf) this ranks somewhere below getting a hang-nail.

    It was off-color, it was inappropriate, but I’m really, really not getting how this was so outrageously outrageous.

  2. Ghost on 20/20/12 at 11:44 am

    You know and I know that the headline isn’t the story here, but ESPN’s frequent maligning of conservatives. Rush Limbaugh and Hank Williams Jr come to mind. Always screaming “racist!!!” whenever someone says something about anything. Rush had to step down for saying Donavon McNabb wasn’t all that great a football player. Meanwhile, Keith “no rapes here” olbermann was chosen to replace him.

    It’s not about being offended. It’s about holding them to the same ridiculous standards that they hold everyone else to.

  3. John on 20/20/12 at 4:30 pm

    This was not off color or inappropriate. He used an english word with common usage, “chink in his armor”, as in “crack” in his armor. Look up the definition of chink, and watch the video. Anyone who thinks this was racist or insensitive hasn’t watched what he said.

    Someone was fired and the guy suspended over nothing. Careers ruined, potentially, because someone used an English word properly. Unbelievable.

    ESPN should be ashamed of its overreaction.

    If you think otherwise you’re a complete idiot.

  4. Amy on 21/21/12 at 1:08 am

    AllenG and John, you are being ridiculous. Do you say you are “gay” or do you say “happy”? Do you actually mean to say you use the term “faggot” to mean a bundle of twigs or sticks??? There are certain words that are no longer used in their original meaning. This use by ESPN personnel was a double entendre absolutely meant to be “chink” as in racial slur not “chink” as in weakness or crack in the armor. The first time I heard the word “chink” was right after a male, 10 years older than me, called me that as he punched me in the stomach on the school bus b/c he didn’t like the way my half-Korean eyes were shaped. I was 7 years old and obviously a girl by my name. That was not the only time I heard it and not the only time it was accompanied by any type of attack, whether verbal or physical, and usually in some type of hyena pack setting.

    The only time I EVER saw the term “chink” used appropriately was in fiction books or shows about knights that wore and fought in armor.

    And of course Jeremy Lin is going to say he didn’t take offense–either he is taking the high road or (most likely AND) he understands his popularity, bankability, therefore his career(!)

    Just stop being disingenuous.

  5. © Sponge on 21/21/12 at 1:53 pm

    Amy, you’re being hypersensitive. Did you HEAR the context? The phrase “Chink in the armor” has been around for centuries, so I’m guessing, where it was the wrong words to use, VERY likely unintentional.

    But, you keep pushing the PC mantra and we’ll watch the world burn together.

  6. blindside on 21/21/12 at 5:55 pm

    “Just stop being disingenuous.”

    Stop being an idiot. The word ‘chink’ is still used in everyday conversation, without it being at ‘racial’ in any way.

    Unlike ‘gay’ which has been completely co-opted, chink is still part of common vernacular.

    But since it offends people like you, I’m going to try EXTRA hard to use this phrase every chance I get. Just because I like to hear the whining.

  7. Rory on 22/22/12 at 2:46 pm

    Yeah, the online article writer was probably thinking he was being cute, the sportscaster asked an NBA expert what the chink in his armor was. I don’t think they are the same thing. It would be as if someone was mad because he asked what his “achillis ankle” was if, you know, “achillis” was a racial sterotype against Greek people.

  8. james on 1/01/12 at 8:57 pm

    The name N-gg-r has been around for a long time, too! What about Kevin Love? Should we say he’s “Honkying his horn!” when he plays well? The Chinese built the railroad, and Chink has been a racial slur ever since. We even had the Immigration Exclusion Act against them. You can call me a Chink, if I can call you a N-gg-r!

  9. james on 1/01/12 at 9:03 pm

    Right on Amy! The word N-gg-r doesn’t offend me either! What’s the big deal? A follow up to these articles should be “Talk about the pot calling the kettle BLACK!” Oops! Was that intentional? Isn’t black just a color? People use it all the time.