N.Y. Knicks' Jeremy Lin: Take it easy on ESPN and grandma

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 13:22
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linJeremy021512_optKnick point guard Jeremy Lin followed his latest Linsane performance with two requests: that folks not be too harsh on the editor who wrote a seemingly offensive headline and that media in Taiwan not harass his family, particularly his 85-year-old grandmother.

Paparazzi have been camped outside the home of Lin Chu A Muen, the Knick point guard’s paternal grandmother. Grandma has tried to be cooperative with the enthusiastic Taiwanese press; she even released baby photos of her grandson, who she watched while Lin’s parents went to work after they moved to the United States from Taiwan.

In fact, The New York Times reported that Lin Chu and her son — Jeremy’s uncle — who live together, fled to their ancestral village of Beidou from their home in the Taipei suburbs over the weekend to escape the attention. Problem is, reporters found them there, too.

“The special request I have is for the media back in Taiwan to give (my family) space, because they can’t even go to work without being bombarded, without people following them,” Lin said at Madison Square Garden after the Knicks’ 104-97 victory over the defending NBA champ Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Lin scored 28 points while totaling14 assists, five steals and seven turnovers in the game.

“I want people to respect their privacy,” he added.

Lin’s 63-year-old uncle, Lin Chi Chung, and his mom watch the games on tape delay in the evening, even though many in Taiwan watch the sneak peeks of the games live in the morning while at work.

Lin Chu won’t watch the games unless the Knicks win because, the Times reported, she needs to “limit stress.”

Meanwhile, ESPN fired editor Anthony Federico for writing the headline "Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin's 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-Stopping Loss to Hornets" in the wee hours Saturday morning after New York’s win streak was snapped by New Orleans.

"I'm so sorry that I offended people,” Federico was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. “I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”

Lin offered sympathy for the headline writer, who he said probably just made an unintentional error in judgment.

Federico told the News that, like Lin, he is an outspoken Christian and would never intentionally cause the player harm.

"My faith is my life," Federico told the News. "I'd love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake."

ESPN also suspended Max Bretos, who said on the air that “if there is a chink in the armor, where can Lin improve his game?"

Bretos, suspended for 30 days, later posted on Twitter: "My wife is Asian, I would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community.”

Lin asked for forgiveness for the pair.

“[ESPN] apologized, and so from my end, I don't care anymore," Lin said. "You have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional."

—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 
Comments (6)
6 Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:37
Final Word
To be an ESPN writer/editor and to have racial and ethnic slurs constantly and unconsciously running through his tiny, little head must be torturous for Anthony Federico, considering how many non-white sports stars are there in professional sports. Even novice high school newspaper writers know that some words and phrases are never to be used in print (or online), without having to be taught. He deserves a break from doing or writing about anything sports-related...for life.

As for Max Bretos - Just because your wife is Asian it doesn't mean that you're free of any racism towards Asians, much less any other racial or ethnic groups! What kind of fuzzy logic is that for an overly-paid ESPN anchor? Go back to college and take Philosophy (Logic) 101 while you're on suspension. In comparison, Juan Williams got fired for a much less offensive remark. So stop whining because you still got to keep your job (with no salary reduction) to support your half-Asian family. Or you can book more speaking engagements during your suspension and rattle off more epithets that happen to be on your mind. Thanks to you "My wife is Asian" is now the new "My best friend is Black." Don't kid yourself - your tweet was no apology, just a bad attempt to find an excuse for having diarrhea of the mouth. Please do not use your wife as tissue when it happens again.

Some unsophisticated sports writers and news pundits chimed in and defended Bretos on his use of the "commonly used" sports phrase while on the air as unintentional, because the phrase has been used so often in sports media. Therein lies the problem, sports reporters, columnists and talking heads are predominantly white and male, that's why this phrase has been in use in sports media for this long. It may also probably explain why ESPN is well-known for making offensive comments towards people of color and women for as long as it has been in existence. So these headlines and on-air remarks are not surprising at all - it's just very sad that the general public (and even some journalists) have paid any attention to these slurs because of JLin.
5 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:50
PeterXM
Ok I understand that Bretos might have said what he said by mistake and considering he was refering to the news article, it is obviously unintentional. But Federico, HOW STUPID DO U HAVE TO BE TO SAY IT WAS UNINTENTIONAL? How is it that the word "chink" just so happen to cross your mind when you are writting an article on the only starting asian basketball player in the entire NBA. Good for ESPN, he deserved it.
4 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:05
Irony
It's a so shameful to say Carmelo is suffering a lot of racism bias but it's definitely true

Without Anthony saying mike d to give lin playing time Lin would have been cut several weeks ago
3 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 16:39
JLinFTW
credit to the human race. He is a class act and rising above ignorant haters.
2 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 14:58
Joe Martini
Jeremy Lin is a greater player than Carmelo Anthony.

Knicks shall get rid of Carmelo Anthony. He is an ugly and selfish one.

It is so shameful to say Lin is suffering a lot of racism bias, but it is definitely true.

With Lin, Mike D. has been already fired several weeks ago.
1 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 14:19
Joe Khon
Jeremy Lin is a greater player than Carmelo Anthony.

Knicks can win the rest games without Carmelo Anthony, but not Carmelo Anthony.

Mike D. shall be fired.
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