LOS ANGELES-Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA)–the only organization solely dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive depiction and coverage of Asian Americans–is praising ESPN for its handling of employees who used “chink in the armor” when reporting on New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. Following the Knicks’ first loss in eight games Friday night, an ESPN mobile headline read: “Chink in the Armor” accompanied by a picture of Lin. Wednesday night, ESPN anchor Max Bretos also used the phrase in asking why Lin failed to perform as well as he’d done in the past.
Saturday, MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki spoke with Rob King, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of editorial, print, and digital media, who was upset that the unfortunate incidents had hurt the reputation of the network. King explained that ESPN executives knew there were two upcoming games involving Lin and wanted to prevent any off-color remarks in reporting, so on Wednesday at the company’s monthly editorial board meeting, they reminded their department heads to be careful. An e-mail to their employees went out that night and early Thursday morning. It wasn’t clear if Bretos (who later tweeted that his wife is Asian and that he meant no disrespect toward Asians) had seen the memo, but the editor who wrote the Saturday morning article and headline should have.