By Sarah Tan
MANHATTAN — Headline writers have rejoiced over the emergence of Knicks star Jeremy Lin, using terms like "Lin-sanity" and "Lin-credible" to describe the pun-friendly phenom's meteoric rise.
But ESPN got into hot water by using a racial slur in reference to the Asian-American hoop star in an online story about the Knicks' loss Friday night to the New Orleans Hornets at Madison Square Garden.
The headline, "Chink in the Armor," which remained online for a little more than half an hour early Saturday morning, drew widespread criticism, including from ESPN.com's own editor in chief.
"There's no defense for the indefensible," Rob King tweeted Saturday morning. "All we can offer is our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate."
ESPN's director of communications, Kevin Ota, posted an apology on the website early Saturday, calling the headline "offensive."
"We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again," Ota wrote. "We regret and apologize for this mistake."
In 2008, ESPN.com used an identical headline for a story on the Summer Olympics in China.
Lin, the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, has not addressed the issue on his own Twitter account.