Using a rather common sports idiom cost one ESPN employee his job and resulted in the 30-day suspension of another when the term “chink in the armor” was used over the weekend in a discussion that involved NBA star Jeremy Lin, who just happens to be of Asian decent.
Let’s forget for a moment that we are a country of AMERICANS, not hyphenated-AMERICANS (i.e. Asian-American, African-American, etc.) and focus on the real issue involved in this situation according to ESPN.
In America, it’s not only inappropriate to use words that have been determined to be racially insensitive (such as the famous “n” word), but it’s no longer acceptable to use words that even sound racial in nature.
What does “chink in the armor” mean?
Chink in the Armor
- Meaning: To have flaw or problem preventing success
- Example: This plan about retiring early has just one chink in the armor – we have no money
- Origin: An obscure word meaning a slit, fissure, or weak spot that can leave one vulnerable. Hence Chink in the armor means a weak spot in ones protection or plan.
So, how did this obvious sports reference end up costing two ESPN employees their jobs?
Well, it’s because of the word “chink” has been used as a racist word to describe Chinese and other Asian people. Even though the word has more than one meaning, and even though it wasn’t being used in a racist manner, ESPN went crazy. Not only did they fire the two employees, they issued an overboard apology that shows more concern for political correctness – something we abhor at the Strident Conservative – than for any concern for their innocent employees:
At ESPN we are aware of three offensive and inappropriate comments made on ESPN outlets during our coverage of Jeremy Lin.
Saturday we apologized for two references here. We have since learned of a similar reference Friday on ESPN Radio New York. The incidents were separate and different. We have engaged in a thorough review of all three and have taken the following action:
- The ESPN employee responsible for our Mobile headline has been dismissed.
- The ESPNEWS anchor has been suspended for 30 days.
- The radio commentator is not an ESPN employee.
We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.
Besides the fact that ESPN erred in their decision, they have laid the foundation for a whole new approach to words that are harmless, but have duel meanings. I think ESPN will make every effort to eliminate all politically incorrect references in sports.
Some of the words that ESPN could eliminate from some of America’s favorite sports in the future due to their duel meaning:
- Slam dunk – “slam” means to do something forcefully, but it also means “to utter verbal abuse or harsh criticism.” ESPN would never want to be a part of causing a player’s self-esteem to suffer.
- Bases loaded – “loaded” means to have a large amount or abundance, but it also means “to be high on drugs.” The obvious drug reference makes the use of this phrase unacceptable.
- Blind-side – “blind side” is a reference to a quarterback in football, but the word blind is no longer politically correct. The term will be changed to “vision-impaired” side.
- Shown the Red Card – in soccer, a player is ejected from a game when the official shows the red card, but the word “Red” has been considered a derogatory reference to communists. Since Obama holds many communist-leaning viewpoints, ESPN will stop using the word and isn’t likely to replace it with anything while he’s still in office.
What Jeremy Lin has done is a great story. The fact that he’s Asian (Taiwanese to be exact) adds nothing to – nor takes anything away from – his accomplishments, and for ESPN to fabricate an issue in the name of political correctness is not only a disgrace, it may be only the beginning.
What others had to say: