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Federico’s "Chink In The Armor" Headline Receives Backlash

March 5, 2012 by admin

By Elizabeth Feudale
     After the Knicks recent loss to the New Orleans Hornets, Anthony Federico, an editor forESPN produced an article with a headline reading “Chink in the Armor,” when referring to New York Knicks star, Jeremy Lin or better known as “Linsanity.”     What normally would not have been an offensive phrase was perceived to be a racial Sluragainst Lin who is Chinese. Federico’s headline immediately received negative backlashfrom the media and resulted in a firing from ESPN.     Following the media backlash and firing from ESPN, a remorseful Federico made apublic apology to Lin stating in an interview with the Daily News that the phrase was “notintended as a reference to Lin’s ethnicity.”     “While firing Anthony Federico for his "chink in the armor" comment is a severepunishment, I believe that ESPN did the right thing. The franchise has to be sensitive to itsviewership, and "chink" is considered a derogatory term for Chinese people,” said Dr.Patricia Dillon, a biology professor at Brookdale.     “I am sure Mr. Federico was genuinely remorseful for his actions and the consternationusing the negative slur may have caused others. It is possible that the title "Chink in the Armor" used to describe the Knicks first loss since Jeremy Lin took over as a starter was amatter of coincidence and not an intended pun but highly improbable,” said Robert Dinkins afourth- semester, business administration student from Neptune.     “In the media catchy headlines and word play are common, just as common asproofreading. I am willing to believe that the headline would have raised red flags for aneighth-grader so I can't accept  that this gentleman whose profession is sports journalism just suffered an oversight,” Dinkins said.     Lin, who has been a constant in the headlines lately for his talents on the court, did notfind Federico’s headline to be as offensive as the media. When asked about the headline, Lin responded, “[You] have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think it was intentional. Orhopefully not,” according to published reports.     “I definitely think it was inappropriate but there is no way to definitively know whetherhe was trying to be malicious or was just being stupid,” said John Lazar, 22, a fourth-semester political science major from Matawan.”     As a writer knowing the audience is just as important as well as not to impart too muchemotion into a piece. The wrong choice of words could be hurtful and also a costly mistake.

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