Chink in the Chain
Webster’s Dictionary defines success as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors, or, successful performance or achievement. On February 4th 2012 Jeremy Lin made his NBA debut against the New Jersey Nets. Twelve minutes into the game, the non-starter Guard entered the game to make his debut as a New York Knick. To everyone’s surprise Lin came off the bench cold to put up big numbers against the Nets that would both change the pace of the game and give birth a new sensation in the NBA. In his debut game, Lin put up twenty-five points, seven assists, and two steals which was a team high in all three categories (NBA.com). Lin’s initial success was foreshadowing to what was soon to come. According to Webster’s Dictionary’s definition, Lin’s twenty-five point achievement in his first performance as a Knick can be deemed successful. Over the next three games of his career, Lin’s success continued. In his first four NBA starts he had achieved a 27.3-point per game average proving him to be an elite NBA player (NBA.com). Not only was his point per game average impressive it was also a new NBA record, surpassing players such as Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan, who are largely considered to be two of the best players to play the game. Along with Lin’s success in the NBA came a lot of attention in the media, a growth in Asian-American attendance at Knick games, and increase talk around the league.
Jeremy Lin’s success in his initial performances as a Knick sparked a media hit, on Television, in Newspapers, and on the Internet as well. One of the most popular expressions about Lin’s success was “Linsanity”, which is a combination of the player’s last name, Lin, and the word insanity to describe the players up and coming success. Not all of the postings and expressions in the media were as warmhearted as the trending “Linsanity”. Lin’s attention in the media quickly shifted from his success as a player to attention towards his Chinese heritage. For example, The New York Post, a very highly respected new paper in the Northeast released an article titled “Amasian!”, which was not perceived to be offensive or racist by many peoples, because Asian is not by any means an offence term. As time progressed so did the offensive news articles and names given to the successful athlete. Lin was deemed ‘Super-Lintendo’ and ‘The Yellow Mamba’. Super-Lintendo was in reference to Super Nintendo, and Chinese manufactured video game, while The Yellow Mamba is a spin on Kobe Byrant, and African American NBA player’s nickname. The Yellow Mamba was given to Lin because of his success in the NBA comparable to Bryant’s and his Chinese skin often associated with a yellowish hue. As Lin’s success in the NBA continued his attention in the media and Chinese association grew.
February 18th 2012 at 2:30 am ET, Anthony Federico posted his article titled “A Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks In Streak-Snapping Loss to Hornets” on ESPN.com. Shortly after the article was posted, at 3:05 am the article was removed from the website. Though the article was only online for a brief thirty-five minutes, the article was viewed by many, received a lot of attention and was exceedingly controversial. Shortly after its publish, many different new sources and individuals debated whether the article was racist or not. In addition to removing the article from the website, ESPN decided to suspend the articles publisher, Anthony Federico for a thirty day work period and then later that month fire him. ESPN received a great deal of negative attention and many people both agreed and disagreed with Federico’s article being deemed racist. Fererico’s article received a significantly more attention than New York Post’s article “Amasian!” because ‘Chink’ is a often considered to be an offensive term to Chinese-Americans.
Federico’s article went under great scrutiny from members of the Chinese American Community....
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