Cleveland’s Asian Community Reacts to Offensive Headline


New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin on CNN. He’s the only Harvard graduate to play in the NBA and has been underestimated throughout his career.

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - It was a headline that offended a nation.

Many Asian Americans in Cleveland are not happy with ESPN's headline and comment about NBA phenom, Jeremy Lin, after the Knicks lost to the New Orleans Hornets Friday night.

After the game, ESPN published a headline on it's mobile site that contained a word that is also a racial slur against Asians, specifically Chinese.

Sunday, the network fired the headline writer, and suspended the ESPNEWS anchor who used the same phrase.

ESPN also apologized to Lin, saying quote, "His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN."

The headline stayed on the website for 30 minutes before it was pulled.

"It wasn't right for them to say such an offensive word online for everyone to see, " said Frank Lu of Cleveland.

For many in the Cleveland Asian population, the damage is done.

"It's similar to what you would call the N-word to African Americans. That's the bottom line," said Johnny Wu, co-chair of the Cleveland Asian Festival.

For organizers of the Cleveland Asian Festival, this also spreads awareness of racial sensitivity to all races.

"This kind of comment against any community is offensive to every community," said Prakash Sinha of India International, a newspaper.

Lin is the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He's a phenom to all.

"There's a lot of pressure on him and his community.  And for him to hear something like that, that must be devastating to him," added Lu.

And while the "Linsanity" only continues to grow, fans hope Lin will erase racial stereotypes.

"We've never had a player make it as big as Jeremy Lin.  And now that he is there, we all as a society are learning how to cope and use the appropriate language," added Vi Huynh, of Cleveland.

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