Ax falls at ESPN over Lin slur

Feb. 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- ESPN said it fired one employee and suspended another after a seemingly racist cliche was used in reference to Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin.

An ethnic slur used in a headline and in comments by two on-air personalities resulted in the firing of the headline writer and a 30-day suspension of an anchor on ESPNEWS.

ESPN noted that a radio host who used the same wordage on the air was not a network 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," the network said in a written statement. "Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future."

The apology came amid a growing uproar over a word one online commentator compared to the "N word," The New York Times said Sunday.

The Asian American Journalists Association issued a statement calling the incident "inexcusable" and hoped the flap would create a "teachable moment" for ESPN.

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