After cooling down considerably from the Linsanity fever of 2012, the Jeremy Lin craze is picking up steam again.
The Houston Rockets guard is creeping back onto the national radar, and his scoring resurgence has prompted another occurrence of racially tinged commentary by an ESPN employee.
The most recent incident involves ESPN anchor Jorge Andres, who was anchoring the 9 p.m. EST edition of SportsCenter on Thursday when he dropped a one-liner about Lin “cooking with peanut oil.”
The remark was noticed by Timothy Burke of Deadspin. Burke wasn’t the only person to pick up on Andres’ questionable attempt at humor, it would seem, as the anchor apologized for the comment 40 minutes later in the broadcast.
“Earlier in the show I made a comment about a Jeremy Lin basket that I should not have made. This was clearly a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending anyone. That was never my intention.”
Andres took to Twitter to apologize further for the comment, tweeting that the “peanut oil” joke was actually a reference to a Duck Dynasty meme.
I once again want to apologize if I offended anyone about a TV reference to Duck Dynasty I made earlier today on a highlight to Jeremy Lin.— Jorge Andrés (@JorgeAndresESPN) November 15, 2013
I sincerely meant no harm to anyone at all, it was a poor choice of words and bad judgement on my end. My sincere apologies.— Jorge Andrés (@JorgeAndresESPN) November 15, 2013
For some users, however, the damage was already done.
@JorgeAndresESPN be a comedian or a sportscaster, don't be both!— Ryan Leong (@RyanLeong) November 15, 2013
@JorgeAndresESPN racist— KG (@huimingguo) November 15, 2013
Dear @ESPN: What is the over/under on how many more Jeremy-Lin-is-Asian jokes it'll take before an ESPN anchor like Jorge Andres gets fired?— irishbearaz (@irishbearaz) November 15, 2013
This isn’t the first time an ESPN employee has ended up in trouble for a seemingly insensitive remark about Lin’s Asian heritage.
In 2012, the network fired Anthony Federico for writing a caption that said “Chink In The Armor,” referring to the Knicks’ first loss after Lin took over the point. The network also suspended anchor Max Bretos for saying the same sentence on the air.
The question is, does Andres deserve a pass? And if not, then does Rob Gronkowski need to be held more accountable for the “fried rice” comments he made earlier in the week?
Perhaps he does, or perhaps there’s a double standard of conduct between likable star athletes and on-air personalities.
Either way, the shadow of Linsanity is on the horizon, and it appears to be causing another outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease in Bristol.
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