Racial slurs not acceptable for journalists

Corral Staff

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News and sports reporters are supposed to be ethical, professional, and politically correct, but some reporters are tainting the journalism profession career.
A New York Knicks radio host used the phrase “chink in the armor” in a post-game broadcast, which was picked up by ESPN Mobile, with a headline of “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-Snapping Loss to Hornets.” It described how poorly the editor thought Lin played in a Knicks loss. The headline was then posted by ESPN editor Anthony Federico, who was fired that Sunday.
There just isn’t any reason to offend a certain race or religion if the phrase can be said in an unoffending way, as “chink” is considered an offensive term to Asian-Americans.
Federico isn’t the only journalist to fall into this prejudice. Don Imus of “Imus in the Morning” used the phrase “nappy-headed hos” to refer to the 2009 Rutgers women’s basketball team.
Imus was fired by CBS for his comments. Imus was not being racially sensitive, it reflected on CBS, and they had to fire him.
Prior to that Imus got caught up in controversy over comments about Adam “Pacman” Jones and his suspension from the NFL in 2008. Imus had a conversation with Warner Wolf on June 23, 2008 in which he asked what color Jones was and once answered, Imus said, “Well there you go, now we know.”
A study by the Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sports found the percentage of white journalists to be 94 percent of sports editors, 88 percent of columnists and 87 percent of reporters.
The NBA coverage in 2010 was made up of 80 percent white sports reporters and only 18 percent of blacks. This in a sports league with an 80 percent African-American player population.
It’s not that people can’t report on athletes from different ethnic backgrounds; they just need to be careful. The power to make comments in print or on a live broadcast requires journalists to think twice before they make a comment that could offend someone.
It’s not just a black-white issue either. The broadcasters gaining publicity for their “chink in the armor” comments wrongly attacked the Asian population. Now that may be just one Asian race incident that happened, but it didn’t only happen once. It happened on two separate radio stations and twice in print.
Those stats seem lopsided to me. I think the broadcasting profession needs to be more professional and politically correct. There are more important issues in sports that need to be covered. We don’t need more of these incidents to happen.