A California state senator blasted ESPN today for using a racial slur in a Web reference to New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, calling on the network to do more than just apologize "in addressing this unacceptable act."
Democratic Sen. Leland Yee said the headline, which was posted online early Saturday morning, "harkens back to 1947 when Jackie Robinson heard some of the ugliest racial epithets as he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball."
"It is shocking that in 2012, Jeremy Lin's meteoric rise in the NBA is accompanied by the same offensive comments and slurs," the San Francisco Democrat said in a statement. "It is even more disturbing when such racism is promoted by our nation's leading sports network."
The network apologized for what it acknowledged was an "offensive headline" earlier today, saying in a statement that it is "conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again." The headline was taken down after about 30 minutes.
Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin said the senator also wants to know what actions were taken by the network after the same phrase was used during the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. If the same person was responsible in both cases, Yee believes that person should be fired, he said.
"If no action was taken then, they obviously need significant training in racial acceptance within their newsroom," he said.
PHOTO CREDIT: New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin, front right, lays up for two of his 20 game points on a shot in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Minneapolis.Jim Mone / AP Photo.