Hines Ward was released by the Steelers yesterday. Given his history with the Steelers and great career including 1,000 catches and a Super Bowl MVP, it was a big story in sports. Hines Ward was born in South Korea to a Korean mother and African American father. In 2010, he was sworn in as a member of President Obama's Advisory Comission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
ESPN is just coming out of one of the biggest controversies of the year in media regarding their insentive headline about another Asian American athlete, Jeremy Lin. An ESPN mobile editor lost his job and a SportsCenter anchor was suspended. The website headline drew such scrutiny because headlines are often filled with puns and turns of phrase and that particular headline should have never been published.
Given all of that information, it is out of the realm of possibility to me that ESPN could have this as its headline about Hines Ward being released by the Steelers (via Alicia Barnhart)...
The headline has since been changed to read as seen below...
If you need to know the link between Koreans and happy endings, you can Google it yourself. By no means is this on the same planet as the infamous "chink in the armor" headline. Nobody's going to be disciplined or lose their job (likely). The Twitter outcry was minimal and the headline was up as early as last night. If it wasn't for the Jeremy Lin scandal, nobody would probably notice except for a minor chuckle and a few raised eyebrows. So before anti-PC folks start crusading furiously, in no way is presenting these headlines a way of stirring up the pitchforked online mob to march towards Bristol.
But how can ESPN produce any sort of headline involving an Asian American athlete that needs to be taken down or replaced for any reason! How?!?! It's nothing if just a little bit clumsy and makes you shake your head in bemused amazement.