I guess it could've been worse for ESPN. The whole "Chink in the Armor" thing -- you know, the phrase used in a headline for a little while late on Friday night -- could've been broadcast on air. An anchor could have slipped while talking to Walt Frazier, asking about Lin's skill set and rise to stardom with the Knicks.
Oh wait, that did actually happen! And it happened before the unfortunate headline! And there's video!
This happened Wednesday, before the late Friday night mess, but is worth pointing out now. It's a figure of speech, sure, but there absolutely has to be a better phrase to use when referring to Lin. You know, one that doesn't involve a derogatory term for Lin's race.
Here's the thing: The phrase is a natural one when referencing a weakness, particularly finding a new-found weak point. But there are quite a few other phrases that could've been used, and this one should've never should've been brought up in the first place.
Is it offensive? Probably less so than using it in a headline, though I'm hoping, and assuming, both cases were accidental. Television is fast paced, with little time to think deeply about the words being used and what alternate meaning they may have. It's an unfortunate slip with no real malicious intent.
But can we please be a little more careful next time?