ESPN Headline Writing School: Hines Ward + Asian = Happy Endings
ESPN caught hell when they used the headline “Chink in the Armor” under a photo a New York Knicks point guard and Asian American Jeremy Lin a couple weeks ago. When taken literally, we all got the headline — the Knicks had lost and Lin probably committed like 75 turnovers. However, everyone knows chink is a derogatory term used for Asians, so hey, not real funny.
The guy who wrote the headline got canned and ESPN apologized because, you know, they love everyone. Especially themselves. Fast forward to today, when the Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran receiver Hines Ward. ESPN throw the headline “No Happy Endings” under a photo of Ward. Again, taken literally, we get it — he got cut, despite his years of service to the organization and community.
However, when you take into account Ward is half Korean, you probably see how someone might construe this as offensive. If you don’t see how, let us give you the nickel tour of our world of depravity. “Happy ending” is the term used for the type of massage you get that ends a sexual climax of one type or another. If you go to this type of massage parlor, you’ll likely be serviced by an Asian woman.
So, we’re pretty sure some yahoo was trying to call Ward’s mother a whore. Or maybe they’re just insensitive idiots at ESPN. One of the two, we imagine.
The headline has since been changed to “No Perfect Ending,” which probably won’t offend anyone.
Is someone going to get canned for this? Probably not. Could it have been an honest mistake? Possibly. Could someone have been trying to slide an inside joke past everyone? Maybe. Are we going to lose any sleep over it? No.
It’s a sad day when we’re more aware of these things than the idiots at ESPN, though.