AAJA MediaWatch Calls for Apology From Jason Whitlock
At 12:44 a.m. Feb. 12, Jason Whitlock posted this on Foxsports.com:
I get Linsanity. I've cried watching Tiger Woods win a major golf championship. Jeremy Lin, for now, is the Tiger Woods of the NBA. I suspect Lin makes Asian Americans feel the way I feel when I watch Tiger play golf.
I should've realized that Friday night when I watched Lin torch the Lakers. For Asian Americans and a lot of sports fans, his nationally televised 38-point outburst was the equivalent of Tiger's first victory in The Masters. I got caught up in the excitement. I tweeted about what a great story Lin is and how he could rival Tim Tebow.
I then gave in to another part of my personality — my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It's been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother's Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.
The couple-inches-of-pain tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin’s performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too. As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I’m truly sorry.
Feb. 11, 2012
Dear Mr. Whitlock:
Where do we begin?
Let’s start by saying that your tweet in the midst of the Jeremy Lin hoopla was inappropriate on so many levels. Certainly, it doesn’t hold up to the conduct of responsible journalists, those in sports or otherwise, who adhere to standards of fairness, civility and good taste. Nor does it meet the standards of Fox Sports, with which you are associated.
Outrage doesn’t begin to describe the reaction of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) to your unnecessary and demeaning tweet of Feb. 10 after the New York Knicks played the Los Angeles Lakers: “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”
Let’s not pretend we don’t know to what you were referring. The attempt at humor – and we hope that is all it was – fell flat. It also exposed how some media companies fail to adequately monitor the antics of their high-profile representatives. Standards need to be applied – by you and by Fox Sports.
The offensive tweet debased one of sports’ feel-good moments, not just among Asian Americans but for so many others who are part of your audience.
Where do we go from here? How about an apology, Mr. Whitlock.