Linsensitive! Knicks' Network Chewed Out For Showing Jeremy Lin Fortune Cookie Graphic


During Wednesday night's Knicks game, an MSG Network camera curiously panned this sign, showing Jeremy Lin's head superimposed over a fortune cookie and a yellow sun. Lin is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese descent to play the game.

MSG Network finds itself the unlucky recipient of some unwanted criticism today.

And as you might expect, Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese-American player in the NBA, happens to be, well, Lin-volved.

On the heels of Jason Whitlock making a tenfold effort to apologize for a tweet taking a potshot at his (and collectively, all Asians) groin area, another Lin-linked tweet went hot on Twitter after the Knicks’ seventh straight victory, at home against the Sacramento Kings. And it came from the Twitter account of Darren Rovell – no, he didn’t suggest that Lin would make the Playboy Playmates of today look great – it was actually tipping off his many followers to what may have been another act of Lin-sensitivity.

“MSG walking a fine line with this Lin fortune cookie graphic tonight,” tweeted Rovell after the game. Attached to the tweet was a photo taken on his giant Samsung HD screen (he’s probably not a Time Warner Cable customer) showing Lin’s face, his mouth wide open, over a yellow sun, and a broken fortune cookie, with a fortune that read, “The Knicks Good Fortune.”

It prompted MSG Networks to tweet the following message late this morning: “What appeared briefly last night was not an MSG graphic; it was one of many fan signs in the arena.”

Translation: MSG is throwing one of their own camerapeople under the bus for deciding to take a shot at this “fan sign.” Granted, it’s not like I would expect MSG to do a feature on Lin during the Knicks postgame show and whip up a graphic such as the “good fortune” one to display on the air, as if it were their own.

It’s an innocent-looking sign, and I’m sure the fan who created it is a Knicks fan and does not wish to mock Lin’s race. I mean, it’s not over-the-top that the sign was confiscated by security at the Garden, right?

But at the same time, I’m not defending it. Such a sign can easily be construed as a painted-with-a-large-brush stereotype – and I’m sure people of other races can relate.

It’s not like human beings such as Jeremy Lin should be synonymous with beef lo mein.

And I’ve seen far worse signs at games referencing Lin – this one actually manages to mock both Asians and Italians at the same time! I don’t see the outrage over that sign.

Which is why, had Darren Rovell not tweeted a photo of the “good fortune” sign, this “cookie controversy” may have flown under the radar.

Meanwhile, no apology was made by MSG for showing the sign. The least they could do is tell viewers, “Sorry for the Lin-convenience.”

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