There probably should be a Ben & Jerry’s flavor named for Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks’ phenom who has taken the month of February, the NBA, the world and the universe by storm, but “Taste the Lin-sanity” wasn’t it and, as a result, the company apologized for a limited-edition frozen yogurt.
“On behalf of Ben & Jerry’s Boston Scoop Shops, we offer a heartfelt apology if anyone was offended by our handmade Linsanity flavor that we offered at our Harvard Square location,” the company said in a statement.
“We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities, and we are huge sports fans. We were swept up in the nationwide Linsanity momentum. Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin’s accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate. We try to demonstrate our commitment as a Boston-based, valued-led business and if we failed in this instance, we offer our sincere apologies.”
The yogurt, sold only at the one store, had swirls of lychee honey and crumbled fortune cookies. There were complaints about quality — soggy fortune cookies were replaced by crumbled waffle cones — as well as the ethnic reference to the Asian-American player. Since springing to national prominence in a game the night before the Super Bowl, Lin has seen all sorts of comparisons. An ESPN editor was fired and an anchor suspended for a month for using an ethnic slur when speaking about Lin.
“Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery?” the Asian American Journalists Association said in a statement. “In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no.”
Linsanity returns to the court Wednesday night after the All-Star break, when the Knicks host the Cleveland Cavs.
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