Jeremy Lin gets apology from Ben & Jerry’s, prepares for Cavaliers matchup

February 29, 2012

Jeremy Lin’s rise to fame has sparked discussions of ethnic and racial stereotypes and perceptions. Just days after an ESPN editor was fired for an insensitive headline regarding Lin, Ben& Jerry’s found itself apologizing for a ‘Taste of Lin-sanity’ flavor that offended some buyers. As Cindy Boren reported:

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.”

The Jeremy Lin phenomenon continued to build through NBA All-Star Weekend even though the young star failed to shine in the BBVA Rising Stars game, hitting only one field goal. As AP explained:

New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin only had two points.

Lin had a relatively quiet night. His biggest highlight came early in the second half when he took a pass from Minnesota star Ricky Rubio and drove it underneath for a reverse layup.

He played just nine minutes before heading to the bench in the second half, and instead mostly yielded to the more high-flying players on his team. He took just four shots.

Landry Fields, who plays with Lin on the Knicks, remained his biggest fan, holding a “Linsanity” Time magazine cover featuring him.

“It was fun to be out there with all these guys, and this guy right here (pointing to magazine) did his thing,” Fields said. “Short minutes, but he still did his thing.”

Lin will have a chance to continue his run of good form against the Cavs on Wednesday night, as he and the rest of the NBA prepare for the second half of the shortened season, which promises to provide plenty of entertainment. As Michael Lee wrote:

It’s a good bet that . . .

New York point guard Jeremy Lin and Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio will form a boy band and go platinum with a single of the two of them just dribbling.

●A LeBron James-led team will finish the regular season with the most wins for the third time in four years.

●In an effort to rescue his foundering franchise and help it avoid matching the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers with the worst-ever winning percentage, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan will once again come out of retirement and sign himself to two 10-day contracts.

●If the New Jersey Nets fail to trade for Dwight Howard by March 15, Deron Williams will have his bags packed for Dallas by March 16.

●Kevin Durant will become the second player from the Washington area to claim the league’s most valuable player award, joining David Robinson.

●The Wizards will add to their greatest hits collection of amazing dunks and confounding bloopers — but manage to do it all in one play: A 360-reverse missed layup/alley-oop off the backboard, perhaps?

●Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose may not repeat as most valuable player, but he will eventually reveal the mystery behind Carlos Boozer’s magically re-appearing hair.

●Tim Duncan, perhaps the greatest power forward ever, will quietly step away from the game after this season, with as much fanfare as he received while winning two MVPs and four NBA championships in San Antonio.

More from The Washington Post

What Jeremy Lin means to Asian American Christians

Jim Vance on Jeremy Lin and the ‘Redskins’

Lin entertains while telling story of his rise to stardom

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