i know that firing one person does not solve the deeper, systemic issue at hand (i.e., that racism against asian americans is still generally acceptable in our society. would the writer have even contemplated putting a similar pun about a black player on the internet? absolutely not). nor is firing one person an adequate fix for a headline that was probably approved by multiple editors. not to mention that the move was as likely motivated by the need for PR damage control as remorse over the use of an ethnic slur. but in spite of all of these factors, news of the firing came as a relief to me; it showed that espn took the issue seriously. a big part of me had feared, because of the aforementioned systemic issue, that there would be no significant consequences (a la last weekend’s now-viral snl cold open). but now i have a sense of vindication and validation, because some kind of justice has been served.
could they have done more? absolutely. clearly there needs to be some education in the organization if multiple people saw the headline and deemed it appropriate for the world wide web. but does it satisfy my very primal urge for justice? yes, yes it does. maybe this is why it’s so hard to make progress in the race discussion — as soon as an offense is incurred, a head rolls, the masses are satisfied, and none of the underlying issues get addressed.