In the fourth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS, Ron Darling said there was a “chink in the armor” referring to how Masahiro Tanaka was losing his control. Of course, this would lead the New York Daily News to say Darling “used a racial slur.”
This is completely dishonest reporting, and it is surprising a newspaper which trades in words, language, idioms, and common vernacular would stoop to such a level.
If you track the full etymology of the phrase, it is not a phrase with racial overtones, nor is it used that way today.
As explained by various sites, including Writing Explained, the term was derived in the 15th century to explain a small opening in one’s armor. Since the 17th century, it has been used as an idiom to explain “refers to a weakness in one’s character or something that makes one vulnerable.”
For example, a pitcher losing control is a chink in their armor.
Now, if Darling used that to refer to Tanaka wearing his Yankees jersey? Well, obviously that would have been a racial slur. Clearly, he didn’t, and obviously, Darling would not even go there.
For those that forget, Darling is from Hawaii, is part Chinese, and has dealt with racial slurs all his life. No, this is not the rapper argument where they can use slurs other people can’t. No, it just serves to highlight how Darling might be sensitive to the issue and would not want to inflict upon someone the pain he has endured in his life.
Given how Darling has had to face real racial slurs and the fact the term he used is simply not racist, calling Darling a racist here is callous and completely unwarranted. This is garbage “journalism” and it’s name smearing.
What the New York Daily News did to Darling is far worse than Darling using an appropriate term to describe an event. While Darling apologized, it is Darling himself who is owed the apology.