A new low for political correctness outrage

Former Mets great Ron Darling arrives for a game between the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field in 2016.
Former Mets great Ron Darling arrives for a game between the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field in 2016. Photo Credit: Neil Landino Jr.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new fake outrage PC champion. The New York Daily News defamed TBS baseball commentator and former Mets great Ron Darling this weekend with the ridiculous headline “Ron Darling uses slur in reference to Masahiro Tanaka . . .”

Uhm, no he didn’t.

Calling the Yankees-Boston Red Sox game Saturday night, Darling observed that the Yankee pitcher was losing his control, and observing a “chink in the armor for Tanaka here.”

But the Daily News, with the byline “Daily News Staff,” said “bonehead” Darling “used a racial slur.” Seriously?

According to The American Heritage Idioms Dictionary, “chink in one’s armor” means a crack or gap in a vulnerable area. The term “chink” also has been used as a racial slur against the Chinese. Which do you think Darling meant?

Hint: Tanaka is Japanese, not Chinese.

Hint: The only one with any Chinese ancestry in this story is Darling himself, whose mother is Chinese.

Obviously, the Yale-educated Darling was using the expression in the proper way, not as a slur against Tanaka. But perhaps the News lumps all Asians together?

Darling was ludicrously forced to issue an apology, saying, “Earlier tonight I used an expression referencing Masahiro Tanaka’s pitching performance. While unintentional, I apologize for my choice of words.”

Why bother, Ron? To save his job, that’s why. Don’t believe it? Ask former ESPN tennis analyst Doug Adler, who noted Serena Williams using a “guerrilla effect” during the Australian Open in January 2017, which means moving in and charging the net. But some thought Adler was calling Williams a gorilla. And so ESPN fired him.

Adler filed a wrongful-termination suit against the network, claiming that “guerrilla tennis” is a known term in the sport and was the name of a Nike TV ad in the 1990s. Adler’s trial begins Oct. 15.

Slurs against any group are hurtful and inexcusable, and we have more hateful, bigoted remarks expressed in our nation than I have seen in my lifetime. But false, ignorant accusations of racism only make people cynical when real hate rears its ugly head.

Bigoted slurs are inexcusable. But the only one slurred in this sorry episode is Ron Darling.

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.