Jeremy Lin reacts late in the game against the New...

Jeremy Lin reacts late in the game against the New Orleans Hornets. (Feb. 17, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

ESPN apologized Saturday for a racially offensive word in a headline it used over a story on its mobile website after the Knicks' loss to the Hornets Friday night.

On Sunday, the "worldwide leader in sports" announced the employee who wrote the headline was dismissed from the company. ESPN also said Sunday they were aware of two other instances in which the same derogatory word was used.

For about 35 minutes beginning at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, ESPN ran a headline that included a derogatory noun to describe the Knicks' first loss in Jeremy Lin's seven games as their starting point guard, in which Lin had nine turnovers.

Lin is an American whose parents originally are from Taiwan.

On Friday, ESPNEWS broadcaster Max Bretos used the same word and phrase that appeared in the mobile headline hours later. That anchor has been suspended 30 days. A third incident occurred on ESPN Radio New York, but the network said it was not said by an ESPN employee.

"We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again," the network said on Saturday after the mobile headline caused a stir. "We regret and apologize for this mistake.''

Rob King, editor-in-chief of ESPN digital, wrote on Twitter, "There's no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate.''