News: Ex-ESPN Writer Addresses Anti-Asian NY Knicks Slur, "I'm So Sorry I Offended People"

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 6:29PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Former ESPN editor Anthony Federico has stepped up to clear his name in light of being terminated for an anti-Asian racial slur used on the New York Knicks last weekend, specifically toward the team's overnight sensation Jeremy Lin.

According to Federico, there was no nasty intent behind his "Chink In The Armor" headline following an 89-85 loss last Friday against the New Orleans Hornets.

"This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny," Anthony Federico told the Daily News. "I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy." Battling to contain a furor, the sports network fired Federico and suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days because it turned out he had used the same expression on the air last week. ESPN offered profuse mea culpas and promised to be "better in the future." Federico, 28, said he understands why he was axed. "ESPN did what they had to do," he said. He said he has used the phrase "at least 100 times" in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story. (New York Daily News)

ESPN took swift action by firing its employee over the weekend.

Several hours after the Knicks' Lin-spired winning streak was snapped by the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN ran the headline "Chink In The Armor" to accompany the game story on mobile devices. ESPN's choice of words was extremely insensitive and offensive considering Lin's Asian-American heritage. According to Brian Floyd at SB Nation, the headline appeared on the Scorecenter app. The offensive headline was quickly noticed, screen grabs, Twit pics and Instagrams were shared and it began circulating widely on Twitter. The use of the word "chink" is especially galling as Lin has revealed that this racial slur was used to taunt him during his college playing career at Harvard. After a brief run, the headline was changed to "All Good Things.." (Huffington Post)

Following the original post, ESPN's Director of Communications Kevin Ota issued an open apology.

Last night, ESPN.com's mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. 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. We regret and apologize for this mistake. (Statemenet)

After getting co-signs from artists like former Ruff Ryders rapper Jin, Lin recently revealed his love for Christian hip-hop.

"An artist you gotta check out is Lecrae, he's a Christian rapper, just raps a lot about the Gospel, and about Christian music," Lin told FUSE. "I really enjoy his lyrics as well, so if you're a big lyrics guy, I think that'd be a good fit for you. I listen to something that mellows me out. Hillsong is a Christian band, and they play a lotta contemporary Christian music. I listen to them to remind myself why I'm playing the game, and remind myself I'm playing to glorify God. I really try to just focus on that. I don't try to get too hyped up, otherwise I find myself kinda burned out before the game." (FUSE)

Check out a recent Jeremy Lin interview below:

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