News: Ex-ESPN Writer Still Shaken Up Over NY Knicks Headline, "I Have To Find A New Job & Move On W/ My Life"

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 10:35PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

As if an initial apology was not enough, former ESPN writer Anthony Federico is continuing to defend his image by releasing a lengthy statement on his controversial "Chink in the Armor" headline aimed toward the New York Knicks last week.

In his statement, Federico stresses his humble character and compassion for others.

"I wrote the headline in reference to the tone of the column and not to Jeremy Lin's race. It was a lapse in judgment and not a racist pun. It was an awful editorial omission and it cost me my job. I owe an apology to Jeremy Lin and all people offended. I am truly sorry. Actions speak louder than words. My words may have hurt people in that moment but my actions have always helped people. If those who vilify me would take a deeper look at my life they would see that I am the exact opposite of how some are portraying me. They would see that on the day of the incident I got a call from a friend - who happens to be homeless - and rushed to his aid. He was collapsed on the side of the road due to exposure and hunger. They would see how I picked him up and got him a hotel room and fed him. They would see I used my vacation time last year to volunteer in the orphanages of Haiti. They would see how I 'adopted' an elderly Alzheimer's patient and visited him every week for a year." (TwitLonger)

Federico also let people know how ludicrous it would be to have intentionally used the headline.

"I wrote thousands and thousands and thousands of headlines in my five years at ESPN. There never was a problem with any of them and I was consistently praised as an employee - both personally and professionally. Two weeks prior to the incident I had my first column published on espnW.com. My career was taking off. Why would I throw that all away with a racist pun? This was an honest mistake. It is also crucial that people know that the writer of the column had nothing to do with the headline. I wrote it and now I take responsibility for it. I am actually a Knicks fan and an ardent supporter of Jeremy Lin. Not surprisingly, he has handled the entire situation with grace and class. Now I have to find a new job and move on with my life. My solace in this is that 'all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.' I praise God equally in the good times and the bad times." (TwitLonger)

Earlier this week, he opened up on the controversial eye-catching headline.

"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)

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