“The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using ‘chink in the armor’ in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake,” Irving DeJohn and Helen Kennedy reported Monday for the Daily News in New York.
” ‘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.’
“The headline – ‘Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets’ – appeared on ESPN’s mobile website at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and was removed by 3:05 a.m.
“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 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, the Daily News story said.
“. . . A gracious Lin, who led the Knicks to another dazzling hardwood victory Sunday, gave Federico and Bretos the benefit of the doubt.
” ‘They’ve apologized, and so from my end, I don’t care anymore,’ Lin said. ‘You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.’ “
“Bretos, too, said he didn’t think of the slur Wednesday when he asked Knicks legend Walt (Clyde) Frazier about Lin on the air. . . .”