New York (CNN) — Former ESPN writer Anthony Federico apologized Monday for writing an offensive headline about basketball sensation Jeremy Lin, calling it “an honest mistake.”
The controversial headline read “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets.”
The phrase — Chink in the Armor — contains a word that has two meanings; one is an ethnic slur.
“I’d love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake,” Federico told the New York Daily News in an interview published Monday.
ESPN fired Federico and suspended Max Bretos, an anchor who used the same phrase, the sports network said Sunday.
Federico told the paper, “ESPN did what they had to do.”
The ESPN headline Saturday morning was up for 35 minutes before being removed, but the damage was done.
ESPN apologized Saturday stating, “We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN.”
Federico offered a similar apology in the interview with the Daily News.
“I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy,” he said.
ESPN taking a drastic step with this case. While Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports was allowed to keep his job despite his racist tweet, ESPN would not be taking the same measure with Federico. Federico seemed genuinely sorry and you have to feel for him but the reality of the matter is, he said what he said. Whatever ESPN did was their choice but they clearly did not want to be represented in this light.