The ESPN staffer who wrote an offensive headline (“Chink in the Armor”) featured on a February article about Jeremy Lin and the Knicks was fired for the misstep, and has already apologized. Now, in a pretty gracious move, the point guard reportedly scheduled a lunch to chat with Anthony Federico. Evidently, the two didn’t dwell on the incident that brought them together.
“We didn’t talk about the headline for more than three minutes,” the ex-ESPN employee told Newsday in an interview about the lunch.
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“The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule … He’s just a wonderful, humble person,” Federico told the newspaper. “He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.”
Days after he was fired, Federico gave an interview with the New York Daily News explaining that he was “so sorry if I offended Jeremy” and really didn’t mean it to be offensive or racist. He also said he had used that exact same headline “at least 100 times” in the years since he started working at the network in 2006.
With such enormous media attention on the offensive headline — during the height of the point guard’s rise to prominence — Federico also posted a longer apology on Twitter last month, explaining that his words “have hurt people in that moment” but that if people knew him they’d understand “I am the exact opposite of how some are portraying me.”
Frederico told Newsday that he and Lin talked about their shared Christianity at the lunch. He also tweeted his reaction to the lunch on Wednesday:
Anthony Federico (@AntFeds) March 28, 2012