Anthony Federico, the former ESPN editor fired for using the Chink in the armor headline with a coverage on New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, said he made a mistake and had no ill intentions when he included the derogatory term in the headline.
In fact, Federico told the New York Daily News that the racial slur used for Asians never crossed his mind and that it has left him devastated.
This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny, Federico said. I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy.
On Sunday, ESPN announced that it fired the writer responsible for the Chink in the armor headline. An ESPNEWS anchor was also suspended for 30 days for using the term while covering Lin.
The headline appeared in ESPN.com's mobile Web site around 2:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and was removed at 3:05 a.m. ET, according to ESPN. ESPN promised the public that it would investigate what happened. Approximately 36 hours later, the sports network fired Federico and suspended anchor Max Bretos.
ESPN also issued an apology to the public and said it will do better.
Federico, 28, reported started working with ESPN as an intern in 2006. He told the Daily News that he has used the phrase at least 100 times in headlines over the years. He therefore, thought nothing of it when he added Chink in the armor to the Jeremy Lin story.
Still Federico told the Daily News he understands why he was fire.
ESPN did what they had to do, Federico said, noting that Lin is one of his heroes. Federico told the Daily news that Lin is one of his heroes because he feels a kinship with a fellow outspoken Christian.
My faith is my life, he said. I'd love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.
Lin said that Federico and Bretos have apologized and so he doesn't care anymore.
You have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional, Lin said.