Anthony Federico, the 28-year-old editor who was fired this past weekend for his racially insensitive headline about New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, is going beyond his initial apology and shedding a little light on the man behind the blunder.
Federico ignited a media hailstorm when his “Chink in the Armor” headline went live on ESPN mobile following the Knicks’ loss to the Hornets. Lin, the former Harvard star who has become the face of the Knicks franchise almost overnight, committed nine turnovers in that 89-85 loss to New Orleans, snapping a seven-game winning streak.
Then came the headline, which Federico said was an extension of the column he was linking to, and his subsequent termination at ESPN.
Well, it appears Federico doesn’t plan to disappear quietly without a defense of his character. In fact, Federico wants everyone to know, mainly those who continue to paint him in a furiously bad light, that he is a good person and a God-fearing young man who helps the homeless and spends his vacations “volunteering in the orphanages of Haiti.” Per him, it was an honest, costly mistake.
“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. They would see that every winter I organize a coat drive for those less fortunate in New Haven. They would see how I raised $10,000 for a friend in need when his kids were born four months premature. They would see how I have worked in soup kitchens and convalescent homes since I was a kid. They would see my actions speak louder than my words. They would see that these acts were not done for my glory, but for God’s. They would see that each day I live and will continue to live a life of joy and service.
“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.”
Following the Knicks 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday, Lin responded to the controversy, accepted an apology and has since moved on.
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