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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 02/22/2012

ESPN editor fired for offensive Jeremy Lin headline calls it “honest mistake”

Anthony Federico, the ESPN editor who was fired Sunday for writing an offensive headline about New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, has answered the question everyone has been asking: Just what was he thinking?

Federico wrote today on Twitter that he takes full responsibility for the mistake, which he says was an honest one. “It was a lapse in judgment and not a racist pun. It was an awful editorial omission and it cost me my job,” Federico wrote. “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.”

Federico was fired Sunday after the headline appeared on ESPN’s mobile site for about 30 minutes at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. In addition, the network suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days for using the same expression earlier in the week in a broadcast.

Federico said that he had written “thousands and thousands and thousands of headlines in my five years at ESPN. There never was a problem with any of them and I was consistently praised as an employee — both personally and professionally. Two weeks prior to the incident I had my first column published on espnW.com. My career was taking off. Why would I throw that all away with a racist pun? This was an honest mistake.”

Federico wrote that he is “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.

“My solace in this is that ‘all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.’ I praise God equally in the good times and the bad times.”

More from Washington Post Sports

Anthony Federico tells his story

Jeremy Lin says references were unintentional

Early Lead: ESPN apologizes for offensive headline

Early Lead: ESPN fires editor, suspends anchor

By  |  03:35 PM ET, 02/22/2012

 
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