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.”
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