In case you weren’t aware, ESPN loves Jeremy Lin. The New York Knicks point guard was mentioned something like once a minute on SportsCenter every day last week. So of course if someone at the Worldwide Leader f*cks up a story or report about Lin, that person will pay the price. For instance, Anthony Federico wrote a questionable headline regarding Lin and the Knicks losing last week and it cost him his job.
Of course, that headline was just a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy offensive:
But dammit, you guys, Federico said he didn’t mean it. He’s really sorry about this and he totally didn’t mean “Chink” to be taken as an innuendo, even though it’s one of the most common and laziest forms of racism in the world. How sorry is he? He wrote a letter, man.
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 never has been or will be my intention to hurt anyone.
I wrote 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.
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.
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.
Maybe I’m just super skeptical and blind to an honest person’s cry for understanding. Hell, maybe I just didn’t spend enough time trying to be an actual sports writer. But I just can’t sit here and read that letter without my right arm going into a reactionary dismissive wank.
Dude. Anthony, listen to me. DUDE. Jeremy Lin is Chinese-American. You used the word “CHINK” in the headline of a story about him. You worked for E-F*CKING-SPN. How on God’s green Earth did you not even stop for one second, giggle and say, “Whoops, that could be horribly misconstrued”?
I hope that you find a new job and you move past this, because God knows the majority of us barely even know your name, but don’t expect us to feel bad for you. I don’t mean to rub salt in the wound or sound like a dick, but you’re a moron. At least you’re a humble moron, though.