Fired ESPN Editor on Lin Headline: 'Honest Mistake'
Anthony Federico 'devastated' at his error
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2012 12:51 PM CST
Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2012 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The canned ESPN editor behind the apparently racist Jeremy Lin headline tells the New York Daily News it was "an honest mistake," and "had nothing to do with me being cute or punny." Anthony Federico says he's used the phrase "chink in the armor" in "at least 100" headlines over the years, and the fact that it would read as a slur didn't dawn on him this time around. He adds that he's particularly "devastated" because Lin is one of his heroes. "I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy," he says, adding that he understands "ESPN did what they had to do."

The network also suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days after it came to light he had also used the expression last Wednesday on the air. Bretos had asked a former Knicks player, "If there is a chink in the armor, where can he improve his game?" Bretos has also apologized, and says the racial slur did not occur to him either. As for Lin, he's ready to forgive and forget. "They've apologized, and so from my end, I don't care anymore," he says. "You have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional."