Anthony Federico ESPN

February 21, 2012 by staff 

Anthony Federico ESPN, New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin is taking the NBA by storm. But the daily headlines of his unbelievable skills on the court have are now being overshadowed by recent racial slurs against him.

ESPN fired editor Anthony Federico after he wrote “chink in the armor” Friday on the ESPN mobile website. The phrase appeared on the site for more than 30 minutes before being removed at about 3:05 a.m. ET Saturday.

Federico says he was referring to Lin’s nine turnovers in the Knicks’ loss to New Orleans.

“I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy,” Federico told the New York Daily News. “I’d love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.”

ESPNews anchor Max Bretos said it as well when asking Knicks Hall of Fame guard and current color commentator Walt Frazier about Lin’s weakness.

Lin says he’s over it.

“They’ve apologized, and so from my end, I don’t care anymore,” Lin said. “You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.”

But how did a professional writer make this mistake in the first place? Tom Lee, national vice president of the Asian American Journalists Association, sat down with FOX 9 to discuss the ESPN-Jeremy Lin fallout.

“First of all the word is blatantly offensive, and the fact that this ESPN editor says that it was an honest mistake and never occurred to him kind of stretches the boundaries of disbelief,” Lee said. “It’s equivalent in the Asian American community to what the N word and S word is to Hispanic and black communities.”

“Jeremy Lin is a famous person now,” Lee said. “Let’s assume Jeremy Lin isn’t a famous person – would (Federico) still be employed?”

As for the future, Lee sees this as a great opportunity to educate journalists and the public on racial slurs against all communities.

“The Asian American community has traditionally not been as vocal as they could be in policing this,” Lee said.

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