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(CBS) Jeremy Lin has accepted ESPN’s apology for a controversial headline that appeared on the network’s web site early Saturday morning, adding that he didn’t think the racial connotation of it was intentional.
“They’ve apologized and so from my end, I don’t care anymore,” Lin told the New York Daily News Sunday. “You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.”
The headline, “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets”, appeared on ESPN.com around 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning and was removed shortly after. The network later fired the headline writer, Anthony Federico.
“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Federico told the New York Daily News. “I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”
“Chink in the armor” is a common cliche in sports and Federico said he has used it in his headlines “at least 100 times.” But because it was connected with Jeremy Lin and was accompanied by a photo of the Knicks point guard, some deemed it racist.
ESPN also suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days because he used the same phrase in an interview with Knicks legend Walt Frazier when he asked him about Lin.
Bretos apologized on Twitter, writing: “My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community. Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context.”