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Report: Fired ESPN Employee ‘Devastated’ By Uproar Over Offensive Lin Headline

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(credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – ESPN has fired the employee responsible for an offensive headline about Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.

The headline Friday, “Chi– in the Armor,” on ESPN’s mobile website was used for a story about a New York loss in which Lin had nine turnovers.

“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” fired editor Anthony Federico told the New York Daily News.

Federico told the paper that it was an “honest mistake.”

“I had a career that I was proud of,” he said. “I’m devastated that I caused a firestorm.”

Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He captivated fans by leading the Knicks to seven straight wins before Friday’s loss.

“ESPN did what they had to do,” said Federico.

In a statement Sunday, ESPN apologized for that headline and said it is aware of two other “offensive and inappropriate” comments. The cable network said a similar reference was made on one of its radio stations, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee.

“I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but (at) the same time they have apologized. And so from my end I don’t care anymore,” Lin said after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday. “Have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.”

Max Bretos, an ESPNEWS anchor who was suspended for 30 days for using the same phrase, tweeted that he did not intend to show disrespect to Asians.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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