When ESPN fired editor Anthony Federico for posting a headline about Jeremy Lin reading “Chink in the Armor,” the whole situation seemed unfortunate. It was a bad mistake, yes, and ESPN’s decision was understandable – Federico himself said as much – but it did genuinely seem to be a mistake, and not an intentionally offensive comment. Federico went to great lengths to explain this – lengths too great for some to stomach, in fact – but we thought Federico seemed like a good guy who was desperately trying to prove a colossal screwup didn’t mean he was a bad guy, and generally felt bad about the whole situation.
And just as we thought the whole situation was over and never to be spoken of again, today, it re-emerged… but in a good way. Turns out that yesterday, according to Newsday, Lin and Federico had lunch together, and while Lin’s not talking, Federico is, and he sounds pretty thrilled:
“It went incredible. I’m just so excited we had a chance to meet. We talked for an hour. I’m just so thankful.
“The fact that he reached out to me. The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule . . . He’s just a wonderful, humble person. He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.”
Apparently, the two spent more time discussing their Christianity (Federico brought his up a lot when he was making his public statements post-firing) than the headline itself, which Federico said didn’t take up “more than three minutes” of the meeting. That makes sense, since when the headline controversy burned hottest, Lin himself said he didn’t believe the headline was intentionally offensive, either.
And no matter what you think of the story or Federico’s attempts to save face, the fact that at one point he said he’d “love to tell Jeremy what happened” in the wake of his firing, and later actually got that chance, is pretty cool. And it seems like the efforts of Lin and family are what got him that chance, which is even cooler. Small consolation for losing one’s job? Maybe, but this has to be about the best way to give the situation closure. Nice job, people involved.