:15: Totally (L)inappropriate

Linsanity has taken over New York City and is rapidly sweeping the globe. At the start of the season, Jeremy Lin was just another guard sitting on the bench.

Finally getting his chance to prove himself against the Nets, Lin posted 25 points and 7 assists in 36 minutes. While some thought it was a fluke, Lin repeatedly scored in double digits while the franchise player, Carmelo Anthony, was out with an injury.

As thousands of people began brainstorming various puns on the young phenom’s last name, an unfortunate headline was released under the name of Anthony Federico, a former editor for ESPN:

Naturally, this created quite a stir in the online community and ultimately resulted in Federico’s termination. While some people gave ESPN the benefit of the doubt, there were many more that did not.

Personally, I can’t imagine someone intentionally risking their reputation by publishing this headline with a hurtful purpose, especially after reading this apologetic statement from Federico himself.

He wrote an apology to Lin and to many others who were offended and expressed that, “Actions speak louder than words. My words may have hurt people in that moment but my actions have always helped people. If those who vilify me would take a deeper look at my life they would see that I am the exact opposite of how some are portraying me.”

It is apparent to me that Federico never meant to run such a headline and is truly embarrassed for having done so. The bad news is that he lost a lot of respect from a lot of people, not to mention his position at ESPN. On the bright side, he did what had to be done to fix the situation and he’s moved on to a new job.

All I can think of to learn from this incident is that even the pros make mistakes. This guy was an editor for ESPN, a.k.a. the heaven for all sports writers and editors, and he missed a mistake that most people probably think is pretty obvious. Realistically, after reading thousands upon thousands of words every day for a few years, I’m sure it’s impossible to be perfect. I constantly find grammatical errors on everything but when a mistake as controversial as this leaks out, it truly is just as unfortunate for the public as it is for the writer/editor and company.


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