- (Photo: REUTERS/Nicky Loh)
Jeremy Lin recently shared his Christian faith over lunch with Anthony Federico, the 28-year-old ESPN employee who was fired for writing what critics call a racial slur, but what he describes as a common sports cliche, in a headline about the athlete.
Federico posted the headline "Chink in the Armor" on the ESPN website during the height of "Linsanity," the phenomenon sparked by the success of Lin, an Asian-American, record-breaking rookie starting point guard for the New York Knicks. The ESPN employee, ultimately fired for the headline, called it "an honest mistake."
After a little over a month, Lin's family reached out to Federico and invited him to lunch with the Knicks guard. The former ESPN employee called Lin wonderful for doing so.
"The fact that he reached out to me," Federico told Newsday. "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."
Aside from sharing lunch with Federico, Lin reportedly also shared his Christian faith.
"We talked more about matters of faith (and) reconciliation," Federico told Newsday. "We talked about our shared Christian values and what we're both trying do with this situation. We didn't talk about the headline for more than three minutes."
After Lin's rise to fame last February, Federico was not the only individual making insensitive comments about the Harvard graduate's race. Ben & Jerry's ice cream company was also accused of committing insensitive racial acts against Lin after producing a "Taste the Lin-Sanity" flavor that featured vanilla frozen yogurt, lychee honey swirls and fortune-cookie pieces that drew complaints of reinforcing Asian stereotypes.
Last month, athletes also took part in highlighting the Knicks guard's ethnicity in a way that some considered insensitive. More recently, Lin confronted a person on Twitter after he was called a "chink" following the Knicks' 121-79 win against the Portland Trailblazers that also resulted in his lowest stat line, six points, six turnovers and six assists.
Still, Lin chose to use the love of Jesus to combat the heckler who chose to tweet a racist comment to the athlete.
"This is happening in 2012," Lin tweeted to the individual who wrote the slur. "Jesus loves you bro and I do too."