Only fired ESPN editor knows truth behind his offensive Lin headline

February 20, 2012 | Luke Jones

It doesn’t change what happened nor does it mean Federico should have kept his job, but is it possible this was a case of a bleary-eyed individual making a horrific — but honest — mistake?

“My faith is my life,” said Federico to the Daily News, referencing how he relates to Lin’s own Christian faith. “I’d love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.”

Whether you ultimately believe his apology is sincere or a shoddy attempt to save face among colleagues, friends, and family and appeal for a second chance for employment in the media world is up to you.

Racism and hate very plainly exist in our world, but are we so cynical and devoid of compassion as a society to automatically assume the worst-case scenario when there is even a slight benefit of doubt to consider? Isn’t that very notion of understanding what we want to see in others?

Perhaps we should consider Lin’s own words when asked about the ESPN headline over the weekend.

“They’ve apologized, and so from my end, I don’t care anymore,” Lin said. “You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.”

No matter if it was a case of overt racism or just a brain cramp of immense proportions, Federico will live with the fallout of the headline for the rest of his life and will likely need to find a new line of work as a result.

Only he knows the truth about what really happened. It’s not my place to deem him a bigot or absolve him of guilt.

But I do know we’ve all been in positions where we’ve said or done something that either was or could have been offensive to others, even when we had no intention of doing so.

For that reason, I’m not going to pile on.

Federico has already lost plenty for his actions.