By John Sepulvado, CNN
(New York) - During a late night at work, Anthony Federico went from an unknown editor at ESPN to an accused bigot after he unintentionally wrote a racially loaded headline. "Chink in the Armor" was the headline, used for an article in February about a poor performance by the New York Knicks' rising star, Jeremy Lin, an Asian-American. Soon Federico was fired, news crews were following him and his family, and the hate mail became so intense his mother refused to accept packages. Just as it seemed his reputation and life would never recover, his family stepped in to help carry the 28-year old through the most turbulent time of his life. His family tells the story in this audio profile.
“I know something was up and I thought he’d been in a car accident,” says Anthony’s mother Debbie Federico recalling the day her son came into her room. “He said ‘they are saying that I made a racist remark.’” (5:12)
“I picked that headline because it’s an expression that I’ve used frequently to describe a team or a player, their first bad game, their first sign of weakness,” says Anthony Federico. (4:12)
“After parenting five children for all of those years having one sentence take down all you’ve built up, that is demoralizing,” says Federico’s father Anthony Federico Senior. (6:41)