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Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City.
The ESPN editor who was fired for writing an offensive headline in reference to Knicks standout Jeremy Lin says it did not occur to him he was using a racial slur.
The Daily News reported Monday that Anthony Federico apologized and said he was devastated when he realized his mistake.
The headline Friday on ESPN's mobile website was used for a story about a New York loss in which Lin had nine turnovers. The headline was an idiom that contains a word that also can be used as a slur against Chinese.
ESPN announced Sunday that Federico was fired and he said he understands why.
Max Bretos, an ESPNEWS anchor who was suspended for 30 days for using the same phrase, tweeted that he did not intend to show disrespect to Asians.