Jeremy Lin lunches with ex-ESPN headline writer

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks in Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks in action against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. (Jan. 31, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Knicks star Jeremy Lin had lunch with the former ESPN employee who was fired last month for writing a headline about Lin that included a racially insensitive word.

Lin met with Anthony Federico, 28, of Connecticut, during a Knicks off-day on Tuesday. According to Federico, the two discussed their shared Christian faith and Lin's knee injury. Federico wrote the offensive headline that appeared on ESPN's mobile site for 35 minutes in the early morning hours of Feb. 18.

"It went incredible," Federico said of the meeting with Lin. "I'm just so excited we had a chance to meet. We talked for an hour. I'm just so thankful."

A Knicks spokesman said Wednesday that Lin would not discuss the meeting publicly. Calls to Lin's agent were not returned. Lin, who missed Monday's game and was not to play Wednesday night against Orlando because of a sore left knee, was not on the court during the morning shootaround.

Federico apologized after he was fired, calling the headline's play on words "an honest mistake." Lin said at the time that he accepted the apology and added, "You have to learn to forgive."

Apparently, he meant it.

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A member of Lin's family reached out to Federico via email more than a month ago, according to Federico.

Several attempts at meeting were scuttled because of the Knicks point guard's busy schedule, but one finally took place at a Manhattan restaurant and left Federico thankful for Lin's graciousness."The fact that he reached out to me," Federico said. "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.""We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation. 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."

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