Former ESPN journalist Anthony Federico‘s life became a living nightmare after he made the headline “Chink in the Armor” about NBA star Jeremy Lin in 2012, but he later realized it was a crucial part of his path to becoming a priest.
The controversial headline unsurprisingly garnered heavy criticism from netizens who labeled the 33-year-old as a racist. After realizing his horrifying mistake, Federico felt so bad that he had to go the bathroom to hurl, according to Washington Post.
“Everyone thinking of me as a bad person, an evil person, it was the worst 30 days of my life,” Federico added. The journalist-turned-priest recalled the foreboding aftermath of his mistake, which included hate mails and even death threats.
Proud to play for Theological College – your 2016 Vianney Cup soccer tournament champions! pic.twitter.com/osYEZMbjII
— Anthony Federico (@AntFeds) April 9, 2016
Even when Federico was writing for one of the world’s most recognized sports outlet, he admitted that he still felt empty somehow.
“I thought I had everything I was supposed to have to be happy. But I would lay awake at night, thinking, ‘What am I missing?’,” Federico said.
However, once the ex-journalist became a priest, he not only apologized to basketball Lin following the unintentional racist remark, he also made amends with himself. Federico believes that God allowed the grueling ordeal to happen for him to pursue priesthood, a path he admittedly had been avoiding.
— Anthony Federico (@AntFeds) July 13, 2017
Ever since he became a priest, Federico admits that he has “never been happier” in his life as he embraces the role of preaching to others about getting second chances. While Federico’s headline slip isn’t something that he anticipated, he revealed that if this is what it took for him to become a priest, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
— Anthony Federico (@AntFeds) September 23, 2015
“I’m genuinely happy with my life and excited about serving the people of God,” Federico explained.
Fortunately for Federico, his mistake led to an outcome that’s in his favor, but for others, using the racial slur “chink” could lead to some brutal consequences.