ESPN is standing with longtime employee Mina Kimes after the "NFL Live" analyst was the subject of a racist, sexist comment Wednesday by a Boston sports radio personality.
During a segment of WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," the hosts were asked their preference in "nips," or miniature liquor bottles. Chris Curtis, the program's executive producer, chimed in with, "Oh, I'd probably go Mina Kimes," evoking a World War II-era term used to describe people of Japanese descent. He followed it up with a smirk and a chuckle.
Kimes is of Korean descent.
Legions of supporters came to her defense after video of the exchange went viral, most notably her employer.
"There’s no place for these type of hateful comments, which were uncalled for and extremely offensive,” ESPN said in a statement.
WEEI's parent company, Audacy, tried to walk back Curtis' statement, saying, of all things, to the Boston Globe's Chad Finn that its employee wasn't prejudiced because he was attempting to refer to Hollywood star Mila Kunis, not Kimes.
That drew a rather humorous response from Kimes, who let a Bart Simpson meme do all the talking.
Curtis was back on the air briefly Thursday morning, reiterating that he meant to say Kunis and announcing he has been suspended until next Wednesday.
One of Kimes' colleagues, ESPN host Sarah Spain, offered her two cents, decrying Curtis while also lampooning his station's defense of him.
Kimes got the last laugh. The award-winning journalist changed her Twitter profile picture to Kunis, another high-profile non-Japanese woman.
Mina Kimes 2, racist/sexist radio hosts 0.
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